This one comes from an old magazine and is featured on a few blogs, but this is the one I found first. It's not a pattern, but a tutorial that is originally from Life magazine, but all the links to the article I have found seem to be broken.
It's so simple, but elegant. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted this to be my next vintage pattern pledge make. It's a similar idea to the walkaway dress, but nicer!
I have not followed it to the letter, but I haven't strayed too far away from the original. I mean it's a rectangle, so I haven't gone crazy!!!
I didn't want to wear something quite so figure hugging, but wanted to play with the idea, so I have kept it loose fitting and rather than adding ties have added a side button fastening.
and rather than back ties I added an elastic strap. Before you recoil in disgust at this monstrosity, let me assure you this has been removed!!! After about half a hour of wearing the top the elastic bugged me so much I cut it off and machine sewed the flappy fabric wrapping from the front to the back piece. It's loose fitting so is easy to pull on and off without any fastenings. It's become less wrap around now and more woven t-shirt.
This is what I have now done. The stitch line is on the back and goes through to the edge of the front wrap starting a few centimetres from the hem and ending a few centimetres above the line of the top button.
I may add ties to a future version, but I am happy that I haven't on this one as I appreciate the looser and cooler fit here and also feel that front ties would limit it's flexibility to wear with more garments.
It's interesting what you gauge with wearing an item and if you choose to have a go at this top then it's all about putting your rectangle over your head and deciding where you want to place your fixtures and fittings. It's fun to play or experiment and it just goes to show what you can do with no paper pattern and simple shapes. You could even bung a couple of rectangles onto the sides for sleeves!
Here's what I looks like flat. Ok, so it's not entirely like this now since I removed the elastic and sewed it shut on the side seams, but you get the idea. I even think that this would look nice with the edges sewn up to under the arm to make a rectangle t-shirt or tunic.
The neckline I borrowed from the BHL Anna dress and is so pretty. I simply bound it with bias tape.
Here's some diagrams of the fabric dimensions and construction.
For my measurements I measured from the highest point of my shoulder to my waist. I then added 3cm for a shoulder seam allowance and small hem. The shoulder allowance is optional, but I was using a directional print so needed a seam there.
For the width I measured my waist and subtracted 10cm (this includes allowance for the double turned edges), so that it was wide enough for a wrap, but not too wide that it would meet in the middle.
All edges were double turned with a 1.5cm allowance and the shoulder was French seamed.
The button holes and button placement were judged once I had it draped on the body, so is down to personal preference.
So that's it really. I only used half a metre of fabric, as I got the front and back out of the width of fabric and used a ready made binding for the neck so super economical and zero waste!!!
I know there are sewists who don't like to work at all without a pattern, but it's fun! When I was learning pattern cutting at uni we were encouraged to drape with big shapes and see what happened and this is kind of like an introduction to that. It frees you up from the constrains of body blocks and can lead to really interesting forms should you explore the idea further.
How about you, would you have a go at this?