Sew a Wardrobe in a weekend : Tops

If the Super Quick wardrobe patterns aren’t to your taste, how about patterns for individual items which the pattern companies say take only 1 or 2 hours of sewing time.

Again most of these patterns are best for people who’re rectangle shape. I made some comments about this in a previous post, and on how the rest of us can change things a bit.

The great advantage of wardrobe patterns is you don’t have to worry whether individual items co-ordinate. That also isn’t a problem with most of these Super Quick tops, as they’re mainly very classic styles.

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Here are the time-limited patterns for tops that are available or recently oop.

oop Butterick 4987 is a pattern for 2 hour camisoles.


oop Butterick 5035 has a couple of unusual shapes for 1 hour knit tops.


Butterick 5948 is a collection of 2 hour classic tops for wovens, with a choice of necklines, and body and sleeve lengths.

New Look 6807 is for 2 hour gathered knit tops


while New Look 6892 has similar 2 hour woven fabric tops.


Then there are the classic Palmer-Pletsch shirts.

McCall’s 4518 is a 2 hour shirt with convertible collar.


and McCall’s 4079 is a 3 hour shirt with band collar.


Also many of the Super Quick dresses could be made shorter as tops. And there are some patterns for tops in the quick wardrobe patterns I listed earlier.

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I chose to mention only patterns which the pattern companies give specific times for. Of course, many people have much loved TNT tops which can be made very quickly, especially if you like knits and have an overlocker/ serger.

Many people like wrap tops, which only take a little more time. But if you prefer a fitted top or an interesting collar, you’ll need quite a bit longer. . .

There is a much bigger range of tops if you include buttonholes and zips. I now realise why these processes are not in super quick patterns. It’s not that they’re difficult, it’s that they need to be done slowly to get a good result. I timed myself sewing a centred zip, and it took me 1/2 hour. Okay, I’m a slow sewer and baste everything, so many people could do it faster. Still that’s an extra 1/2 hour for one process, which really isn’t available if you want to finish a garment in 1 or 2 hours. But it might well be possible to include slower processes if you have half a day 😀

These simple patterns are not to everyone’s taste, either to sew or to wear. But they do show the processes and styles possible if you want to get something to wear quickly. And it is impressive if you can sew a classic shirt in 3 hours !

Of course these styles haven’t got to be made quickly. A very simple top, made in quality materials using lovingly crafted near-couture skills, can be a thing of great beauty. Or can be an open canvas for exhibiting your favourite art-to-wear or heirloom embellishments 😀

I’m finding it very interesting to review these super quick patterns. But I’m realising that speedy sewing is not for me. I’m getting over the feeling that I ‘ought’ to sew quickly. I’m fascinated by and enjoy reading the exploits of people who sew fast, but it’s not right for me.

Despite that, I’m planning more Super Quick Pattern posts, about skirts and pants, and vests, jackets and coats !

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Patterns and links available May 2010

Explore posts in the same categories: speedy sewing

2 Comments on “Sew a Wardrobe in a weekend : Tops”

  1. Myrna Says:

    “I’m getting over the feeling that I “ought” to sew quickly.”. Interesting comment. While I need some simple garments to work with other more detailed ones, I’m not a fan of sew it quick. I don’t need that many garments and there’s not much fun in mass production AND… I sew for the uniqueness and to make garments I couldn’t possibly afford. What I like about a simple garment is it’s potential to be a blank canvas.

    • sewingplums Says:

      Yes, Myrna – my style tends to simple garments with embellishment too. Gale Grigg Hazen has a style ‘traditional shapes with unusual details’, and I think that’s me.

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