The easiest top you'll ever sew!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the Mexican Huipil that I scored at a thrift store. It’s still one of my favorite tops, though now that I know how much hand embroidery and care probably went into making it, I wear and wash it a bit less often, in the hopes it will last longer!

I’ve been wanting to copy the shape of this top for awhile and since I had a piece of rayon that was only about a yard, I thought it was a good time to try it.

Now I can truly say, this is the easiest top ever!! Anyone can draft a rectangle and that’s seriously all it is. A rectangle with a neckline. The back and front are the same.

Let me show you my finished top first and then I’ll show you how I did it and how easy it is, so you can try it too.

How to make a rectangle top. Super easy, anyone can do it! || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

The cool thing about this being the same on the front and back is that you can get creative about the hemline and the trim, if you decide to add some. I had a small length of lace leftover from this (my most-worn garment this summer!) So it was enough to trim the front hem, but not the back. But it turned out to be a cool design feature! I can reverse the top and do a front tuck so that lace is in the back. I can’t decide which way I like it better.

How to make a rectangle top. So easy anyone can do it! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Ok, here’s how you can draft a rectangle top for yourself. This isn’t so much of a full tutorial with step by step photos, but I think it’s enough info. And it’s just super easy, I think anyone could figure this out!

To cut the right size rectangle, you need to decide how long you want it. Mine is 27” in length (that includes 1” for seam allowance and hem. For the width, take your hip measurement and add 1”. Divide that number by four. My hips measure 39”, so after adding an inch and then dividing by 4, my rectangle’s width is 10”. Here’s my finished rectangle, for a visual.

How to draft a rectangle top. So easy, anyone can do it!

Ok, next draft your neckline. Measure 3” from the center front and 7” down from the top. Simply create a curve using the above photo as a guide.

You can see I have two notches on the side seam of my rectangle, one is 8.5” from the top and the other is 5” up from the bottom. When you sew your side seams, sew in between the notches, then narrow hem the sleeves and the slits. The slits help the top fit over your widest part (your hips) without making the top really wide everywhere else, so I wouldn’t leave them off unless you’re very narrow in the hips.

So here are the steps in order:

  1. Sew your shoulder seams.

  2. Stay stitch the neckline to prevent stretching.

  3. Finish the neckline with your preferred method. I made a bias binding and turned it to the inside and stitched.

  4. Sew your side seams between notches and press open.

  5. Narrow hem your arm holes and side slit openings.

  6. Hem the top and add trim if you want.

Done! If you have questions, I’d be happy to help further!

I’m a little baffled about why this basic rectangle top fits so well, when everything else seems to needs darts and adjustments up the wazoo for it to fit me right. But I guess I won’t question it ;)

I’d be thrilled if you pinned this graphic to come back to for later and for others to share too!

How to draft and sew a rectangle top. So easy, anyone can do it! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio
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A Woven Cardigan and Hair Care Talk

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I am soooo happy with my latest make, you guys, I have literally worn it for the last three days in a row! I think I need a second one so I have one to wash and one to wear, ha!

Lemme just show you a photo, first thing.

Woven cardigan with Simplicity 8601 & 8707

(Find similar shoes here and my tank here — I highly recommend!)

I love this for so many reasons! I realized how great it can be to have a kimono style “topper” in the Summer, when you either want to protect against chill, sun, or just be more covered. I have worn my yellow chiffon kimono quite a bit, much more than I thought I would, but it’s honestly not the most flattering shape on me because of the drop shoulders and wide sleeves. I’m already pretty broad for my size through my upper body, so the kimono definitely adds more width.

I had the idea to make something similar, but with normal set in sleeves, when I was eyeing a woven cardigan my daughter has that she got at a thrift store. Hers has cute tie details on the sleeves and I had a light bulb moment! I remembered Simplicity 8601 has those tie details and that pattern was already in my stash and I’ve made it a couple times.

Woven Cardigan: Simplicity 8601 & Simplicity 8707 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

So, I used the kimono pattern, Simplicity 8707 and mashed it up with Simplicity 8601 in order to make myself a version of this cardigan. My method was as you’d expect, I used the main pieces of 8601, adding length and then altering the front pieces by placing the front of Simplicity 8707 on top and tracing that front line onto my fabric. The sleeves I cut as normal, of course.

Some additional details: I flat felled the seams in order to have the insides look nice and I bound the back neckline with denim bias tape. Not only does it look nice, it’s much stronger that way. I left slits in the sides about six inches from the bottom and added a pretty lace from Hobby Lobby. Oh, and my fabric is a rayon from Colorado Fabrics in Denver.

Flat felled seams: Woven cardigan with Simplicity Patterns || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I’m definitely serious about making a second version. This one truly goes with most things in my closet and it’s already proving so handy. I’m being quite picky about the fabric, though, so I’ll have to sew other things until I find the right fabric. A soft lace one would be pretty and I do have a piece in my stash, but I don’t think it’s enough. We’ll see!

Moving on! Sometimes I come across things that are unrelated to sewing, but I still feel are worth sharing with you because I think they’re awesome! And after all, anyone who sews clothing probably cares about fashion and therefore possibly also cares about hair care, right? So you see, it fits.

I have two hair products to recommend. I have naturally curly hair. A few times in my life, however, due to hormonal freak-outs, I lost a ton of hair. The first time that happened, it grew back pretty straight. The second time it happened, it grew back curly again. I was forced to cut it short and it was ridiculous to deal with for a solid year. But anyway, long story short, I acquired an awesome hair stylist, she helped me through this process and my hair is now healthy and curly again, not to mention thicker than it’s ever been. She recently sold me this curly hair product called KMS Curl Up Mousse. You only use a little and apply it to wet hair. When it dries, you have soft, not frizzy or crunchy, curls. I just noticed they also have this curl cream, which I think I’ll for sure order.

The second thing is a hair dryer. Mine died recently and I used this one at a hotel and loved it. I took a pic and ordered it when I got home. It’s compact and folds up, so easy to travel with, and the cord retracts. The cord is not super long, which I prefer, so it doesn’t become a twisted mess. It also has three speeds instead of two! So, while I find I usually air dry my hair now, it’s nice to have a good hair dryer when I need it!

I’m a pretty basic beauty routine gal, so when I find good things, I like to share! What are your go-to personal care products? If you have anything you swear by, I’d love to hear about it.

One last thing. Prime day is coming! If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you can snag a free trial just in time to get the good deals on July 15th & 16th. I’ll be sure and post the best deals for crafters as it gets closer!

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Black Rayon Linen Jacket: New Look 6351

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.


We’re currently on vacation in Colorado, seeing family since my husband recently returned from deployment. We’ve spent some time in Denver with my family and seeing friends (we both grew up here, met and married here) and today we’re heading down to Pueblo where his family lives. Every day has been so full, but in a good way!

So I’m just popping in to share a jacket with you that I made a few months ago, actually, but that’s gotten more wear than possibly anything else in this season’s handmade wardrobe.

This is the final piece made from my black rayon linen score, following the joggers and the dress.

New Look 6351 out of rayon linen || PIn, Cut, Sew

The pattern is New Look 6351 and I absolutely love the easy shape of it. I have said before, I was wanting to have a few jackets to wear instead of wearing mostly cardigans and this has proven a good strategy. It’s gotten a ton of wear, casual and dressy. It adds class to nicer outfits, where a cardigan just wouldn’t do the same.

I only made a couple changes. I did make a muslin, even though it’s just a jacket and decided to take some vertical wedges out of the back pattern piece from the hem to the middle back so that the bottom of the back fits closer to my body. This was the perfect decision, the back fit is my favorite! I also chose not to interface the collar piece because I wanted a more loose look than a crisp one.

Black linen jacket: New Look 6351 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

There are some great rayon linen fabrics on Amazon if you’re considering trying this kind of fabric! Like this one, this one and this one ( my favorite!) I think I’ve proven how versatile it is and if I had to choose a favorite fabric, rayon linen might be my choice, especially for summer!

In other news, I finally began a new Instagram account just for sewing! I will get around to changing the links here in the sidebar, etc … in the next week, but for now, please follow me @PinCutSew. You can also just click on the linked photo below. Cheers!

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Rayon Linen Dress: Simplicity 2591

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I wrote awhile back about a large cut of Nicole Miller rayon linen fabric I got for so little money, it felt too good to be true. After I made those linen joggers (still going strong in my wardrobe!) I wanted to make a dress out of the same fabric.

Unfortunately, Simplicity 2592 is out of print, but oftentimes you can find oop patterns on Etsy, so if you’re interested in this pattern, try that. There’s not really another one like it out there currently that I’ve seen, so I’m so glad I kept this pattern! I’ve actually made this dress several times before, I’ll try to dig up those photos and put them at the end of this post.

Anyway, here’s my dress. I’ve gotten quite a bit of wear out of it already, it goes for any occasion, really, and can be dressed up or casual. Also, pockets ;)

Rayon Linen black dress: Simplicity 2591 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I did a massive clean out of my sewing patterns about six months ago and it made a huge difference in my sewing workflow in ways I didn’t really expect. At the time, I was working on cutting down on decision fatigue in my daily life, so I cleaned out my wardrobe and pretty much every cupboard and corner of my house. I was left with one drawer of patterns and it’s so nice to have fewer choices. It’s easier to picture those patterns hacked into other things and easier to picture a pattern in my stash as I’m shopping for projects. Also, because I’ve actually made probably two thirds of the patterns in my drawer, I have a great collection of tried and true patterns.

This dress is definitely one of those tried and true. Even though my style has changed quite a bit since these early versions, it’s still such a classic dress. (It’s so crazy pulling these old photos. They’re from only about 5-7 years ago, but I feel like I look like a totally different person!)

Simplicity 2591 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Do you have any tried and true patterns? Are you a large pattern stash person, or a small pattern stash person? Do tell.

Cheers!

Rayon Linen black dress, simplicity 2591 || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio
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Kimono Style: Simplicity 8707

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I’ve had a piece of chiffon from Hobby Lobby’s 2018 Spring fashion line for awhile now. I think I bought it to make a ballet skirt for one of my girls, but who wants to hem a chiffon circle skirt? I avoided that for the following year and just decided to make a simple kimono for myself instead.

I used Simplicity 8707 because it was already in my stash and as I was making it, I kept thinking, “this probably won’t look great on me, I probably will never wear it”. Well, the joke’s on me because I made it last week and have worn it three times!

Sew a Kimono: Simplicity 8707

This was an instant gratification project, it took maybe two hours from cut to finish. I added a vintage 60’s lace to the bottom and it’s the perfect touch. There are so many great things about a kimono in the summer! It’s lightweight enough so you’re never hot, but can protect you from a cool breeze, or keep you from getting sunburned when you’re out. If you’re self conscious about the backs of your legs as many women are, you can wear your shorts with a kimono and feel totally covered. I wore it to church to add color to a pretty plain dress yesterday. I’ve even worn it as a robe in the evenings. Let’s just say I hope this is a fashion trend that sticks around!

Kimono sewing inspiration, Simplicity Pattern 8707

There are a lot of great kimono patterns out there right now! Here’s what I could find:

As for fabrics, lightweight choices are the best, for sure. I’d go with a chiffon, silk chiffon, rayon challis, or anything flowy. Hobby Lobby has some good choices in their spring fashion line. Here’s a secret to Hobby Lobby fabric shopping. They receive a new line of fashion fabrics twice a year, for Spring and Fall. There are always amazing choices and the prices are unbeatable. They often go on sale, or you can use your 40% off coupon with their app. BUT, they don’t restock these fabrics once they’re gone and they don’t sell them online, so if you’re there and fall in love with something in the seasonal garment sewing line, buy it!

If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, don’t worry ;) Fabric.com’s partnership with Amazon is the best thing to happen in the sewing world since rotary cutters. Ha!

Here are a few affordable choices for your kimono:

And lastly, here is some great inspiration for your kimono!

Kimono inspiration

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I definitely want to make another one or two for this Summer!

Cheers :)

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