Sewing for Me: The Casual Lady Knit Top

the-Casual-Lady-cover-If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you probably have heard me rumbling about sewing for myself one of these days. And if you follow the blog, you know one of these days hasn’t yet shown up!  I finally did it this morning. I put together a top for myself. While I have a growing a list of patterns and pattern makers to try (thank you for the suggestions) this pattern skipped to the top of the list for a few reasons.

The number one reason is where the profits to this pattern are headed. As detailed on the pattern’s page:

This pattern was designed especially to raise funds and awareness for global sex trafficking victims. Proceeds from this pattern will fund a Sewing Collective in India for single mothers escaping the sex trade industry as well as a safe house for children in Cambodia at risk of being trafficked. We hope you enjoy and share so we are able to fully fund our projects. We are hoping to raise $15000. You can see more details on our fundraising page.

It is hard to imagine from my safe corner that issues like this still exist, but they do. It seems even harder to imagine there is anything I could do, but there is. And Andrea has made it as simple as buying a pattern.

Let’s talk about the pattern!

If knits have been on your list of this to try, or you consider yourself a beginner with knits, this is a great pattern for you.

There are no sleeves to set, it’s all one piece. The neck is finished with a facing, so no rib to putz with.

Casual lady

I made mine out of an olive knit I had on hand. It has a nice weight and doesn’t roll. I will be the first to admit I typically lean pretty heavy on my serger when sewing knits. But the project before this I broke a needle. Yes, I broke a serger needle. So this was all done with my regular machine. I spent some time playing with different stitches, I was pretty happy with the result.

My measurements landed me near the top end of  medium. My bust measurement was just outside of it. This is my reoccurring issue. I’m pretty average across the shoulder and waist, I don’t have a rib cage  and I’m pretty busty. The end result is in order to not be drowning in a top I end up with that super attractive pull across the chest. It is both the reason I should sew for myself and the reason I get so intimidated to sew for myself.

I waffled should I just cut the large? No I would drown through the neck and shoulder.

Here is what I did. I cut the shoulder and sleeve at the medium then pulled out at the under arm about 1/4″. I landed almost directly between the Med. and Large. Then I tapered back in to the Medium line and hit it about where my elbow lands. So in total I added about 1/2″ the bust area. Not a ton, but enough. It fits PERFECT. No pull and it isn’t really boxy.

I cut the large length because I will probably wear it like this-

the causal lady top

It’s not going anywhere securely tucked while I bend and chase toddlers.What do you think? Ready to brave the knits? You can find the Causal Lady Pattern HERE. I like the idea of making up the dress to pair with a belt.

This top will look great with the Passport Jacket I have cut out to sew for the Spring Fall. Ok so I haven’t totally gotten in to the swing of Sewing for Me yet….

Happy Sewing,



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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Amy Mayen April 6, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Still too checked to they knits again…but I did buy some double needles. So,soon! Thanks ladies.

  • Amy Mayen April 6, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Too chicken to try. Dang auto correct!

  • Pam April 7, 2013, 7:54 am

    Looks great on you, Rachel!!!

  • Maureen April 7, 2013, 10:06 am

    I agree, the shirt looks fab on you!

  • Andrea from The Train To Crazy April 7, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Looks wonderful!! Perfect! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jennifer Lachman April 8, 2013, 6:48 am

    I think your top came out great. I never seem to get around to sewing for myself either. I always plan to and never actually do it. I think that subconsciously I don’t want to know what my measurements really are. I’d rather keep pretending that I have the same measurements I had 10 years ago.

  • Jill April 8, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Great top!
    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  • Cindy April 8, 2013, 6:11 pm

    The top looks fabulous on you, Rachel! The fit looks spot on too.:) Can’t wait to see the Passport jacket…that’s one pattern I’ve been meaning to sew but have yet to get around to it.

  • Venus April 9, 2013, 9:34 am

    Great top! I love the simplicity of it and your fabric choice is perfect! This is a great cause to support. There has been several open meetings at our middle and high schools over here in regards to the situation. It’s scary.

  • cJ April 12, 2013, 3:47 am

    This looks lovely on you! i would love to try knits sometime!

  • Ajaire April 12, 2013, 4:06 pm

    I love this color knit! It’s gorgeous. Your shirt came out so pretty.

  • Shannon April 13, 2013, 8:40 am

    Love this top!
    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot

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