Hot! The “Fresh and Free” Top

The Facts
Fabric: Pink gingham from mom’s stash & refashioned from Buttons challenge.
Pattern: Simplicity 2593 view B
Year: 2009
Notions: Thread, self-made bias tape
Time to complete: 4 hours (8 re-runs of Daily Show & Colbert Report)
First worn: Out for a walk last week
Wear again? Not often, but probably
Total price: $0!

I really wanted to make at least one “free” garment during this whole sewing extravaganza. In an effort to make this happen I decided to hack up my less-than-stellar Buttons challenge dress and try to make it into something I’d actually wear. I think gingham is better in small doses on me so I’ve gone with a simple top for summer.

I kept the hem from the skirt – which I didn’t realize wasn’t all that long, so this top is shorter than I usually like to wear. To make this a little more “challenging” for me, I made my own bias tape for the first time! It was hard. I’m deficient at cutting fabric neatly. And ironing took forever.

I’m more pleased with this than its original form, that’s for sure. I’ll probably only break this out when it’s stifling hot.



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. Hi liz—Great refashion, and it turned out very cute. Have you ever tried those bias tape makers that you can get at the fabric stores? You feed your bias strip in one end and then pull it out the other. It comes out folded just right. You press it just as it comes out and Voila!

    • Thanks, Barbara. I have thought about getting one, but just haven’t taken the plunge yet. I think I will after this because it was really nice to have the finishing match perfectly.

  2. Barbara nailed it – bias tape makers are indispensable! They’re kind of like microwaves (if you’re young enough to recall a time when not everyone owned one) – you don’t know if you REALLY need one and then you get one and don’t know how you lived without it! OK, so maybe a more modern version of that is an ipod… but I seriously own one in every size. I like your shirt, I may even be tempted to do something similar for this summer! Good job!!

    • Lol, thanks Loran! I know I couldn’t live without a microwave!! I think I might get a bias-tape maker next time I’m at Jo-Anns. It would be really nice to have more control over my finishing.

  3. Cute top! Why is it that gingham just screams summer?

  4. Love your top.. The pink gingham check is cool and summery looking.. Looks great on you.. Happy sewing.

  5. It’s very pretty and fresh looking, good job (and free too, that’s the best bit)

  6. such a fun gingham top!