Subscribers free keyhole back version of the boxy top – How to make:

Last month I launched the first in a series of free patterns for newsletter subscribers a basic boxy top pattern. Each month I am adding different pattern pieces to create a new seasonal style. This month you can create a high summer keyhole back version.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and buttons

This is the same front and front facing as the basic boxy top pattern. The new pieces are downloadable from the subscribers page which you can access through the newsletter. I made this version in plain linen. As this fabric is heavier I didn’t add any interfacing.

The fit is the same as the basic boxy top. You can refer back to the general overview of the basic style here.

Fabric requirements:

This top works in a variety of fabrics including, cotton lawn, cotton poplin, linen, cotton blends, seersucker and double gauze.

If you would like to keep the shape quite boxy and angular you might like to use a lightweight fusible interfacing on the facing pieces. You can omit this for a softer shape or if your fabric is quite stiff.

For fabric requirement see the chart below:

Fabric requirements

To Cut:

Use pieces from the first pattern A and D cut 1 of each on the fold.

Use the pieces from the keyhole back pattern. Cut 1 of each on the fold.

Cut two long tie pieces measuring 45cm x 4cm

How to make:

The seam allowance is 1.5cm unless otherwise stated.

Apply fusible interfacing to the facing pieces if using.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

  1. Turn and press the seam allowance at the shoulder edges of the facing pieces on both front and back facing pieces.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

2. Make the back ties. With RST (right sides together) fold the ties along the length, pin and stitch across one short end and down the length using a 1cm seam allowance. Trim the seam and clip the bulk away from the corners. Turn the ties through, this is easiest if you have a loop turner.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

3. With RST pin the raw short end of each tie to the centre of the upper back above the keyhole. Machine in place within the seam allowance to hold.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

4. With RST pin the front facing to the front panel at neck edge and armholes. Keep the pressed shoulder edges folded down.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

5. Stitch as pinned.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

6. With RST pin the back facing to the back panel at neck edge and armhole edges. Make sure the ties are facing in towards the garment.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

7. Stitch as pinned pivoting carefully just before and after the tie so that the stitching does not catch the tie. When the facing is turned through the tie should be level with the edges of the facing. Before moving to the next step check that the front and back shoulders are well matched and equal on both sides. It is worth tweaking to get this as accurate as possible as it will make the shoulder joining much nicer and easier.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

8. Trim and clip around the curves on the armhole edges, keyhole and neck edge. Repeat on the front panel. Turn to the front and press.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

9. With RST pin the front and back together at the shoulder seams.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

10. Stitch the shoulder seams ensuring the facing edge does not get caught in the stitching. Back stitch well at the start and end of each seam to secure.

Neaten the raw lower edge of the front and back facing. If you have an overlocker you can simply overlock this edge. If not you could use a zig zag stitch or turn a very narrow 3-4mm single hem and stitch.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

11. With RST pin the front and back together at side seams. Starting from the edge of the facing, pivoting at the underarm point and stitching to the hem.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

12. Press the shoulder seam open allowing the facings folded edges to close over the top. Slip stitch the facings shoulder seams together by hand.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

13. Hand catch the facing to the side seam at the underarm.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

14. Turn and press a double turned hem to complete.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

The top is shown here worn with another free pattern. My palazzo pants pattern which can be downloaded from Love sewing magazine. You will need a copy of issue 80 of the magazine for the instructions. Back issues can be ordered. The fabric for these is printed linen from Lady McElroy.

keyhole back pattern from Bobbins and Buttons

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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