Why You Absolutely Need to Sew Your Own Button Down Back Top


Love Sewing Magazine really came up trumps with their Button Down Back Top pattern in Issue 22. It was mean of them really to do this to me really – the issue landed on my doorstep on New Year’s Eve, lured me in with a great pattern, even found the perfect fabric for me in their ‘Love Sewing Loves…’ feature, but because of the New Year holiday, even though I ordered my fabric that night, the postal delay because of the public holiday meant I had to wait to make it. My poor family had to put up with me telling them about the top for a good fews days while I impatiently waited.

New year’s resolution – increase my fabric stash for emergency-must-have-makes!!

Designed by the fabulous Tilly Walnes (those of you who are familiar with Love At First Stitch or who watched The Great British Sewing Bee Series One will know just how talented Tilly is – she’s my inspiration when it comes to pattern design!) the Button Down Back Top is wonderfully easy to sew. As I fell in love with this featured fabric from my old faithful, Abakhan, I used a floral polyester. It’s great drapey, floaty fabric and is perfect for this top; after seeing the top made up in navy and white polka dot fabric, this was a no brainer. To give myself more of a challenge (!!) I chose to cut double for everything except the sleeves and cuffs to make the top less see through. This served it’s purpose perfectly although as you can imagine,Β  it made sewing more fun trying to keep the layers together!!

If you’re reading this and you’re new to dressmaking, I’d say it was a pattern for confident beginners, as there are a couple of skills you’ll want to try first such as working with yokes and insertion piping, making buttonholes and inserting gathered sleeves. That said it’s not a difficult pattern either so if you aren’t confident, just take it slowly and practice any new skills before you apply this to your real fabric.

The only thing I didn’t think was clear was the sizing (I may have missed it somewhere but still can’t work it out now) so I used the measurements from the free patterns included with that issue, which worked perfectly.

I’m not usually a pink person but decided to pick out the pink in the centre of the flowers with pink insertion piping (my little cheat!) and for the buttons – I’m really pleased with how it looks although the pink is very bright! I’ve tried to make the inside look as pretty as the outside – my overlocker came into its own here to bind the edges. Love Sewing also explain how to sew a French seam; whilst I used my overlocker, my lovely regulars will know I love a French seam and it looks so neat so I’d choose one or the other if you can.

My only setback was not matching up my right and wrong sides of the fabric correctly; in my defence you can only really tell properly in daylight so as I sew in the late evening, I would struggle to see this under artificial light. It was a costly mistake in that it took me an hour to carefully unpick it so as not to tear the thin, crepey fabric but it was worth it. I also had to be careful gathering up the sleeves, for the same reason.

I absolutely love the finished article, it’s lovely and comfortable to wear and skims my tummy nicely – it’s the perfect Going-Out-To-Dinner top (pudding anyone?) If you’re on Instagram, why not giveΒ @whatcorrinedidnext a follow so you can see where I end up!

If you like this Button Down Back Top review, why not check out another Love Sewing pattern review…the famous Ruby Dress.

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13 thoughts on “Why You Absolutely Need to Sew Your Own Button Down Back Top

  1. corrineappleby says:

    I made this pattern over a year ago (it’s from the first Sewing Bee book isn’t it?) and I was so pleased with how it looked on the hanger but it looked awful on me! It was far too tight – my fault, not the pattern. Your version looks gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

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