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How to Sew a Bias Top

Threads magazine - 143 - June/July 2009

Stitch a bias top that’s as easy to sew as it is comfortable to wear. The trick to sewing a successful bias garment is to engineer the design with sewing on the straight or cross-grain of the fabric, and this top does just that by piecing together two squares of fabric. It’s all about a simple pattern, fast cutting, and quick sewing. Once you’ve mastered the steps, you can change the details to make it your own.

Choose a lightweight fabric for a simple style that you can finish in no time. Try this technique to combine two fabric favorites, or cut it all from the same material for a classic look. Have fun with flat-fell seams, or sew the seams inside out. Regardless of how you make it, you can complete this top in less than an hour, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the summer in it.

Nicole Smith demonstrates how to create a bias topper from two squares of fabric.

From Threads #143

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  1. whoneedlesthis | | #1

    I made this top using Threads #143, and like it a lot. I am trying to figure out how to make it longer, while keeping the easy construction!

  2. GinnyGarren | | #2

    This pattern came just in time! A friend is leaving the country for business and wants sheer cover-ups for her casual tops. Great for covering up unflattering arms, yet very "in".

  3. user-1127665 | | #3


    You might try adding a bias cut band on the bottom. Or make squares on the bias, then like signal flags make a banding. I can see all kinds of possibilities.

    Love this idea and pattern.


  4. lcdrbetty | | #4

    Just found this to. Love what it can do for stripes! Have perfect fabric: Lightweight linen/rayon with black & teal stripes. Currently making Marcy Tilton new dress pattern with same fabric. Have enough fabric left to do this top. Will post pics when done.

  5. user-1123536767 | | #5

    I recall reading there were some issues with the pattern as originally published. Does this online version contain any clarifications or corrections?

  6. carolhenderson | | #6

    I tried to make this blouse when the pattern first came out and had to scrap the entire project. I hope that some new instructions are included with this new entry.

  7. sewinginmissouri | | #7

    I am going to make this today. I haven't had time to sew lately but am itching to make something. Thanks for the information.

  8. Concordiabelle | | #8

    I made this top using a lavender/blue/green Kaffe Fassett cotton ikat - lots of fun! A friend did hers in a knit, and split it up the front for a jacket. You would never guess they were from the same pattern. When I get tired of details, seam finishes, etc., this pattern is a perfect antidote! Simple, breezy, and a true 2-hour no-brainer!

  9. violet_from_miami | | #9

    I recall that in the next issue of Threads there was a correction to the blouse pattern. Something about the numbers being off. Can't remember but if you're going to make the cute top, check out the corrections or letters to the editor about this. Worth it so you don't make the same mistake. It's too bad they didn't catch that and correct it here.

  10. Melody_1 | | #10

    I made the bias topper by Nichole Smith, and the sleeves were very tight and the top was not long enough. What did I do wrong

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