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Top with Shirred front

JoesJez | Posted in Patterns on

I think I am losing my mind!  I remember seeing a top with a shirred front in a pattern book in JoAnnes.  I remember that it was part of a multiple garment pattern and was for woven fabric rather than stretch fabric.  I have looked and looked and I cannot find this pattern anywhere! It had a V neck and was sleeveless – at least in my memory.  Now that I want to make this type of garment I can’t find it anywhere.  I don’t even care if I find a different pattern that is sized for stretch fabric.  Has anyone seen something similar?


  1. DONNAKAYE | | #1

    Any chance you could do a crude drawing of what you're talking about and post it for us?  Don't be afraid!

    1. JoesJez | | #2

      Yeah after I posted I realized I was very vague.  I don't have the ability to scan anything so here goes a better verbal explanation.  I am looking for a top that has shirring down the whole front not just at the bust line.  It is basically a sleeveless T shirt but with a single line of gathers down the entire front.  I am attempting to hide the over the waistband pooch but still have a semi fitted shirt.  I have looked thru all of the pattern books and I either dreamed this pattern up or it is discontinued.

      1. JanF | | #4

        Oh heck - did a simple drawing and now scanner wont work - obviously hubby unplugged it for some reason - so here goes!
        Have half front bodice pattern for a simple bodice(semi-fitted)Make sure this is a tracing on any old paper.
        Draw lines from CF towards side seams (parallel to base 90 degrees to cf)- place roughly where u want the gathers to be.
        Cut from CF to end of lines(but not completely across to side seam(approx 1 - 2cms from seam)
        Then spread out(like a fan)from the top cut to the bottom - to add in approx amount of fullness u want.
        then cut this out of a trial piece of fabric but cut a left and right front bodice.
        gather up on CF seam to get back to original size and sew up the seam - attaching some seam tape to strengthen.
        That's how I would do it......simply!!

        1. Josefly | | #5

          JanF, does the resulting center-front seamline have a curve to it, resulting from spreading the slashed pattern? Or is it straightened out somehow?

          1. JanF | | #6

            yes it does - the curve depends on how much u want to add in. If you want to add gathers into side seams as well - then u would need to drop things down a bit as well. Try a small model in paper - then in fabric - it wouldn't need to be very big - or accurate - until u got the idea - then the fun starts getting the actual amount u want to add in, depending on weight of fabric!
            However - I do not profess to be a pattern drafting expert - I know basics enough to get by
            Remember to keep the grain of fabric on straight - I would suggest the grain would need to be straight from shoulder to bust(or above it) - like a normal bodice front.
            I hope if anyone with a little more knowledge than I would chip in with a post - if I'm suggesting something which might be better done another way. There is at least 1 person (Iforget who)who obviously knows an awful lot about pattern drafting - I think she did say she did it for a living - I use Winifred Aldrich's Metric pattern cutting book in work, but I only do basic pattern draftin/alterations with my pupils. In fact I really find it easier to draft onto a body!
            Good luck Jan

          2. JoesJez | | #7

            Thank you for your reply.  I thought about doing that but wasn't sure if it would work.  Now that I have someone else who thinks this will work I'll get going w/ my sample fabric and give it a shot!  Sorry for the delay in replying I was away from my computer for a few days

          3. JanF | | #8

            Hope it works - or something close enough for u to understand the principle behind it! I wouldn't be too picky first go - then adjust final shaping/gathering amount once it works!

          4. Gloriasews | | #9

            After you try Jan's idea (when you've cut out the fabric after it's been spread out), you could run a channel down beside each side of the centre front & run a ribbon down, turn at the bottom, & up the other side, tighten for the amount of shirring you want & tie a bow on the top at the neckline end (or the vice versa, for that matter).  Try it on your model first, though, to see if you like it.


  2. Teaf5 | | #3

    I had a good time searching online through the pattern companies for the pattern you are describing, but didn't see one. Is the front two pieces gathered into a center front seam, or is it one piece with a line of stitching pulling it into gathers?If you imagined this top, you must be very gifted; it sounds lovely! Is it possible it was one of the "purchased tops" shown with a pants or suit pattern? Sometimes those catch my eye, and I'm disappointed when the pattern doesn't include the top.

  3. Teaf5 | | #10

    Here's another way to approach your shirred center front--try pre-shirring the front panel:  Using a larger-than-expected piece of flat fabric, run a line of shirring down the center of it.  Lay your pattern front piece (full front bodice) on top of the fabric, using the shirring as the center line of of the pattern, and pin.  Then cut out the top, leaving a couple inches on either side of the side seams uncut.

    Stitch the shoulder seams together with the bodice back, leaving the side seams unstitched.  Put on the top, pinning the front side seams to the back ones along the seam line.  Stitch and cut away the excess seam allowance from the front bodice side seams.

    In this method, the center front is straight, and the curving of the side seams gives the darting effect of the shirring.

    1. JoesJez | | #11

      Good thoughts from both of you! I like the idea of shaping the side seams and pre gathering. That way I can get the correct amount of ease. I am trying to camoflage a belly not make myself look puffy all over and I always make things too big because I am afraid it will be too small.

      1. cafms | | #12

        You have probably already made your shirt but wanted to show you one that I did a couple weeks ago after seeing one in RTW. 

        I used Simplicity 4095 B which has a little shirring up at the top below the V neck.  I used the CF fold line as the seamline and added SA.  Then every three inches I slashed the pattern (I traced it off the original) almost to the side seam and spread each slash 1" except where the shirring was originally since that was to be gathered up an inch already.  I sewed the shoulder seams, put on the neck binding and then stitched the fronts together on the new CF seam.  With the fronts still together as sewn I then folded a half inch deep tuck, all going the same direction at each slash point and at the top where it was to be gathered originally.  Then stitch the seam again through all the tucks.  When it is opened out the pleats appear to be folded in different directions.   

        I've tried to put up some pictures. Hope it works and they are not too big to see them properly.

        1. flossie | | #13

          Very nice looking top - gives a more tailored look than just gathering.

          Regards Pauline.

        2. JoesJez | | #14

          Great top!  I really like that idea.  Regarding my top, no I havn't made it yet.  I think I might try that out - much more "designer" looking than your typical shirring.  Thank you so much for sharing

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