Top 10 summer shirt, blouse and tunic sewing patterns

Top 10 for Tuesday - summer top sewing patterns

***You can find lots more Top 10 for Tuesday lists by clicking on the tab up there above the hedgerow image.***  Thanks for stopping by and let me know if there’s a Top 10 list you’d love to see.

Kid’s Clothes Week is now a distant memory, the sun is shining (some days), and I feel it’s finally time to start thinking about summer clothes for me!!  After making this Banksia top and this Lisette Portfolio top for Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong, I realised a couple of things.  First, although much more time-consuming (and potentially disastrous), sewing for me offers its own set of fun challenges.  And, second, I’ve found that I wear these two tops all. the. time!  It’s so nice having something that’s not a t-shirt but just as easy to throw on while trying to wrestle three kids into school clothes and get them out the door.

With this is mind, I’m determined to make time to sew some more tops for myself.  Here is my top 10.  Realistically, I’ll be happy if I manage to sew two or three of these but I love them all in their own way.

10.  Renfrew Top (Sewaholic)

I have yet to sew from a Sewaholic pattern but I’ve been reading rave reviews in the blogosphere for years.  Not being a huge fan of sewing with knits (every time feels like the first time and I’m pretty darn sick of that beginner feeling by now), I was a bit hesitant to add this to the list.  However, when I read Ginger’s full-on gushing about this pattern on True Bias’s Tried and True Series I was convinced I should give it a go.

Renfrew Top and Yoked Skirt // Behind the Hedgerow

Image from via

9.  Scout Woven tee (Grainline Studio)

A woven (as opposed to knit) tee – that’s more my style!  This t-shirt just seems like a dream come true.  What a quick and easy way to show off some great fabric!  I was a bit concerned about it being a bit shapeless (there aren’t even any darts) but, yet again, some other talented, snazzy bloggers have put my mind to rest.  This definitely makes the top 10.

I love the sweet polka dots on this light-weight cotton version by Adrienne.

image from

And how cute is the teeny, tiny pocket on this one that Dixie made!?

image from Dixie DIY

8.  Airelle Top (Deer and Doe)

I’ve been drooling over this pattern for a while now in my local sewing shop (yes, my local – as in a 2 minute walk – shop sells this!  How cool is that!?).

image from

Vero made this great top and also gives a wonderfully detailed description of the process on her blog.

image from

And I just love this version from the Deer and Doe website.

image from

I particularly love the back yoke with piping.

image from

PS.  If it weren’t for my aversion to wearing sleeveless tops, I would have also included this Datura blouse, also from Deer and Doe.  This cut-out neckline is fanstastic!

image from

7.  Mathilde Top (Tilly and the Buttons)

I find Tilly so charming and likeable (not that I know her – but if I met her I’m sure we’d be BFFs!!).  As a contestant on The Great British Sewing Bee she shined as an innovator in home sewing.  This is one (if not the) first pattern she drafted for sale.  There are lots of possibilities for personalisation with this top and, much to my liking, lots of opportunities for piping.

image from

image from

6.  Burda blouse 3/2012

I pinned this top a while ago on Pinterest.

image from

After doing some research I found the original – which I hardly recognised as the same top!

I love the collar, the gathered neckline, the addition of piping, the navy fabric, the stud closures – I love it all!

image from

5.  Laurel top, tunic or dress (Colette)

The Laurel pattern has been everywhere in recent months.  At first I wasn’t so sure it was for me – would it be boxy and/or unflattering? – but so many talented sewing bloggers can’t be wrong!  It seems like it’s a winner!!

I love Anna’s white, wintery version.

image from

And why not try some colour-blocking??

And this one just made me laugh…oh, it’s getting late, I’m getting giddy, let’s move on. 🙂

image from

PS – When you buy the pattern you also get a free downloadable ebooklet on 9 different variations you can make to personalise your top even further.

image from

4.  High Low Top (Melly Sews)

I’ve only recently discovered Melly Sews (through a very helpful suggestion by one of you readers 🙂 ).  It’s a great place to go for instruction, inspiration and a ton of free patterns and tutorials.  There are many that I’ll be trying out.  This High and Low Top immediately caught my eye.  And, did I mention it’s a free, downloadable pattern with full instructions?!

image from

3.  Simplicity 1779

Number three is a strange choice.  There is something about this top that’s a little like the Airelle blouse and I think it has the potential to be light and fun.  I can’t find much out there from others that have sewn it so I’ll just have to leave you with this coolio Simplicity pic!

2.  Laelia blouse (Blousette Rose)

I love this blouse.  I even have the pattern in a child version for my daughter (although haven’t sewn either version yet).  Cute collar?  Check.  Piping?  Check.  Slightly puffed sleeves?  Check?

If you don’t know Blousette Rose then check them out.  They have beautiful patterns for women and girls.

Here’s a lovely checked version Anna made – you can read about it on her blog.

image from

1.  Negroni man’s shirt (Colette)

And finally, let’s not forget the men in our lives (Father’s Day is just around the corner).  I’m still not quite sure I have the confidence to take on this challenge but I’m getting dangerously close (watch out, Stephen!).


Florence from Flossie Teacakes made this stunning Liberty print version.

image from

***UPDATE*** – I know (as of April 2014) have made a Negroni….and it was really fun!!  The only problem is that it’s waaaay too big!  Grrr!!  So I haven’t blogged about it yet.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the process and how professional it looks.

Finally, before I fall asleep as I type, I just wanted to say a quick word to all you lovely readers.  I absolutely LOVE all the comments you guys leave here!  I can’t believe I’ve made so many connections with so many of you so quickly (this blog went ‘live’ on 26 February this year).  The whole process of planning something, sewing, photographing and blogging is utterly addictive.  Thanks to you all for coming along for the ride!

So, tell me!  What have you sewn from this list?  Which ones would you recommend?   I’m thinking that the Laelia blouse or the Airelle top will be my first sew.  I’d love to hear your experiences.

Thanks for reading,

Laura x


24 thoughts on “Top 10 summer shirt, blouse and tunic sewing patterns

  1. gingermakes

    Thanks for the shout-out! I can definitely recommend the Renfrew, Scout tee, and Laurel dress (although most people had to do some tweaking of the Laurel armscye to make it work). I’m really hoping to make the Datura top this summer, and I had overlooked the Airelle blouse, but now I think I need it, too. Oh, no– more patterns!!

  2. Blogless Anna

    You have excellent taste. I keep scrolling through and nodding at each entry thinking to myself, that so deserves to be in a top ten post. Is now a good time to confess that I’ve made six Scout Woven Tees (four of them were presents!)?

      1. Blogless Anna

        I used cotton voile or liberty tana lawn for my Scout’s. I would be steering away from the quilting cotton as, as you guessed, it won’t have the appropriate drape to do the pattern justice.

  3. Adrienne

    Thanks Laura – that scout tee is one of my new favorites. This was a great post; some of these I hadn’t heard of. I really like the laelia blouse!

  4. twynmawrmom

    I’m most inspired by the blouse open on the side, too. Lovely for summer!!
    And, I’m totally in love with a tiny pocket.
    And, you are right, we should go to sleep 😉

  5. Caroline

    Wow, you go to so much trouble to put these posts together, lots of patterns I haven’t heard of before. I like the Airelle the most. And a man’s shirt…my husband has been asking me to make him a shirt (I think he feels left out from the sewing action), as you say – watch out husband!

  6. Cate Oaten-Hepworth

    ooo, that’s my Datura blouse! I absolutely recommend that pattern and I’m sure you could add sleeves in if you wanted. Besides that, I love the scout tee, the laurel (just make sure you get the sizing right, I’ve seen great ones and boxy ones), the negroni (although my husband and I both feel that the short sleeves are too big), but I’d really like to see what you do with the laelia pattern- I love the look of that pattern but worry about looking falsely pregnant in it!

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Your blouse is totally awesome! It should be on the cover of the pattern. Maybe adding sleeves is an option. I too wonder about the pregnancy thing…in fact, it would probably make a great maternity top. No more babies here though!!

  7. Pingback: Top 10 new fabric designs | Behind the Hedgerow

  8. Pingback: Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee | Behind the Hedgerow

  9. Pingback: An incredibly useful Autumn outfit | Behind the Hedgerow

  10. bonnie

    I am in love with you shirt made from simplicity 2245 lisette. But, I cannot find the pattern anywhere, except on eBay for $70. I mean, really? Any suggestions? I love your ideas. Bonnie

  11. Jeifner

    Fun list! But I couldn’t quite figure out which blouse pattern goes with the striped blouse pictures at the beginning, the one that says top 10. Could you help my daft self?

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow Post author

      That’s Simplicity 2245. The pattern is for either a top or dress. Obviously this one’s the top. If you look in my Top 10 section you’ll find a whole list of patterns similar to this.

  12. graciane112

    Hello, I am discovering your blog and noticed your “dilemna” on deer&doe’s datura pattern… If you are still thinking the matter over, I tried with adding airelle’s sleeves on the datura for a “winter datura”. It calls for slight changes and the result worths it 😉


Leave a Reply