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Everyday Swing Tops

The Swing Variation pattern for the Tabula Rasa Jacket is one of my favorite designs, so comfortable and perfect for using soft and drapey fabrics in my stash. I guess that so many of my swing tops have a dressy appearance because they are made with luscious fabric.  

Charmeuse Swing top for a fancy night on the town.

Intentionally Plan your Projects

A couple of years back I decided to be intentional about making myself some swing tops for everyday wear like the SewBatik swing and shirt variation mash up I made years ago.

Blue Batik Swing Shirt
Blue Batik Swing Shirt

Here is a report of my progress. I have made two fun tops for fall to spring wear which have found a place in my wardrobe rotation. I feel great when I wear them: they are washable and don’t feel too precious to wear on days I am working in the studio.

Top and scarf combination I love.

The first one is made with crinkle rayon in black and brown.  The fabric had been on the shelf for a very long time and a couple of years ago I bought some antique buttons from our friend at Dusty’s buttons to encourage me to get this fabric stitched up.  The button and band treatment on each swing variation can really change the look.  This top has a narrow band made with washed black silk shantung.  Button loops extend across the band and hook to the buttons on the other side.  The loops were made from an old tie with the same colors as the fabric, but easier to stitch and turn into a loop.

The second new top is made with two coordinating pieces of rayon.  The floral print rayon was purchased in France in 2022 and worked perfectly with some rayon python print already in my stash.  The buttons were also in my green button box.  I do not remember why I bought then in the first place, but they were just right.  They are placed on the left side of the classic Tabula Rasa Jacket band and button holes were put on the right side of the band.

Placing the buttons on the band.

This top is featured in our current website banner and at the top of this page.

Choose Products and Design Features that Meet your Needs

The bands on both of these jackets are interfaced with black Envy Silk interfacing for a more structured opening on these drapey tops.  The long sleeves of each of these tops is widened below the elbow and finished with elastic.  On the black top, it is just a casing at the hem.  For the green top, there is a cuff applied and the seam that attached the cuff to the sleeve was turned into a casing for the elastic.  When I am busy working, long sleeves finished with elastic are easy to push back and they stay in place!

Repeat Successes for the New Season

Fabric combination for hot weather

Empowered by these cold weather makes, I made one last spring to be worn in the summer.  It is made with a very lightweight rayon crepe in a lovely pink and green print on white.  I began with 3 pieces of fabric that coordinated well, but removed the lace since I was hoping for an everyday top. 

Such a fun top.

The silk charmeuse remnant that became the narrow band, swing sides, cuffs and flat piping around the armhole was washed to give it a bit more weight and a less dressy finish.  These sleeves were also widened a bit to just below the elbow and a cuff added to the wide hem gave drape to the soft fabrics.  Vintage glass buttons with a tiny gold accent, are buttoned into vertical button holes on the narrowed band.  The basic Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern was opened up around the neck about 1” to afford a cool cut in hot weather.  Because there were 2 extra buttons, they are used to anchor a little pleat in the cuff of each sleeve. 

Choosing the buttons

Treat Every Day Makes with Care for a Long Life

All of these tops are washable on the gentle cycle with cold water and hung to dry.  Whenever possible they have machine stitched finishes so they will keep their shape over the years.

Stitching in the ditch to finish the green top’s band.

They are just the wardrobe additions I planned, easy to wear and easy to clean. They coordinate with my skinny Eureka! Pants; black for winter or off white and olive for spring and summer. Each is easily dressed up or down when traveling and teaching.

When planning wardrobe additions, remember to keep their purpose in mind as you prepare the fabric and plan the design.  What are the new garments you want as you move to the next season?  Check out your stash and then get busy organizing your season changing sewing. As always, keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for more details of these three tops during the week.

Happy Sewing, RAE

1 thought on “Everyday Swing Tops

  1. I just got home from your talk at Needlechasers. This reminds me so much of my Mom wanting me to sew party dresses for college. I insisted that what I needed were classy tops to wear with my jeans to the lab and the library.

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