Sewing Bee Sleeveless Shell Top – Free sewing patterns



Lightweight cotton fabric, 150cm wide, 1.5m or 114cm wide, 1.8mVery lightweight fusible interfacing, 50cmNarrow ribbon, 6cmSmall buttonCoordinating sewing thread

Dimensions List


Sew a shell top

Trace off the pattern pieces from your pattern sheet onto dressmaker’s tissue paper. Using the cutting guide, cut the pieces from fabric and transfer any markings. Neaten all the raw edges of your seams as you work. Staystitch the necklines of the front and back pieces 1cm from the edge.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron very lightweight interfacing onto the wrong side of the facing pieces. If your fabric is quite a firm weave, this may not be necessary. Pin and stitch the bust darts on the front piece. Press them down towards the hem.

With right sides facing, pin the front piece to the back pieces along the shoulder seams. Machine stitch [1]. Neaten the seam allowances and press the seams open. Stitch the facings together at the shoulder seams in the same way. Hem the facing pieces by zig zag stitching the raw lower edges.

Lay the blouse flat, with the right side facing up. Lay the facing right side down on top, matching up the cut edges of the neckline and the shoulder seams. Pin, then sew around the neckline [2]. Clip around the neckline curve to allow it to sit flat when turned out. Press both the facing and the seam allowance away from the body of the blouse.

Starting 2.5cm away from the centre back, understitch the facing. Your stitches should be at least 2mm away from the seam at the neck. Only stitch through the facing and the seam allowance. Finish your understitching 2.5cm from the other side of the centre back. Pull the facing up away from the neckline and turn the blouse over to the right side.

Fold a piece of narrow ribbon in half and tack to make a finished loop that’s 1.5cm long. Lay it on the right side of the left back piece with the loop facing away from the edge, making sure it is sitting close to the neckline seam. Lay the back facing piece over the top of the loop [3].

Pin the facing around the armholes and the centre back neck opening, matching the shoulder seams and the marked point for the back opening. Machine stitch in place.Clip into the curved armhole seams.

Attach a safety pin to one corner of each back piece. Use this to slide the first back piece through the ‘tunnel’ at the shoulder to the right side [4 & 5]. Repeat on the opposite shoulder. From the wrong side, press the facing flat at the armholes, centre back opening and neckline, rolling the seamlines in towards the wrong side as you press. Make sure there’s a crisp corner on the centre back seam.

With the blouse inside out, lift up the facing at the side seams and pin and stitch the side seams from the top of the facing through the underarm seam all the way down to the hem; be sure to match the underarm seams and notches [6]. Press the seams open, and turn the facing to the wrong side, pressing the armhole edge. Use a hand stitch to secure the hem of the facing to the side seams.

Pin the two sides of the centre back seam right sides together from the hem to the bottom of the facing. Machine stitch the centre back seam in place. Press the seam open. Zig zag stitch over the raw edge of the hem. Press a 1cm hem towards the wrong side of the blouse, pin in place and machine stitch. Hand sew a button onto the right-hand side of the back. Use the loop to establish the best position for it.