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This Bow Back Knit Top for Girls is a free pdf pattern and sewing tutorial. The top is a simple t-shirt style top, that features a small keyhole opening on the back with a ribbon tie. It’s a perfect sewing pattern for those that are learning to sew with knits. Be sure to grab a copy today!
I’ve got a sweet new girl’s top, in a free pdf pattern to share today!
The top is a simple t-shirt style top, designed to hit right below the hip and features a small keyhole opening with a ribbon tie. It’s a perfect sewing pattern for those that are learning to sew with knits.
I actually finished this pattern back in early October while the weather was still quite warm. The short-sleeve style was perfect for the hot weather we’d been having.
It’s been much colder lately and I’m already picturing a long sleeve version of this top in a black and grey leopard print sweater knit from my stash and a gorgeous silver gray satin ribbon for the tie.
The pink double brushed poly floral fabric used in today’s version came from Hobby Lobby. It is so soft (almost like velvet, but not) and stretchy. The fabric has a nice light, (but not too light) weight to it.
I tried to find a link for the fabric online, but it must not be available. I did spot this one, which is the same fabric, just in a different print.
The Bow Back Top Pattern is a slightly longer length top. (I aimed for it to hit at the bottom of the hip.) The top is designed for knit fabric, and available in Girl’s sizes 3 to 16.
The Top Features:
-Both long and short sleeves pattern pieces.
-Curved bottom hem.
-A keyhole back with a ribbon bow tie and the neckline is made using a facing instead of binding.
The ribbon tie closure is a sweet little detail that gives this top just a little something extra. So many options of lace or trims can be used for the tie and depending on the fabric, your look can be casual or fancy. (How gorgeous would it be in an ivory sweater knit and coordinating satin ribbon for the holidays?)
For the tie, a 1 to 1.5-inch rayon, lace or satin ribbon would work great. Lightweight chiffon would work nicely too.
To use chiffon, cut the strip 3 inches wide and sew the edges together to make a tie. The rayon ribbon I used in this pink floral version is from hobby lobby.
I tested the ribbon out first before using it on the top. I heat sealed the edges, (you could just fold and sew if needed.) and ran the ribbon through the wash on gentle. It held up well. (The photo below, on the right is the ribbon after it came through the wash and had been ironed.)
In my first version of this top, I tried a lightweight knit to make the tie but felt it was a bit too heavy and made the back droopy. (This version was also made with a neck binding instead of facing, which I did not care for as much either.)
Another fun option for this top would be to add a bit of lace to around the bottom hem of the top. (I actually planned to do this, but did not purchase enough lace.)
Would have been cute, right?
Pattern Skill Level:
The tutorial instructions include using iron-on interfacing on the facing pieces and instructions for understitching the facing. (I often skip these steps but wanted to include them in the tutorial.)
- Enter your name and email to download the pattern. Save it to your PC, open the pdf document in adobe acrobat reader. (Don’t print from directly from google’s online version of adobe reader. It will sometimes cause the pattern to print too small.)
- All measurements are in inches.
- Seam allowance is 1/4 inch with a 1/2 inch bottom.
Materials Needed to make the Bow Back Top:
- Stretchy knit fabric, 60 inches wide (1.5 yards of 60 inch fabric for size 16)
- optional: iron-on interfacing
- ribbon, lace, chiffon or other lightweight fabric for the bow
- ball point/stretch needle
- basic sewing supplies
- ball point double needle
- Wash away hem tape
Products used and recommended in this post:
- Recommended Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist (600-Stitch Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover)
- Recommended Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
- Ball Point/stretch needles
- Ball point/stretch double needle
- Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
- Wash away hem tape
- iron-on interfacing
- Knit fabric suppliers: Funkalicous Fabrics and Fabric.com
Tips for sewing with knits:
- Use a ballpoint/stretch needle
- Sew seams with either a serger, stretch stitch, narrow zig zag or a straight stitch with a longer stitch length and a slightly loosened tension. (Make a couple of practice stitches on your fabric to see what works best.) I also like to use this “lightning bolt” stretch stitch on seams that need strength but a little give. (For my project I used a combination of straight stitch and serger for seams and zig zag on the hems.)
- If you find your fabric keeps getting pulled inside the needle plate, place a small piece of tissue underneath the fabric so the feed dogs have something to grip.
If you don’t have a cover stitch machine for your knit hems, you have a couple of options…
- Leave it unhemmed. Some knits are thick and sturdy enough that this looks fine.
- Use a zig-zag stitch. I use the zig-zag frequently and if you can get a perfect thread match on a solid fabric, the stitches just disappear.
- Use lots of spray starch on the hem along with a twin needle meant for knits and a walking foot. If you go slow, you can get a pretty hem on a fabric that is not super stretchy.
- If you are working with a fabric that is super-stretchy, my secret weapon for great hems is wash away hem tape!
Fabric Layout Guide:
Ready to sew a bow back top for your missy?
Download the pattern here.
Find the Sewing instructions here.
How do I get the Bow Back Top Pattern?
To receive the free pattern, visit the pattern page in my shop HERE. <<== click that link
Add the pattern to your cart and navigate through the checkout process. (Don’t worry, this pattern is free, no payment info is asked for.) After the check out process is complete you will see a button prompting you to download the pattern. You will also find the link directing you to the page where the pattern sewing instructions are stored.
As long as you entered your email correctly, you will also receive an email with a link that downloads the pattern and directs you to the sewing instructions.
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