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Princess Peasant Top Tutorial

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I’m sharing the tutorial for this adorable bell-sleeved, peasant top with you today.  (The top is made with my free peasant dress pattern.)

We finally made it to the pumpkin patch for pictures!  (The day before Halloween, no less.  If I can drag something out as long as possible, I totally will.  Anyone else out there with me?)

I really wanted my guys to be wearing something I made for the photos.  Different issues kept coming up and interrupting me during the sewing process, but I finally got it done in the nick of time.  You can’t see them in the photo below, but I made the cargo pants my son is wearing.  (I already blogged about them here.

Her top is a variation of my peasant dress pattern.  I just love how it turned out!  The top looks perfect styled with skinny jeans and riding boots!  (Thank you to my Facebook page fan, Susan, for helping me come up with a name for the top!)

free peasant top pattern



I used a Rayon knit for her top (from Funkalicious Fabrics) and left the top un-hemmed.  I only had one yard of the 60 inch fabric and was barely able to squeak out the top.  If I had had a few more inches, I would’ve made the top a bit longer and hemmed it too.

Ready to make this top?

Princess Peasant Top Instructions:

The tutorial uses a 1/4 inch seam allowance unless otherwise specified.

Materials needed

  • Fabric (if you are using a 40 inch wide fabric, you would need up to 2 yards for the largest size and up to to 1 1/8 yard for a 60 inch wide fabric)
  • 1/4 inch elastic
  • Pattern  (the pttern is based on my peasant dress pattern)
  • Long sleeve t-shirt that fits for comparison
  • Basic sewing supplies

Step 1: Getting the pattern pieces cut out.

Upper sleeve and bodice:

Print, cut out and assemble the bodice and long sleeve.

Cut about 1 inch off the bottom of the bodice pattern.  Line the bodice pattern up on the fold of the fabric and cut a front and back.

Tip:  If you prefer a slimmer fit, move the pattern over about an inch and cut a smaller bodice.

Decide how long you want the upper sleeve pattern.  (I recommend it cover about half the upper arm.)  Cut two upper sleeves on the fold.  (Don’t forget to move it over if you want a slimmer fit.)

Lower sleeve “ruffle” and lower bodice “ruffle”:

To determine how long you want the sleeve ruffle, compare it to a t-shirt that already fits.  (I used a 3/4 sleeve top.)  Don’t forget to add an additional 3/4 inch for seam allowances to your measurement.

To get the width measurements needed for the sleeve ruffle, layout the cut sleeve and measure the bottom edge.  Multiply this measurement by 1.5.

Cut out 2 sleeve ruffles: sleeve width x 1.5 by the desired length.

To figure out the length needed for the bottom of the bodice, compare the top pattern piece (line up the armscye) and measure.  Add an extra 1.25 inches for seam allowance and any extra length you might need after tightening up the neckline.

Get the width needed by measuring the bottom edge of the bodice and multiplying by 1.75.

Cut 2 of the bottom bodice ruffle pieces with your measurements.

You will have 2 bodice top pieces, 2 sleeves, 2 sleeve ruffles, 2 bodice bottoms.

Step 2: Assembling the top.

Sew a gathering/basting stitch along the top of both the sleeve ruffles and both of the bodice bottom/ruffles.

Starting with the sleeve bottom/ruffle: pull on the bobbin thread of the of the gathering stitch and gather it up until it is the same width as the bottom of the sleeve.

Right sides together, line up the raw edges, pin and sew right along the gathering stitch.  (If you are working with woven fabric, finish this seam with your favorite seam finishing method.)

Repeat this step for the 2nd sleeve and the front and back bodices.   (If you are working with woven fabric, finish these seams with your favorite seam finishing method.)

Lind up the armscyes, right sides together and sew all 4 pieces together.   (If you are working with woven fabric, finish these seam edges with your favorite seam finishing method.)

At this point, it will look kind of like this:

Line up the sides of the sleeves and bodice and sew right along the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  (If you are working with woven fabric, finish this seam with your favorite seam finishing method.)

Repeat on the other side.

Hem the sleeves and bottom with a narrow 1/4 inch hem. (Fold 1/4 inch, press. Fold another 1/4 inch press, and sew.)

Create a casing around the neck by folding the neckline over 1/4 inch press, fold over another 1/2 inch press again and sew 1 scant 1/8 inch from the edge.  leave a 1-inch opening and thread the elastic through the casing with a small saftey pin.

Sew the elastic together and close the casing.

That’s it, the top is done!

free peasant top Pattern

Products used and recommended in this post:


My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious Fabrics.

  1. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist
  2. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
  5. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  6. Ball Point needles
  7. Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
  8. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!

If you make a version of this top, be sure to come back and share it on my Facebook wall or tag me on instagram!

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Looking for mere free patterns? You might also like:




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  1. TQ Jamie for the tutorial, nice I like the pattern and inspired me to try this pattern.
    TQ so much.

  2. Maegen Teasley says:

    My daughter loves her new shirt. She wants me to make her another one for Christmas. Thank you so much

  3. Stone Cottage Adventures says:

    'Hopping over from Sew Pretty Sew Free. What an adorable spin on the peasant top! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. Emily Thompson says:

    super cute!! I love your free patterns and these photos are gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up to Create Link Inspire party!

  5. House of Hipsters says:

    What a pretty pretty top! LOVE! Thanks for sharing! Also wanted to let you know about a new linky party starting this Saturday at 8pm called “Found & Foraged” Can’t wait to party with you at http://www.houseofhipsters.com

  6. Crochet Hooks says:

    she is adorable and the top awesome! great tute too, I would feel very comfortable making one of these peasant tops based on your instructions!

  7. OnceUpona Sew says:

    Thanks for the great sleeve addition to a peasant top. It's a great way to add a little interest.

  8. Cheryl Bush says:

    This turned out really cute and love how well the shape can work with different prints. Will be featuring this next week – Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do:)

  9. Heather Grow says:

    This top is adorable. I love your easy pattern and instructions. I'm following you from Skip the Housework.

    1. Thank you! (and welcome…)

  10. Susan Seal says:

    Awesome, I'm so excited to see this posted! Thanks for all your great pictures and detailed tutorials, not to mention free patterns that even novices can sew up.