My makes

The quest for the perfect summer top

Hi there! Hope you’re finally enjoying some sun again where you are? It’s been a wretched week here but the sun is finally peeping out again and I’m hoping it holds for the school sports day tomorrow!

Have you come across the Petite Passions blog and this year’s wardrobe builder challenge? I have honestly been trying to follow along with this but this year has been foiling my attempts!

I kind of failed and succeeded this month in that I made and photographed a tank top before the end of the month but clearly didn’t blog it! Sorry, Laura!

Anyway, this top is another in my quest to find the perfect summer woven top. My current absolute favourite is the Deer and Doe Datura top, which I made several versions of last summer. It is quite an involved make though and it’s nice to have more than one summer top in your arsenal, so I’ve been looking around for an alternative.

I’m not yet convinced this is it? But I kind of like it. It’s the Liola Patterns Ella top, bought from Indiesew. I really liked the more casual look to this style and thought the shape of the neckline going into a racer back made it a little more interesting whilst still looking cool.

I think this will look best in something with lots of drape; however, this first time, I used up a remnant from my stash. Yes, I have just made a toile out of Liberty tana lawn.


Before you pass out from my extravagance, this one was bought at a much reduced price as a remnant. And it is one of those times when online shopping has not worked so well for me. On screen, these colours looked vivid and bright; in person, they are subtle and delicate. Which is all very beautiful but not really what suits me. My pasty skin seems to like a little more contrast!


The benefit of working with tana lawn is how beautifully it behaves. It presses like a dream and feels so soft and smooth. I think it has a little too much body for this pattern really, but it was a great way to test without spending more on fabric!

The remnant I had was about 85cm and the standard Liberty 135cm wide and I fit the pattern pieces on without difficulty. I also made a large quantity of continuous bias binding, far more than the pattern needed, so I have some left to make another project pretty inside.


In all, I’m pretty happy with the fit. I gave myself a little more space at the hip by seeing the side seams vented, which was enough to keep it flowing ok. I also French seamed throughout; just because it’s a toile doesn’t mean I’m capable of mistreating Liberty fabric!

I’m really pleased with the fit around the neck and comfortable with the back, which isn’t too bra strap revealing! 


Photos were taken on Father’s Day in Scarborough beach; for the record, I bloody hate sand! But Mr RedW loves it and it was his day, thank goodness for the heat wave which actually meant we had a great day!

So I think I will likely make another of these in something drapier, but it isn’t going to be as much of a winner as the Datura!

Any thoughts on what I should try next?

Becca x

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11 thoughts on “The quest for the perfect summer top

    1. Exactly that and I really don’t do too well in the heat; I’m designed to make the most of very little sunlight! So obviously we’re off to Cyprus next month 😱😂

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  1. My favourite sleeveless woven top is the Lady Hazel top from George and Ginger. I have made a few and they are so flattering! It’s quite a fabric hungry pattern though which is the only downside. I believe George and Ginger are having a 4th of July sale if you want to try it – check out their FB page.

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