Square Top (2 ways) from She Wears The Pants


In complete contrast to my Gathered Blouse with its multitude of construction details, today I have much simpler garment from She Wears The Pants. I thought this garment was an interesting comparison.

The Square Top

The Square Top

The Square Top

This is a linen knit from The Fabric Store in Brisbane, last piece on the roll, purchased when I was in Brissy in March. I loved the vivid colour (there is no such thing as too much blue in my opinion) and had always been curious about how linen knit would work as a garment. As soon as I saw the Square Top, I imagined it in a slightly more textured knit, linen knit seemed the perfect choice…

I had read a bit about mischievous behaviour of linen knit so did some research. Some sites recommend ‘dry clean only’, other sites suggested that this could be carefully washed at home. I have this personal philosophy that any fabric or garment must be subjected to my ‘my lifestyle test’. It’s a rather simple test: if it’s not going to survive my washing machine, it’s probably not going to survive my lifestyle. Fact. There are some exceptions to the rules, evening wear and hand-knitted garments – but most garments will only be in regular rotation if I can easily wash and wear them.

So I washed it in a lingerie bag in my machine, using a gentle cycle, wool wash etc. It shrank and distorted *sad face*. This was followed by a slight panic attack as linen knit is not cheap. Fortunately as it dried it on a rack, I gently coerced it back into shape and all seemed well. Then I didn’t have quite enough fabric… *horrified face* so some of the pieces, armbands and neckbands from memory, are not cut on a grain as directed, rather across it. Given the excessive ease in this top, I’m not losing sleep over it.

Square Top - back view

Square Top – back view. Due to the view of the rectangle bosy, it drapes into an uneven hemline. A nice change from the ‘high-low front-back’ shape

I didn’t interface the neckband and I really should have – the instructions tell you to. That’s a complete DOH! moment by me #idiot. I thought it might create too much structure in the neckband and I really wanted the top to ‘droop’. That’s been achieved but due to the weight of the fabric, the buttons were distorting the buttonholes at the shoulders so I’ve sewn across the neckband near the shoulders so the buttons are not bearing all the weight of the garment.

I haven’t cut the all buttonholes open along the neckline as I felt it would look messy.

Square Top from She Wears the Pants

Square Top, worn as a shrug, from She Wears the Pants. I’m just not this cool. Fact.

I rather like this top when you wear it as a shrug. I’m not a massive fan of how it’s worn in the book, the armbands look like you have lost two arms or suffered from a serious wardrobe malfunction while getting dressed.

Square top as a shrug

Square top as a shrug

To achieve this look, I simply left my arms in the armbands and pull the top back over my head. The lower band becomes the outer band of the shrug if that makes sense.

I’m thinking about cutting all the buttonholes as I would love to do them up so the back of the shrug has a neat row of buttons along the back – it’s a rather cool design feature. Then again the peekaboo back is also rather fun if you wear a contrast coloured tank underneath. I suspect I’m a button-up girl.

These photos were taken on a very windy morning and the photos were taken inbetween wind gusts. The back looks a little like a sail!

Square Top as a shrug - back

Square Top as a shrug – back

I find the name ‘Square Top’ rather amusing as the body shape is more of a ginormous rectangle. Maybe if I made it in yellow, I might look like droopy Sponge Bob Square Pants. As yellow isn’t really my colour, we will never know.

Square Top from She Wears the Pants

Square Top from She Wears the Pants: line art

Seriously, I can’t write much about a massive fabric rectangle with armholes and feature buttons. It’s a fun and easy-to-sew garment. It’s quirky and can be worn a few different ways. It’s fun. Chose your fabric wisely, I think too much slinkiness and could transform into a massive puddle of fabric with buttons weighing it down – too much structure and it becomes rather boxy.

What do you think? Too big?? Too funky?? Versatile??

Pattern: Square Top from She Wears The Pants, from Tuttle Publishing
Fabric: linen knit from The Fabric Store, Brisbane
Also see: Handmade by Carolyn | Top Notch

There’s a giveaway for this book on this post… along with a book review and the Gathered Blouse.

Side view - Square top, She Wears The Pants

Side view – I do like the button feature.

Note: Tuttle Publishing provided this book for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links on this post.

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26 thoughts on “Square Top (2 ways) from She Wears The Pants

  1. Versatile is the word. I like it better with buttons on the shoulders. You certainly picked the right fabric for this kind of top and the colour is gorgeous.

  2. I agree with you about the lifestyle test. I have washed silk in a delicate setting in the machine because I know that if I can’t machine wash it, it will linger in the washing basket forever

  3. I like it with the buttons on the shoulders! I had to laugh…I am the same about fabric and making the wash. I have gotten rid of blouses that were too difficult to iron even, really. ha ha

  4. Very interesting garment – and lovely color. I’m glad you showed the line drawing, or I would not have been able to figure out what was going on in the book photo!

  5. I totally agree about the lifestyle / washing machine test too. If the fabric can’t survive the wash, I’m simply not going to wind up wearing it. This is the main reason I wind up sewing with almost exclusively cotton. As for this top, it’s definitely a different shape, but I think it works! Although I have to say, I think I would be worried about knocking things over with all the extra fabric under the arms. Or does it manage to stay out of the way?

  6. Very cool! I love quirky tops like this. I like it worn both ways. And yes, I think it would be cool to be able to button it all the way across if you wanted.

  7. iI actually purchased this book a week ago ffrom Dymocks in town and was very interested in the gathered top this one not so much. looks cute on you though

  8. Looks great! gorgeous colour, I am not so sure about the shrug option though. I have sewn with linen knit before and had the opposite problem – it stretched to the max and I wished I hadn’t pre-washed it.

  9. the lighthouse photo looks familiar, like i’ve been there. reminds me of byron but i know it could be anywhere.

    anyway, interesting top and love the blue.

  10. This is a really lovely and interesting top. I like it both ways but I think I prefer the shrug. I’m looking forward to seeing other makes things from this book 🙂 I really liked your gathered blouse too.

  11. 😉 This was first on my ‘to sew’ list from the book, thanks for making it up & your thoughts on fabric choices – I love your divine blue!!! My fabrics’ don’t just have to survive my lifestyle test, but the “omg a ‘helper’ loaded the machine” test… silk has perished that way ;(

  12. I’m another one who is mean to fabric before its sewn. If it can’t hack a 40′ wash it isn’t going to get worn a lot, and I want to wear the things I make (apart from the odd piece made for an event!).
    I like this top too (wow, this book is far more versatile and useable than I first thought!) but I’d add the extra buttons and button holes at the neck if you’re going to wear it as a shrug, however that may be my OCD talking!
    And, that blue! Gorgeous. You can never have too many shades of blue!

  13. Whaaaaaaa . It’s totally funky and funand I love YOU in it; however I just don’t think my tiny brain could work out how to get in or out of It!! Especially if a glass of wine had been consumed!😅BTW… agreed on lifestyle thingy if it ain’t gonna go through wash it ain’t gonna be made. X

  14. I like it! And I think it looks better the way you’re wearing it as a shrug – with your arms through the armholes – otherwise, they look like some extra alien armholes or something odd. When I saw the line drawing for this top, it made me think Dr. Suess or something. But Sponge Bob is even better. I’ve been thinking of making this one, too. But I was wondering what knit fabric to use. If you wear it as a shrug, it stretches the fabric a bit. So it would seem that you’d need something with a good recovery – something with a bit of lycra. How did your knit hold up after wearing as as shrug?

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  17. I love your version of this. I am making the square top for summer in a very fine Italian knit with variable bands of bold stripes, so it’s a totally different look to yours. I also cut the armbands and long cross bands lengthwise so the stripes would go in a different direction.
    I’m joining the bands to the top which is tricky as the bands don’t stretch much, unlike the top. Will have to hand tack it before stitching!

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