How to Sew an Easy and Elegant Wrap Top

15 Materials
5 Hours

A wrap top is a favorite of mine because it's flattering and stylish on everyone. It suits every figure and size.

This DIY wrap top has shirred sleeves for an extra trendy look. I used a thrifted fabric for this, but any lightweight fabric would work well.

For the best finish, press as you go and finish all raw edges with an overlock or zigzag stitch.

Tools and materials:

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Elastic shirring thread
  • Large sheet of paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Sewing machine or overlocker
Wrap top pattern

1. Take your measurements

For the front width, measure your bust, divide by 4 and add 6 inches (15 cm).

The length is the measurement from your shoulder to your waist - in my case, this is 13.75 inches (35 cm).

Wrap top pattern

2. Front pattern

Measure 4 inches (10 cm) in from the top right corner of your pattern paper and 3 inches (8 cm) down and join the marks with a curved line.

Mark 6 inches (15 cm) up from the left edge of your pattern paper and 4.5 inches (11 cm) in from the top right corner and join these marks with a diagonal line. 

Wrap top pattern

See the video at 1:12 for the position of the dart and how to draw the wrap top pattern.

Wrap top pattern

3. Back pattern

The back width will be your bust measurement divided by 4 plus 1/2 inch (1 cm). The length is 2.5 inches (6 cm) less than the front.

Wrap top pattern

Mark the armhole in the same way as on the front and note that the straight edge of the pattern will be on the fold of the fabric.

Wrap top pattern

4. Shirred sleeve pattern

See the video at 3:12 for how to make the pattern for the sleeves.

Cutting the pattern pieces

5. Cut the pattern pieces

Cut 2 sleeves, 2 fronts and 1 back piece, cutting the back on the fold. Transfer all markings to the fabric pieces.

Bust darts

6. Bust darts

Pin and sew the bust darts, matching the chalk marks. Press them flat towards the lower edge.

Side seams

7. Side seams

Lay the front pieces over the back, right sides together, and pin and sew the side seams.

Making the straps

8. Straps

Cut 2 rectangles of fabric, each 31.5 inches (80 cm) in length by 6 inches (15 cm) wide.

Pin and sew a strap to each front edge, right sides facing.

Raw edges

9. Raw edges

Trim the ends of the straps to a rounded point. Turn in a narrow hem along all raw edges and sew with an overlock or zigzag stitch.

Shirr fabric measurements

10. Shirr the sleeves

Mark a line 4 inches (10 cm) up from the sleeve edge and a second line 2 inches (4 cm) above that.

Repeat with 2 more sets of lines, starting 4 inches (10 cm) from the previous set and with 0.8 inches (2 cm) between them.

Wind your bobbin by hand with the elastic thread and with the fabric right side up, sew along the marked lines with a long stitch (length 4). 

Sewing the sleeves

11. Sew sleeves

Mark the length of the armhole on the sleeve piece using your front pattern piece as a guide. Turn in a narrow double hem around the sleeve head between the upper armhole marks.

Run a line of shirring stitches inside the finished edge of the sleeve head.

Sewing the sleeves

Pin and sew the sleeve seam, matching the shirring rows. Turn up a narrow hem at the cuff.

Inserting the sleeves

12. Insert sleeves

Matching the sleeve seam to the side seam, pin and sew the unshirred edge of the sleeve into the armhole. Leave the sleeve head unattached to form the shoulders.

Completed DIY wrap top

Completed DIY wrap top

Completed DIY wrap top

DIY wrap top

Here's my finished shirred long sleeve top.

I think it's very feminine and pretty. Tie the straps in a fancy bow or just knot them - either way it looks great!

If you'd like to see more wrap top patterns, let me know in the comments below.

For more sewing content, check out my thrifty post on How to Make a DIY Patchwork Cardigan Using Old Scraps of Fabric.

Suggested materials:
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Elastic shirring thread
See all materials

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