A shell top is a basic, sleeveless top with a somewhat fitted shape. There are 3 things about a shell top that makes it the best – its simplicity, ease of wear, and versatility. It comes with a minimalistic design – no sleeves, no fastening to tinker with, not too fitted to prevent you from breathing, nor too loose to make you look frumpy. You can just slip it on, and wear a blazer over it for a nice look on any day- the dependable piece of clothing everyone should have in their wardrobe.
You can make it in lightweight fabrics like silk, satin, chiffon, or cotton, making it ideal for warm weather on its own or for layering under jackets.
To make this top you have to know how to take some basic body measurements, and to sew a straight line with a sewing machine. Yes, that is all. But, you have to be deligent when cutting the fabric.
How to sew the shell top with a V neckline placket
Fold 2 fabric pieces by the middle and mark the front and back bodices on them
For making this top, you have to take these measurements – armhole round, full front measurement over the bust and full back measurement and shoulder tip to shoulder tip.
Front bodice pattern of the shell top
After marking the pattern, mark 1 1/4 inches inside the neckline.
Mark down 1 1/4 inches from the tip of the neckline at D. Make a straightline touching the line M-R.
Now, mark 1/4 inch to the outside of M-R – do this all along the neckline. Cut through this new line.
This is how the front bodice of the shell top will look like.
This is the bodice opened up.
Mark 1/4 inches down from the cut line. This is marked as the stitching line for the placket.
Step 2. Sewing the placket
Cut out 2 placket fabric pieces of 3 inch by 11 inches. They should have enough thickness – not too much but they shouldnot be floppy. You can use a thin interfacing or the self fabric as an interlining inside if the fabric you have chosen is floppy.
Fold each of the placket pieces by the middle. Pin.
Keep the folded plackets along the cut edge of the neckline and pin in place.
Pin till the stitching line across.
Make diagonal cuts along the base fabric as in the picture below. Red lines are the cutting marks.
Tuck the extra tail of the placket pieces through the cut at the end.
Neatly tuck inside, so that one placket is overlapping the other.
So there, the Placket tucked inside.
At this point, you can either sew from the inside ( sew the edges as in the picture below) or top stitch along the placket sealing everything nicely. Stitch along the ditch and no one will even know that there is a stitching line.
Step 3. Sew the back bodice
Draft pattern for the back bodice
Cut out a facing for the neckline. Give enough seam allowance all around.
Keep the facing on top of the neckline (bodice right side up and facing right side down). Sew along the neckline edge – Do all the stitching process you go through when sewing a neckline – clipping the seam allowance, understitching etc.
Step 4. Join the front bodice and the back bodice.
Keep the bodices togther, right sides to the inside. Wrap the facing piece of the back bodice over the front bodice. Pin in place.
Sew the shoulder seam. Do this for both shoulders.Turn the top right side out. This is how the seam will look; quite seamless, right?
Both the shoulders stitched the same way.
Sew the sides and finish the armhole edges. You can make a small dart along the front armhole to get a nice shape.
I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.