Polly Top Remake Tutorial

I told you I'd have a Polly Top Variation! I bet you didn't guess it'd be so soon! I rarely go back to patterns so quickly but I've had this baby on my mind, I like simple, duh outfits. If I can wear a T-shirt, jeans and grab a purse and go than I am a happy camper. I created my long sleeve pattern by tracing the sleeve of a shirt I already had, it's super easy to do. Wanna make your own? Read more after the jump.
What to cut differently:
  1. hem line of back bodice (shown below)
  2. make your neck binding twice the width
  3. make sleeves (shown below)
 Starting out lay your pattern piece out to cut, I'm going to admit something, I rarely pin anything! And pinning knits is a pain to even mess with! so now that I'm done with confession; lengthen the bottom of your back by a few inches depending on how dramatic you want the hi-low  hem to be.

Sew the front yoke and bodice together like the original pattern.

To make your sleeves take a long sleeve shirt you love and lay it on a piece of paper. trace around it and connect the shoulder. now add 5/8" for seam allowance, except on your fold line.
 Here is an example of your sleeve add 2" hem allowance to your cuff length.
 stitch the shoulder seam of the front and back with right sides facing, Only do one shoulder. take the binding that you cut and rather than turning it into a double fold bias tape you're going to fold it in half lengthwise. I used satin that I had left over from my Glorified Pajama Pants.
to make it easier to handle after you iron it in half length wise you can baste it together.
With binding and bodice neckline right sides facing, sew together. Iron your seam allowance down and top stitch around neckline to keep your facing in place. stitch your second shoulder seam, and iron.
 lay your shirt out. so the neckline is in the middle, now its time to attach the sleeve. you can pin the middle part of your sleeve to the shoulder if you're worried about your ends meeting up. Take your time stitching this part. Fold your sleeve out and iron, do your second sleeve the same way.
Right now it looks like a giant cross. It's time to stitch the side seams and sleeve seams. Right sides together line your sleeve seams up and stitch. Once you get to the arm pit, make sure your side seams are lined up correctly, pivot your needle by raising the foot, and stitch your side seam. do the other side the same way. You have a shirt!! It just needs to be hemmed!
Now there is a trick to hemming sleeves so they still have a little stretch! First, if you have a walking foot, use it. If not that's fine, it just makes it easier. Now fold your sleeve up 2", you want to stitch at least an 1" away from your fold. If you use a straight stitch stretch your knit just a little while you sew, this will ease your stitches and make it so your sleeve can stretch. Or you can use the knit stitch that is a zigzag that has stretch built into it. Whatever you do, just make sure you give yourself an 1" away from the fold.

Now for hemming, you can try to do the basic hem but I'm gonna share the secret to a tiny perfect hem, here's the link! You may have to look for the ban roll online but believe me it is completely worth the $2 you'll spend on it! I can hem in less than 5 minutes using this technique, and lets agree that when you're a hem away from finishing a garment 5 minutes is all you really want to spend.
If you have any questions or if something is confusing please let me know. I want my tutorials to be as helpful as possible! Looking forward to seeing more Polly Top Alterations!


  1. That is awesome! And I love the color!! I'll need to think about making one of these for myself. Maybe in a few weeks when I'm back from my crazy traveling.

    1. Oh no! my comment is unreadable! Sorry! Don't know what's wrong!

    2. No worries, it wasn't your fault, I messed up the html and it screwed the spacing up, all fixed! Can't wait to see you guys and this would be perfect for a growing belly! : )

  2. Hey! I have been reading your blog since we met at the park with our families awhile back and I swear we are like style soul sisters! I have enjoyed seeing the looks you come up with and the great sewing you do! I am inspired to work more on sewing myself. Let's get together for coffee sometime and let the kids play!

    1. Oh thank you! yes I've been meaning to call you and set something up! I looked at your Etsy shop and believe me there was more than once I was tempted to hit the buy button! I'll give you a call next week and we can set something up!

  3. How can I get pattern?

  4. the link is really light and hard to see, but click on that and it will take you to the byhand london website.