Fat Quarter Summer Top


The other day I bought an adorable black and white polka dot top from Jcrew for myself. A little while later, I saw this fabric at Joann’s and decided Penelope needed a summer top so we could be the matchy-matchy queens that we are.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

I used a fat quarter instead of getting some yardage cut off a bolt. I have never done the math, but I think buying a fat quarter is a cheaper way to get just a little bit of fabric. Baby and Toddler sized clothing requires so little fabric, I have made Penelope a full dress out of a fat quarter before.  And if you can get them on sale, then even better.

  • To start, lay your squares right sides together. The wrong side is usually a muted, toned down version of the right side.
  • Then cut a strip off fabric off the bottom, about 1.5 or 2 inches wide, depending on how wide you want your straps to be and how long you want your top to be.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

  • Then sew along the side edges. Finish with a serger or a zig zag scissors.
  • Then roll your bottom hem up and over twice for a finished edge and sew all the way around.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

  • For the straps,take each one and fold them lengthwise in half, right sides facing. Sew along that open edge and then turn outside in with a safety pin. Then iron flat.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

  • For the top, fold the hem over twice and sew at the bottom. Leave an opening to put in your elastic.
  • Feed your elastic in all the way, and then sew your elastic together. Put the rest of the closest loop of elastic inside the casing and sew shut.
  • Then place the straps where you want them and sew in place. I just did a simple halter with two straps in the front.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

And then enjoy some matching cuteness with your daughter.

Fat Quarter Summer Top

And enjoy your weekly unhealthy trip to Starbucks. I really have to get this habit down from once a week, to once a month!

Let me know if you have any questions.

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  • Kendra
    July 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Once a week is better than me! I started going waaaaay too much there for a bit and this week I was determined NOT to go. Guess where I found myself pulling into this morning on the way to work??? I admire your sewing skills! It is def something I’m not good at. Or should I say, don’t have the patience for! I love Miss P’s dress and those pics of her are just too cute. How do you stand it?!? 😉

    • Stephanie
      July 19, 2012 at 3:44 AM

      It is hard! I am in awe of her beauty all day long.

  • Jenny
    July 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Omg, she’s adorable! And I love her outfit! Too cute!

    • Stephanie
      July 19, 2012 at 3:45 AM

      Thank you!!

  • Maureen
    July 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Can’t wait to make this!

  • beth
    July 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    About what size would you say this is and how much elastic did you use? Thanks

    • Stephanie
      July 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      I would say it is a 3T. It’s on the long side, and tunic like, so she can wear it for a while. Not sure about elastic, I always just measure her chest and size it to her perfectly.

  • Nikki
    July 20, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    About what size is your daughter? This might have to go to my Granddaughter for her Birthday! msaybe make a matching one for my daughter too! How fun would that be. Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      July 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      She is a solid 3T. Can get away with 2T or 4T depending on the brand.

  • heirsinhope
    November 27, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Just found your blog & through your post for Prudent Baby’s new fabric line. 1st, thank you. I’m extremely happy to find Prudent Baby & Spoonflower.

    I was amused when you asked readers not to look at your topstitching on that post & as I looked closer, I thought I realized the problem. Coming to this post, I find I’m right. You don’t iron your seams open or iron hems & other turned up fabric. If you took the extra time to iron every seam open (or if serged, iron the seam to one side & be certain to flip the garment & iron the seam from ) & iron everything you turn up, your results would be amazing. The other thing is clipping curves before you turn. Concave curves are like the inside of a circle and convex are like the outside. Clip slits in a concave curve & notches in a convex curve. It’s extra work but I promise, your garments will look so much more professional. Then turn & more pressing. It’s best to press a concave seam open over a rolled towel before turning. The trick w/ convex/round circles is to take a pin & make certain to gently pull out any pushed/squashed in areas all the way around. Then press & double check for any remaining pushed pushed/squashed in areas. When it’s a perfect circle & pressed, then just use the presserfoot to make neat topstitching. If you want to to edge stitch, move the needle position towards the edge of the piece but still use the presserfoot as your guide. This post on SewMamaSew ( is helpful but omits pressing before turning. That one step also makes a huge difference.

    Your eye is awesome, as is your sense of colour, proportion & style. Your sewing ought to look as beautiful as this site or the image in your mind. I hope you won’t take my instructing amiss; I’ve been sewing for years & years & am so happy to see a resurgence in women making clothing for their children & hopefully for themselves too. I look forward to checking back & seeing other projects. Oh, & thank you for the delicious slow cooker recipes & ideas. Cooking real meals is my weak area.

    • Stephanie
      November 27, 2012 at 2:07 AM

      I will def try that next time, thanks!!