Tangerine Tamara Shirt: free pattern included

Tangerine “Tamara” Top: free pattern included

A sheer, loose fitting blouse, cropped length, batwing sleeve with collar, pocket detail, front button tab & cuffs.

Recently, a young friend with her finger on the pulse of fashion shared her love for the bright new colours and designs for Spring. Check out Tamara’s  great blog, “Ad Idem”,which she co-authors with her best friend , Natalie. The new designs have a great 70’s vibe – my heyday!

Totally serendipitously I came across a gorgeous piece of soft, sheer cotton fabric in her favourite colour – tangerine. It just had such a lovely weight and draped beautifully – I knew immediately what I wanted to make with it!

So, ta da …the “Tamara” top!

I drew inspiration from these lovely designs :

Unfortunately, I did not think to take photographs of the sewing process for a tutorial, but did draft a pattern which I am very happy to share with anyone who would like to try their hand at it. You can click on this link here (Tamara Batwing cropped), or select the Tamara “ top from the Box on the right. The pattern is in letter size parts. Print it off and match the pieces together by matching the coloured symbols.

I will make another top soon, and post “how to” tutorials shortly (collar, front button tab, cuffs, patch pockets, French seams). The top requires about 50 inches of sheer  fabric, so look out for remnants in your fav fabric or Thrift store! A fabric with a good drape/weight is essential – don’t try this in a stiff sheer fabric. Unless you are already an expert seamstress, avoid chiffon – it is a nightmare to sew.

I have also been looking at the extra-large size clothing racks in Thrift Stores, and have seen lots of sheer dresses and blouses that can be recycled instead of using fabric. I will post my “recycling” projects soon.

The fit is very loose and drapey, so the width and length can be adjusted as desired. The design will be wonderfully cool for Summer, worn over a tank, bandeau , bustier or bikini top. The pattern size is a 12, but will fit any size from 6 -16! The length is about 19 ½ inches long. It can be allowed to slip back, making the front shorter, and the back asymmetrically longer. It looks really cute when the front hem just skims the navel. The length of the sleeve (including the cuff) is also about 19 inches. You will need at least 7 buttons (I got mine off of an ugly $1 shirt but the sewing section of thrift store often have baggies of buttons).

One thing I would change if I were to make this top in a sheer fabric again, is to sew it so that the white iron-on-interfacing doesn’t show. (you can see it shadowing through) I added an extra fold to the front button tab so that the interfacing is hidden. I’d also cut 3 collars and cuffs and double up the fabric where the interfacing shows towards the outside.


  1. Cut out fabric. The first page of the pattern shows how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric.
  2. Iron the interfacing  on to the  front button tab, collar and cuffs.
  3. Sew the front button tabs
  4. Sew on the patch pockets (Just realized I forgot to include a pattern for them…darn!) They are about a 17cm x 19cm rectangle – adjust the size and position as desired (Pattern piece Front #7 would work!)
  5. Sew the collar. I have included a sewing guide for the collar that you can print out, glue to cardstock, and trace around with tailor’s chalk or seamstress’ pen.
  6. Sew shoulder seams (I suggest using a French seam method for neatness)
  7. -Stay-stitch the neckline
  8. Attach collar to neckline
  9. Gather the lower edge of the sleeves (where the cuffs will be attached)
  10. Sew the cuffs.
  11. Sew the underarm seams (French seam again).
  12. Attach the cuffs to the sleeves
  13. Sew the button holes on cuffs, collar, and front button tab
  14. Finish the lower hem
  15. Sew on the buttons

And…you’re done! If you try the pattern, please send me feedback, and suggestions for improvement.

Tutorials coming soon – promise!