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Sewing Patterns

11 Easy Top Sewing Patterns for Beginners (6 FREE PDF’s)

Last time, I researched and shared 30+ free sewing patterns for tops, but many of them were for more advanced sewists.

Here’s my list of the best EASY sewing patterns for tops. I recommend these for beginners who want to start with something simple.

I’ve also found online courses that show you how to make tops. If you’re new to sewing, this will make the process easier for you.

11 easy top patterns for beginners

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Easy top sewing patterns for woven fabrics

‘Woven fabrics’ are made by weaving threads together in a grid. They generally aren’t stretchy. Cotton and linen woven fabrics are easy to sew with because they don’t shift and slip as you sew.

Short sleeve loose top (+ video tutorial)

pink short sleeve top with pdf pattern line drawings

Watch the course on Creative Bug. The pdf pattern (worth $16) is included.

I chose this top because it’s a loose-fitting, boxy shape. Getting the top to fit right will be easier, letting you concentrate on constructing the top.

There’s no separate sleeve piece to sew which I liked for beginners.

I also picked this pattern because it comes with an online video course. The teacher shows you every step, so it’s perfect for beginners. The course includes how to use a pattern, cut fabric, sew the top, make bias binding, sew hems, yokes, and buttons.

In this project, you’ll learn how to finish necklines neatly with ‘bias binding tape’. If you’re new to sewing, I recommend just buying the bias binding rather than making it. It’s quicker and easier. But the course will teach you how to make your own if you want.

You’ll also learn how to fold and sew ‘hems’ (the bottom edges of the top and sleeves).

The course includes 3 ways to change the basic design and learn new skills, like adding buttons to the front. This is optional.

  • Sizes: XS – 4XL (bust measurement: 32″ to 53″ / 81cm to 135cm).
  • Design: a loose top with short ‘grown on’ sleeves. The neckline is finished with bias binding.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? woven (in other words, non-stretch fabric).
  • File format: print-at-home pdf file.
  • Instructions included? yes, a video course. It has closed caption text.

Short sleeve lounge top (free)

short sleeve top sewing pattern line drawing

Download now from Peppermint Magazine.

This is a very similar style to the Creative Bug top above, but the neckline is finished with a ‘facing’ instead (a separate piece of fabric).

There’s no separate sleeve piece to sew which I liked for beginners.

I also picked this pattern because it has really good written instructions and step-by-step illustrations. Many free patterns don’t have this.

  • Sizes: 10 sizes (bust: 30″ – 48″ / 78 – 123cm).
  • Design: this short-sleeve top is part of a loungewear set. The neckline is finished with a facing. The back hem is slightly longer than the front and curved.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? woven (in other words, non-stretch fabric).
  • File format: A4 print-at-home and A0 copy shop sizes.
  • Instructions included? yes.

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Tunic with sleeves (free)

long sleeve tunic in black and white check print. Free sewing pattern line drawing on 1 side

Download now from Tessuti Fabrics.

This is a simple style with a loose fit. It has 2 sleeve length options, including full sleeves. The bottom hem is straight which is easier to finish than a curved hem.

The sleeves are separate pieces, but they’re easy ‘drop shoulder’ style sleeves.

The neckline construction will teach you how to finish raw edges with ‘bias binding’. As a beginner, I recommend just buying this rather than trying to make your own.

The printable sewing instructions are good and have lots of helpful photos.

  • Sizes: XS – XL.
  • Design: this boxy top has drop shoulders and 2 sleeve lengths. The neckline is finished with bias binding.
  • Stretch/woven fabric?  woven fabric (in other words, non-stretch).
  • File format: letter, A4, and A0 copy shop sizes.
  • Instructions included? yes.

Sleeveless tank top (free)

white linen crop tank top

Download now from Fabrics Store.

This is a simple tank top with no sleeves to sew. You just join the front and back piece at the shoulders and sides, and then use ‘bias binding’ to finish the armholes and neckline. Then just turn and sew the bottom hem.

If you’re new to sewing, I recommend just buying the bias binding rather than making it.

This top fits a bit more closely and has no bust darts, so you might need to make fitting adjustments if you have a larger bust. For this reason, I don’t recommend it as your first project if you’re curvy. It might frustrate you.

  • Sizes: 0/2 – 28/30.
  • Design: this simple tank top has bias binding on the neckline and armholes.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? woven (in other words, non-stretch fabric).
  • File format: letter / A4 paper sizes.
  • Instructions included? yes, in this blog post.
  • Versions made by other sewists: find reviews of this pattern and more photos here.

Sleeveless tank top for plus-size

green tank top with sewing pattern line drawings

Download now from Cashmerette. It’s $16 for the PDF pattern or $20 for the paper pattern.

Cashmerette is well-known for making patterns for plus-sizes. This simple tank top design was drafted for 3 cup sizes, not just a small B cup like many patterns (and clothing stores).

The top has bust darts so it fits better on larger busts.

The neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding. If you’re new to sewing, I recommend just buying the bias binding rather than making it.

  • Sizes: 12-28.
  • Design: this simple tank top has bias binding on the neckline and armholes. It has a yoke design at the back, side splits, and optional ‘princess seams’ if you want a more fitted look.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? woven (in other words, non-stretch fabric).
  • File format: pdf print-at-home size, pdf A0 copy shop size, and a paper pattern option.
  • Instructions included? yes.

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Easy top sewing patterns for knit fabrics

Note: knit fabric is stretchy. It’s often not recommended for new sewists, however, if you follow a good video tutorial I think you’ll find it OK. You just need to know how to work with stretchy fabric, like what needles and stitch types to use. I’ve listed video courses that include this advice.

The great thing about working with knit fabrics is that they stretch over the body, making fitting easier. The raw edges also don’t fray! There’s less pressure to finish the insides.

Scoop neck t-shirt with sleeves (+ video tutorial)

printed t-shirt with sewing pattern line drawings

Watch the course on Creative Bug. The pdf pattern (worth $16) is included.

This is a great everyday top.

The t-shirt has a classic scoop neck which is finished with a neckband. It has long-sleeves, but the class covers how to make them shorter too.

yellow t-shirt and grey t-shirt

The video course includes tips on how to work with stretchy fabrics and sew hems with a twin needle. The basics are also shown, like how to use a sewing pattern, cut knit fabric, and choose sewing machine settings.

  • Sizes: XS – 4XL (bust measurement: 32″ to 53″ / 81cm to 135cm).
  • Design: a simple t-shirt with a scoop neck, neckband, and sleeves.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? stretch fabric.
  • File format: print-at-home pdf file.
  • Instructions included? yes, a video course. It has closed caption text.

Stretchy tank tops (+ video tutorial)

tank tops on mannequins

Watch the course on Creative Bug. The pdf pattern is included.

This course shows you how to make 2 tank top designs; a racer-back or muscle style. They’re both made in the same way.

tank top being sewn

You’ll learn how to finish raw edges with arm and neck bands, and use a twin needle to sew the hems.

The teachers demonstrate on a serger machine. As a beginner, you probably don’t have this, so they recommend swapping this for a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

  • Sizes: XS – XXL (bust measurement: 32″ to 46″).
  • Design: 2 designs are included; a racer-back tank and a muscle tank with more coverage. They have a slightly flared silhouette, they’re not tight and fitted. The necklines and armholes are finished with bands.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? stretch fabric.
  • File format: print-at-home pdf file and A0 copy shop file.
  • Instructions included? yes, a video course. It has closed caption text.

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T-shirt with scoop, crew & high neck (free)

sewing pattern line drawings for 4 free t-shirt tops

Download now from DIBY.

  • Sizes: 00-36.
  • Design: this classic t-shirt design includes 3 necklines (scoop, crew, and high neck), and 4 sleeve lengths (short, 3/4, elbow, and long). The neckline is finished with a neckband.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? stretch. Use your sewing machines zig-zag or stretch stitches to make it, or a serger.
  • File format: letter, A4, and A0 copy shop sizes.
  • Instructions included? yes.

Boat neck t-shirt with sleeves (free)

striped brown and black t-shirt with a sewing pattern line drawing

Download now from Tessuti Fabrics.

  • Sizes: XXS – XXXL.
  • Design: this loose-fitting t-shirt has a boat neckline, drop shoulders, and long or 3/4 length sleeves.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? stretch. Use your sewing machines zig-zag or stretch stitches to make it, or a serger.
  • File format: letter, A4, and A0 copy shop sizes. The print-at-home files use 30 pages.
  • Instructions included? yes.

Turtleneck top with sleeves (free)

Striped turtleneck top with a sewing pattern line drawing

Download now from Tessuti Fabrics.

This was actually my first stretch fabric project, so I can personally say this is a great beginner project.

You’ll learn how to finish a neckline with a turtleneck. The hems are just turned up and stitched. I used a small zig zag stitch to construct it.

  • Sizes: XXS – XXL.
  • Design: this boxy top features drop shoulders, a turtleneck and 3/4 or full-length fitted sleeves.
  • Stretch/woven fabric? stretch. Use your sewing machines zig-zag or stretch stitches to make it, or a serger.
  • File format: letter, A4, and A0 copy shop sizes.
  • Instructions included? yes.

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