Saltspring Variation: A Top!

The sew-along has really made me fall in love with the Saltspring dress. Wait, that’s not news, is it? I think I’ve declared my love for this pattern a million times. On the blog we’ve oo-ed and ahh-ed over the maxi and the shorter version alike. We’ve discussed strap variations, ways to wear the dress, and fabric choices that can take it into the fall season.

One thing I was thinking about is how lovely it would be to make a tank top version of this pattern. I figured it would be really easy, just a couple of small adjustments to the bodice pieces, omitting the zipper, maybe getting creative with the straps… and it was super easy!


And here it is! My Saltspring top.



This was sort of an experiment, so for my first version, I went with a basic viscose batiste from Télio. I know, I know. I just finished talking about how much I love prints. But a girl needs a little basic black in her life once in a while!


It’s probably obvious that I had to lengthen the bodice significantly, and loosen it around the hips.  Here is how I changed the pattern:

  • Trace your bodice front and back pieces, be sure to draw a center front and center back line that extends below the hem. For your back piece, remove the zipper seam allowance and mark the piece to cut on fold.
  • Now decide how much you want to lengthen your bodice. I wanted this to be long, so I lengthened at least 10 inches. Add this length at center front and center back line, and follow the existing bottom edge of your bodice pieces to add 10 inches all across the bottom. This line is slightly curved.
  • To create a looser silhouette, I extended a line from the underarm down, to form a more a-line pattern piece. Sort of like adding a pie piece at the side seam! Be sure to double check your hip measurement and give yourself enough room at the hem, this top is meant to be loose, not tight at the hip.
  • For the lining: You can use the same pieces and shorten them by 1 inch.


I also did thicker straps on this top. More on strap variations here.


This top sewed up like a dream and because I omitted the zip, it really was a quick project! I love that it’s a simple and easy to wear top, I feel like I’ll wear it again and again. This would be so fun in a print too!

Hope this inspires you to make the most of your pattern and experiment with a Saltspring top variation! Happy sewing!

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15 Responses to Saltspring Variation: A Top!

  1. Sassy T September 6, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Like it! Yes I need some basic black.

  2. lisa g. September 6, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    i love it! in fact i have already cut out a top doing almost exactly this, unfortunately the straps i made didn’t work out and it was the last of my scraps… have to figure out a solution, but it’s awesome to see that it worked out so well!

  3. Sabine September 6, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    It’s really cute also as a top.

  4. Katherine September 6, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    The top works so well, a basic but a beautiful one! I love the scoop in the back.

  5. Nothy September 6, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    I made a variation of the dress and its posted on my blog. I love this shirt. I will probably make it as well.

  6. Pamela @ Johnny Mango Seed September 6, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    It’s fantastic. You can dress it up or down easily, and it looks like a Summer dream [but one that would work for New Year’s too]. Nice! Looking forward to seeing the prints too.

  7. Leigh September 6, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Very cute! Wouldn’t it be delicious in a 4ply silk? Lengthen just a bit more and you’ve got a nightgown. So many possibilities. :)

  8. Gillian September 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    delightful! so nice to see a normally sized person modelling – one gets so tired of these professionally skinny models. Hurrah for normality!!

  9. nicole September 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    love it :-) the thicker straps work really well too

  10. Karla September 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Very Cute!! You are correct. Everyone needs a basic black top. I knew I needed this pattern and now I am sure

  11. September 7, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    I love it! It’s simple but super chic. Need to make one!

  12. Amy September 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Awesome idea! I love pattern hacks that let you get more from a pattern!

  13. sewcharleston September 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    so cute! what a great idea!

  14. Amy September 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    This top has now been put on my to-sew list. In silk polkadots, I think. Thanks for the great idea for a pattern hack!

  15. Hazel September 17, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Totally making this! And I’ve got a remnant thats perfect for it!