Monday 17 April 2017

McGuire -Inspired Buttonback Top with Flutter Sleeves

photo McGuireButtonBackTopDIY4_zpshh8iwml5.jpg
Had some amazing white Japanese cotton lying around and went on a quick inspiration hunt, and sure enough found it - courtesy of New York label McGuire (mainly known for their denim). Slight adjustment with a bit fuller ruffle detail and no pop up neck.

Tutorials take a lot of time & effort to create, and I choose to make mine available for free. If you enjoy this guide, you can support me with a donation that feels right for you, here.

photo 0 Tools_zpskgzjovpo.jpg
Cotton fabric 1.5m  |  Scissors  |  6 buttons  |  Pins  |  Thread, needle, sewing machine  |  Bias tape

I. Here are the pieces I cut. I needed to do some slight trimming as I went along but the measurements were pretty good for my size (EU36/US 4).
photo 1 Cut pieces_zpsnif7ht4p.jpg
II. Before pinning the shoulder seams and doing flat-felled seams following these steps. I cut the neckline to my desired depth (about 15 cm down).
photo 2 Pinned shoulders_zps9dobiesm.jpg
III. Then I put my head through and confirmed the length of the shoulder line. Ended up trimming about 3 cm off the shoulder.
photo 3 Trimmed shoulder_zpsycfzu7lf.jpg
IV. Next I constructed the back button bands. I first took my two strips of fabric and placed them right side facing right side of the top, about 2.5 cm away from the center back on each side.
photo 4 Back piece_zpsj60rvozw.jpg
.. And sewed them in place.
photo 5 Bands attached_zpsqdej0jzi.jpg
Then I pressed the seams and also pressed a 0.5 cm fold along the other long edge.
photo 6 Press_zpsbne8jf60.jpg
Next I folded them on top of themselves, pinning in place..
photo 7 Fold_zpsvcrljgh7.jpg
.. And sewed the fold, trimming the corner. Also notched the main top piece right up until the stitch I just added.
photo 8 Sew_zpsnwbmzshv.jpg
From there I folded the button band right side out, gently pushing out the corner I had trimmed. Next pressed from there down to the hem as shown. I had some extra there so trimmed the fold a bit, so I had just over 1 cm left..
photo 9 Button band_zpsnvzqba3u.jpg
.. And went on to first fold a small triangle at the beginning:
photo 10 Fold_zpsk8rymtek.jpg
Then double folded like so, and hand-stitched in place.
photo 11 Second fold_zpsquze0v1m.jpg
V. At this point I also finished the neckline using this bias tape technique. Then pinned the sides together right sides facing and sewed those together.
photo 12 Pin sides_zpsqicrogrq.jpg
At which point I had this.
photo 13 Sides done_zpsunwclf15.jpg
VI. On to the front ruffle detail. I grabbed a medium sized circular thing from the house (which was a round pot holder or whatever these are called, with a 22-cm diameter). Used that to trace one circle, and another one 7 cm further.
photo 14 Ruffle circle_zpsfd9li7wc.jpg
Before cutting the inner circle out, I pinned my bias tape along the circumference of the circle, the fold opened at the side that aligns with the edge of the circle. Same idea as when doing a neckline, then sewed along the open fold line.
photo 15 Bias tape_zps0vrznt3v.jpg
Then folded the bias tape twice as I show in the neckline tutorial and sewed in place.
photo 16 Bias tape finished_zpswrfdfrms.jpg
.. And cut along the smaller inner circle to create the ruffle. Prepped it by zig-zagging the long raw edge and pressing a small fold on it.
photo 17 Ruffle done_zpsftnbdila.jpg
VII. Then positioned the ruffle at the front of the top and pressed folds where they would meet the side and the shoulder seam. Note: yeah, sure, I could have attached the ruffle at the point where I did the side seams, but I wans't really do commit to its position without being able to try on the top properly to see how it flowed. And to do that I first had to have the side seams done.
photo 18 Ruffle position_zpsdqskeqyw.jpg
Then clipped the extra from the ends of the ruffle and sewed them in place - right along the side seam. Once I had attached the ends to the side seam and the shoulder seam, I pinned the rest in place and sewed along the upper edge of the ruffle.
photo 19 Attach ruffle_zpsgn96snmn.jpg
VIII. Finally, the sleeves. For them I made another circle like this:
photo 20 Sleeves_zps2mizvz3w.jpg
.. And trimmed it down to two pieces like this.
photo 21 Sleeve pieces_zpse99b2qgu.jpg
Lined the sides (except for the shorter curved edge) with bias tape, sewing the corner as shown below. Then sewed along the fold line.
photo 22 Bias tape_zpsvk8zix5v.jpg
And trimmed the corner.
photo 23 Trim_zpsagmcgx2a.jpg
And flipped the bias tape over to the reverse, pressing well, and the corner I had stitched flattened nicely.
photo 23 Pressed_zps0jg5crrh.jpg
IX. To attach the sleeves, I first did not get it right. I pinned the piece along the arm hole, aligning the middle of it with the shoulder seam. Sewed in place. Then tried on and realized the sleeves were waay too fluffy.
photo 24 Pin_zpsgwpsdblp.jpg
.. So opened up the seam at both ends about 10 cm and pulled the sleeve part in, sewing it again at an adjusted angle. Resulting in a less intense sleeve fluffiness.
photo 25 Attaching sleeves_zpszqmfo2z4.jpg
X. I wanted to do the arm holes with bias tape as well but.. Ran out of bias tape. So had to just zig-zag and fold them. Sewed these by hand too to avoid the stitched look.
photo 26 pressed_zpshtjgfvnu.jpg
XI. Finally. Marked the button holes at regular intervals, sewed them, and hand-sewed the buttons onto the other side. I accidentally made one of the button bands longer than the other, but I actually liked it and on purpose put the longer one underneath, I thought it made for a nice detail.
photo 27 Buttons_zpsjdoufwe7.jpg
Last as always, hand-hemmed the whole thing with a double fold!
photo McGuireButtonBackTopDIY3_zpseabuumdm.jpg
photo McGuireButtonBackTopDIY2_zpsn1xy0elh.jpg
photo McGuireButtonBackTopDIY_zpsmmjbi9hs.jpg photo McGuireButtonBackTopDIY5_zpsxiygu5ct.jpg



  1. I absolutely love this top! You did such a good job!!! The buttons on the back are so perfect!


    1. Thanks Charlotte, I'm so into buttoned backs right now!! Love your blog too!

  2. That looks great julia, I would def be scared to try this, but baby steps lol.thanks for the tut.

    1. Thanks Darline! I promise it's not as hard as it looks!!


I would love to hear what you think and learn about your DIY adventures! If you use one of my tutorials, tag me on social @contour_affair, I'd love to see!


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