Sailor Top – Marilla Walker


This Sailor top/dress sewing pattern by Marilla Walker (an updated version of her free pattern) was published in Love Sewing magazine this month and I knew it was for me. I saw Jenna’s Sailor dress and this made me rush to the store to buy the magazine (with pattern) pronto!


I am a fan of Marilla’s designs and style. I love her new Roberts pattern and must get my hands on it soon – its a capsule wardrobe in one pattern – genius!

Anyway, back to the Sailor top – I made it in a ribbed stretch knit with a nautical stripe so it would in fact look like a Sailor’s top, of course. I would have preferred to make 3/4 length sleeves but I did not have enough fabric as it was the end of the roll. I lengthened the top by 1″.


The best design feature of this top are the shoulder gussets – thanks Marilla! As the neck/shoulder seams are sewn on the outside of the garment rather than on the inside (Marilla’s instructions in the magazine), they need to be hidden by some ribbon which stabilises the knit fabric. This ribbon also accentuates the shoulder gussets – its the gussets which really make this garment unique.


As my shoulders are narrow, the neckline was rather wide (I will make the shoulders a size smaller in future) so I made two small pleats at the front neckline and attached two small buttons as decoration.

I really like this pattern and will probably make the dress version someday. I can also see myself making another top.

Have you made the Sailor top/dress, or do you plan to?


About Caroline

I am a sewing/dressmaking/travel enthusiast and blogger who loves modern Japanese style and vintage inspired style. I also like to travel/visit places of interest, countryside walks and photography.
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4 Responses to Sailor Top – Marilla Walker

  1. Linda says:

    Your top looks great! I love the fabric and the ribbon trim. Clever idea about the buttons and the pleats in the neckline.


  2. Melissa says:

    So cute, Caroline! I like how you have the polka dot trim with the stripes!

    I don’t have any immediate plans to make the Sailor top/dress as I only have access to the free pattern and will need to do some resizing. Besides, I want to sew Marilla’s dungaree dress soon! I need to find the right fabric first.

    Happy weekend to you. Hope you kitty is settling in nicely!


    • Caroline says:

      Thanks Melissa. I must buy the Roberts pattern too – a jumpsuit, pinafore and dungarees in one pattern! Looking forward to seeing your dress. Kitty Carla now acts like she owns the place!


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