Project 12 – November: Megan Nielson Wrap Top

Wait!  How can it be December already?  I finished up my November Project 12 project Monday night, but couldn’t snag my husband for a photo shoot until he was home for a quick lunch break today.  I imagine there are very few women whose husbands say “let me set up a couple of lights” when asked to take a picture of their latest sewing project. I love being married to a video nerd. :)

November’s project was Megan Nielson’s Wrap Top.  I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. I think it is a really fun design.  Megan Nielson based it on Isabelle Oliver’s wrap top. In the end though, I have some reservations about recommending the pattern.

The sleeve pattern piece does not have any front/back markings.  Notice the single and double notches on the Simplicity pattern laid on top of the MN pattern – single for front, double for back, and a small circle at the top for matching to the shoulder seam.  These are important because the “armscye curve” is not symmetrical.  A more experience sewist might not have a problem telling the right sleeve from the left, but a beginner could easily put them on backwards. I think I was able to figure it out, but I’m not 100% sure I did it correctly. (For more info about how a sleeve is drafted, see ikat bag’s drafting series.) The sleeves were a kind of awkward fit for my upper arm as well. Perhaps, narrowing the sleeve opening would help.

EDIT: At this point, I think this was also a fabric issue, this rayon has some major vertical drape going on.

The sewing pattern does not include finished edges.  The assumption is that knits to do not unravel and with so much to hem it is better to leave it off.  I decided to follow the directions and leave it un-hemmed.  After I had finished the shirt, I regretted my decision.  I was worried about the stress to the neckline edge in this cheap fabric and some of my edges were rough from poor cutting.  I ended up using fold over elastic as a facing just along the neckline. It was very similar to this bias tape facing technique. It would have worked better if I had not stretched the elastic so much while sewing it down, but it didn’t turn out too badly.

I think the wrap style is super cute, but I don’t think it is very suitable for chasing after three young children. It is much more of a date-night shirt. I wasn’t really thinking through this when I was planning out this project. Today, I wore it over a close-fitting cami tucked into my pants.  This prevented slipping and gave more coverage at the neckline.

This pattern requires a jersey fabric with 40% stretch and I chose the same rayon-spandex blend as my Cozy Cardi.  It is very very clingy. Perhaps a heavier knit fabric would leave me feeling less exposed, smooth out any back lumps, and possibly solve my hem worries as well.

On a more positive note…
Exciting Things About This Project:

  • I saw this pattern when my youngest was a newborn.  I downloaded it then and saved it for a future pregnancy (This one!). It is such a fun look. I am happy to have had a chance to try it out.
  • I am getting better at cutting and assembling knits.  Practice makes perfect.
  • I’m pretty happy with my fold over elastic hemming technique.  It solved the problem even if I executed it poorly.
  • This was really a quick project.  Without hemming, it is four straight seams and two sleeves. I prepped in one evening and sewed it together the next.

So, one more month left to the end of Project 12.  What a year has it been!

10 Responses to Project 12 – November: Megan Nielson Wrap Top

  1. Karen @ TheJuneBride December 4, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    I wasn’t crazy about the serious wrapping involved in that pattern when I saw it for sale on Etsy (perhaps I fear the “mummy tummy”?), and I’m glad to hear your review! You look fabulous (amazing and beautiful photos!), but I can completely see your objections to raw edges (great solution on the neckline though!) and the symmetrical sleeve thing. Well made and well said :) I’m very much looking forward to your next project!! I was thinking of sewing tonight but ended up crafting instead, and you’re making me rethink my decision! I always leave your blog inspired!

    • Jodi December 4, 2010 at 8:01 am #

      I guess I wasn’t very clear. Her sleeves are asymmetrical, just not marked front and back. I found that confusing.

      I hope you had fun sewing.

  2. Amy December 4, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    It turned out really nice–looks much better than some of the maternity tops I wore through my pregnancies. That color is fabulous on you!

    • Jodi December 4, 2010 at 8:02 am #

      Thanks, Amy!

  3. LauraB May 18, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Thanks for your comment! You’re right, ours look almost exactly the same! I didn’t hem the edges, but am thinking of it. I managed to cut very smoothly, and it doesn’t look bad. Did you use the free version of this pattern? I had saved it years ago – wondering if she made changes before releasing the paid one. I figured the reason there was no front/back marked for the sleeves was because it didn’t matter, but they do sit a little funny.

    • Jodi May 18, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      I used the saved version just like you. And should have worked on the sleeves a bit longer. Maybe made them snugger on the bottom?

  4. Lizzy December 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Hi Jodi,

    Your shirt looks darling on you! I’ve been looking high and low for Megan’s pattern and can’t find it anywhere even to purchase it and I’m hoping you might still have the original pattern you could email to me? I’m currently pregnant myself and would love to try this project! My email is

    Thank you!

  5. susan January 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Hi there, thanks for the tips. I really want to make this wrap top but can’t find anywhere that has this pattern in stock. I’ve spent hours online. Would be able to send me your copy? I would be very grateful. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Susan

  6. susan January 15, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    My email is

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