The Great British Sewing Bee From STitch to Style: The Japanese Top

Hello all,

I am ever so pleased to share this top with you that has become an unexpected favourite of mine. It’s from the GBSB sewing book from the most recent series. The book only cost £9.99 on Amazon with free P&P. Its great value given the number of patterns that come with the book (27 I think). I would like to make quite a few of the patterns in there actually.

The pattern is the Japanese top which is similar in style to those you would find in the Drape Drape books but a lot easier to achieve in my opinion.

I was attracted to the batwing sleeves and the cowl neck. The pattern sheets in the book are well laid out and quite easy to trace. They aren’t as stacked as other patterns sheets that I have come across. I thought the instructions were very well written and a beginner would have confidently made this top. The only fly in the ointment for me was the large pattern pieces – so large that I had to staple 2 lengths of baking parchment to get the pieces ready.

I have had this interlock jersey for a while now waiting for the right pattern. The panel print has a large rose every 1 meter. I had to move the piece around and cut on a strange grain to get the rose centered on the front. I don’t think with interlock and a drapey top the grain matters too much ( I may be wrong). It came together very easily but I didn’t change the overlocker thread :-(. A choice I lament very much here in my YouTube video (link at bottom of this post)fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-814fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-826fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-838fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-848fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-867

Great British Sewing Bee Assymetrical Japanese top

The cowl sits okay when I am not moving about too much but when I bend over it will pop out but I have since tacked it down by hand. The next time I make it I will increase the size of the facing.

I added a cuff to the sleeve to make it longer – it’s a personal preference. I also added 2 ” to the hem so I can wear it with leggings.

Overall I really like this top and feel like I have made a one of a kind item that will get worn a lot.

I have already traced out this skirt which was the reason that I bought the book. sewing-bee-book-a-skirtAfter seeing Beth’s version I was very inspired to make it. That will be my next project from the book. Have you got this book? Have you made anything from it?

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Sewing!

Peave and love,




24 thoughts on “The Great British Sewing Bee From STitch to Style: The Japanese Top

  1. Ooh very nice! The jersey with its rose print is ideal! One of the ladies in my sewing class has made one of these and it’s really good – she made it with a lightweight jersey and it’s really drapey! We found the cuff instruction sounded wrong, like it’d go the wrong way round if you followed the instructions… I think, from my memory!! Get on with making the skirt then, it will look amazing on you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the big rose against the grey background. I remember the skirt from the show – scary having those raw edges exposed – but I’m sure you’ll pull it off.
    I haven’t got the book but, if I’d thought about it before, it’s something I could have put on my Christmas list. Ah well, there’s always next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next year the book will be even cheaper 🙂 I am not too keen on the exposed edges and I might finish them with a bias binding instead – sometimes I really want to follow what the intended design is but….sometimes….Its hard deciding


      1. Oh wow! I love it! I’ve had my eye on that sewing pattern for a while now but I always hesitate to buy it because I could draft my own or easily adapt another one. Pattern drafting can be a double edged sword. Tangentially, I dont know how I missed this post. I swear my WP Reader is not reliable at showing some posts from my followed blogs. I have suspected this for a while now and I think I will be moving over to Bloglovin completely for keeping up to date with my fave blogs!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! I know what you mean about the Reader- I never get alerts for several, and often go quite a while before I spot them. Life’s too short for such faff. I’ve been sewing for yonks but can’t be bothered with drafting. WAY too much sewing time involved in that!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ida. I have wool mix fabric in gorgeous magenta. I hope I will get it done in January – maybe earlier if christmas isnt too taxing 🙂


  3. Hila, it’s amazing! Love the pattern placement and the fit of this top. It’s so perfect for those slouchy days and I’ll be making this asap. I didn’t realise you had a Youtube channel (I’ve obviously been away too long…) Your videos are great – keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have found that I am reaching for this top a lot – its just so easy so throw on – especially on weekends too.


  4. I have made this top too, I love how different the style is, sadly I made it in a material that just makes me think ‘old lady’! You might have inspired me to make another version!!

    Liked by 1 person

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