Sewing: Banksia Cape Top


I’ve been sewing like crazy these days. My goal is to have at least one handmade item on my person at Alt. Considering there will be four day looks and three evening looks, it’s a heck of a lot of stuff. Fortunately, I think I may have over prepared! I think. We’ll see how the next skirt turns out.

I’ve had the below fabric in my stash for a few months, knowing exactly what I wanted to make with it. I wanted to make a high-low cape top (kinda like Penelope’s). Something that flowed nicely in the back, but wasn’t too muumuu-ish.

I took one of my favorite shirt patterns (this is really the second time I’ve made a banksia top, but I wear my first one practically every other day), and altered it in the back to fit my style. I made room for the yoke and back pleat. I also had to take in the front piece a little (ditched the darts, too) to keep it looking form-flattering.

You can see the back is constructed of two pieces. I sorta wish I had made the back with a more pronounced pleat, but I like it all the same.

It’s a pretty dramatic high-low here, but I like that I can wear it with my leggings and it’ll cover my bum. Chris and Eric (brother-in-law who’s living with us right now) call it the CYA shirt . . . you know, cover your ___. I’m not sure Chris is as jazzed about the style of this shirt as I am, but that’s okay. I only dress to impress my girlfriends these days anyway.

I like how I can pair this top with a belt or leave it loose. I’m still trying to decide how I’ll style it for alt (likely there will be a sweater in the mix).

Outfit Details:

  • top: handmade
  • belt: vintage
  • pants: Target
  • shoes: thrifted

Have you been sewing much lately?

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    1. David Preston says:

      Very cute top. Love it with the belt!

    2. Rach says:

      You are going to look amazing at Alt and have an awesome time! So jealous!

    3. Allison says:

      Love it with the belt!!

    4. Amanda says:

      Ahhh!! Simply adorbs. The Alt fashion scene won’t know what hit it.

    5. Katie says:

      This shirt looks SO good! Your construction looks perfect and the print looks so good in this high-low form. :)

      Also, I don’t think boys ever get the high-low thing. Ha ha.

    6. Trish Hanson says:


    7. Natalie says:

      Would you mind telling me where you got the fabric? I’m always on the lookout for good prints, but everything my fabric stores sell always seems super dowdy/intended for quilts.

      Thanks! Love the top = )

    8. Heidi says:

      What a fun top! Your hair looks really pretty.
      I’ve been sewing pencil cases for kids lately-super simple birthday gift idea when I slip in some scissors and glue sticks.

    9. Jan B. says:

      Holy crow, Melissa! This is seriously so cute! I love how dramatic is it from the length in front to the length in the back. Does your other banksia top have that much of a difference? It didn’t look like it did. Anyhow! Love it! Great idea!

      Also – I got a Bamboo tablet and am trash at it. What say you and I become best internet gal pals and you teach me how to use it, haha. I mostly bought it to sketch and do my own fonts on cards in Photoshop, etc., but my handwriting is more junk than I realized and I’m needing some motivation to try it again! Any good tuts you would recommend?

    10. Loving this top, it’s gorgeous! You’ve got such great style, love your ideas :)

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