Machine Sewing Basics: Sew a Boxy Top


Price includes 4 hours of class.

A virtual class with Cal Patch

Jan 14, 10:00am-12:00pm and Jan 15, 10:00am-12:00pm CST

Sew a simple top and demystify the process of sewing clothing by machine as you learn a few basic skills.

Class sessions will be recorded and remain accessible online to registered students of the class for 4 weeks following the event.

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You just need to know how to thread your sewing machine and how to sew a simple seam, to make a simple top. Cal will calm any fears you have as she demonstrates (and demystifies) a variety of seaming techniques and edge finishes for clothing. Instead of a sampler of swatches, you will sew an actual shirt!

We will work with a pattern for a simple, boxy top (see supply list for options) and learn how to sew French, Mock French, Flat-felled, and Zigzag-finished seams. You’ll also learn to finish necklines or armholes with a bias tape facing and hemmed edges.

NOTE: Come to class with your pieces already cut out (just front and back, skip any facings), so that we can begin sewing together shortly after the class begins.

Special skills or knowledge needed to take this class:
Must know how to thread a sewing machine and sew a basic seam.

Supply List
• Sewing machine
• Pattern for simple top (see list below)
• Light-to-medium weight woven cotton, linen, or blend fabric (Check pattern for yardage required for your size**— 2 yards is probably sufficient for most any size)
• Front and Back pieces ALREADY CUT OUT of your fabric (no need for any facings included in pattern). Please use simplest version with no added seams or sleeves!
• Fat quarter or approximately 12-18” square of similar or same fabric (could be a scrap left over from cutting) for sampler
• Bias tape, 1 yard of ½” single-fold,packaged or can be self-made (advance of class)
• All-purpose thread, can be contrast (to see your stitches) or matching
• Marking tool (chalk, wax, or pencil) and ruler
• Sewing Basics: Needles, Thread, Sharp scissors, Notebook, Pen or pencil with eraser, Tape measure, Seam ripper, Pins

*Please use one of the following patterns, and choose the simplest version, without sleeves or added seams, and no V-necks:
Boxy Tee/Drapy Tunic: drafted in a previous class with Cal such as her How to Draft a Pattern on Friday, or from her online video class, or tutorial found on her website (NOTE: please just do the simple version without the seam and pocket):
Lou Box Top
• Fen Top
• All Well Box Top
• Wiksten Shift Top (NOTE: please use simple version without gathered back seam)
• Shirt No. 1
**These are loose-fitting tops, so you should be fine to choose the size called for according to your measurements. But if you are very concerned about a perfect fit, you may wish to mock up a quick muslin/fit sample first to confirm size.

Limited pre-class work required.

Additional information

Skill Level

Main Technique


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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Tissica S.
Excellent class for learning finishing seams!

Cal Patch is an excellent, attentive instructor. This class gave me the confidence to begin garment sewing for myself.

Lisanne B.
Kindly and encouraging

Cal is very good at thinking of every detail a beginner might have difficulty with. The class is cleverly thought out as a way of learning many different sewing skills as a natural part of the making process.

James M.
Great follow up to the pattern making class

This was like making a wearable sampler. Cal shared how to do several different seam finishes all in the one top as well as the neck line, sleeve finish and hem treatment. She generously shared so many tips and tricks along the way. By the time class was complete she had taught us how to do all the steps to have a wonderfully crafted garment.

Susan M.

Cal taught a great class. I love how she picked a basic garment for us to work on and used it to show us different seam finishing techniques. This could have been done on sample swatches, but instead we got a wearable garment and learned about finishing.