I love a good look and by that, I mean a full outfit from head to toe! Here is one of my fave and go to looks that consist of a Rectangle Sleeve Top and a Rectangle Ruffle Skirt. Using a fabric about 138cm wide, these pieces can fit up to a size 16 or be worn oversize on someone smaller. To demonstrate this, I asked some family members to try it on too!
I normally wear a size 12 but tend to make things slightly oversized because I like that look. Mum wouldn’t normally wear something like this because shes got a bigger bust but I think the print was lovely on her. She is a size 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. My little sister Amaya is a size 8 and while this isn’t really her style either I think she looks awesome. My little brother David also wanted in on the action so I snapped some photos of him in the outfit too!
Rectangle Sleeve Top:
This DIY top is one I have been self-drafting up for a while now because it is super quick and super easy! They also produce very little waste and fit a bunch of different sizes.
If you would like to give this top a try, you will need 90cm of a woven fabric about 138cm wide. I used a Liberty Tana Lawn I purchased from a fabric wholesaler in Auckland. You will need more than 90cm if you’d like a longer body and longer sleeves & less if you want something more cropped. You will also need some bias binding for the neck hole or you can make a facing with some leftover fabric you may have from another project.
1 | Working with the width of the fabric, cut two strips. The first about 60cm high and the second about 30cm high. Both will be the width of the fabric. The height of the rectangles will change the length of the top and the length of the sleeves.
2 | Cut both rectangles in half down the center which will leave you with 2 big rectangles that are 60cm x 69cm (body front and back) and 2 smaller rectangles that are about 30cm x 69cm (sleeves).
3 | Place the body pieces right sides together and if you’re like me and you haven’t yet ironed your fabric, now is probably a good time.
4 | Fold both pieces in half to find the center and then cut the neck hole. I sometimes use another top I like and trace the hole or just go freehand. You can choose to make a facing at this stage for your neck hole or cut some bias binding. Both work fine.
5 | To put it all together, start by sewing the shoulder seams together. I usually go for a seam allowance of 1cm all over. Then attach your facing or bind the neck hole with binding. Attach the sleeves and then sew up the side seams. You may need to clip the corners under the arm so that it doesn’t bunch up.
6 | To finish off, hem all the edges to your desired length and then it’s finished! Here is a couple of Rectangle Sleeve Tops I made in the past.
Rectangle Ruffle Skirt:
To create a Rectangle Ruffle Skirt you will need 1.38m of a woven fabric. Once again, if you would like a longer skirt you will need more and if you want it shorter you will need less. You will also need some elastic, enough to fit around your waist comfortably. I used about 80cm.
1 | Working with the width of the fabric, cut 1 large rectangle 58cm high. this is the main part of the skirt. Then cut 2 smaller rectangles both 40cm high. These will be the ruffle.
2 | Fold the large rectangle right sides together so that the selvages are lined up and then sew up the side to make a tube.
3 | Lay the ruffle pieces on top of each other right sides together and sew up both sides to make a big loop. Gather one edge and attach it to one end of the tube.
4 | Make a casing for elastic by doing a double fold at the top of the skirt slightly higher than the elastic. Then thread through the elastic, secure and close up the casing.
5 | Hem up the bottom of the skirt and that’s it! Don’t want a ruffle? Just make the length of the skirt longer and add a split to allow for walking. Not enough ruffle? Add an extra ruffle about 10-15cm higher than the bottom one. Rectangles are so versatile! Here are a couple of skirts I made using the same steps.