Sew a Color-Blocked Top for Summer

Sew a Color-Blocked Top for Summer

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Welcome summer with a quick and easy wardrobe addition. My new color-blocked knit top, with The McCall Pattern Company is simple to create and color placement will accent your best features. Paired with a skirt, pants, or shorts, M7600 will give you a fresh new look for the summer season. Find my newest pattern at your favorite retailer or at Nancy’s Notions.

Semi-fitted pullover tops have sleeve variations. A: Contrast upper front and back, scalloped lace trim. B: Contrast upper front and back, contrast middle front and back, scalloped lace trim. C: Contrast upper front, back and sleeve, contrast middle front and back.

Size ranges available with this collection are from misses sizes 8–24.

Suitable Fabrics—moderate stretch knits (35% crosswise stretch): Ponte knit, cotton knit, or novelty knit.



Color-Blocking Tips

Style A: Bring focus to your shoulders and face by placing a featured or contrasting fabric in the top color-block. Elongate the body by adding trim to the center front and/or center back.


Style B:  As shown below, using a dark solid color in the middle of the tank creates the illusion of having this be the slimmest area. Adding trim to the center front also creates a longer visual line along your torso. This style of blocking is great for an “apple” body shape. Notice the print at the top is smaller, while the print at the hem is larger. This will create a narrower appearance at the shoulder.


Style C:  If tank tops aren’t your style, add sleeves to this casual look using View C.  This comfortable top will be sure to impress.

Sew Knits With Confidence Book

Haven’t worked with knits lately or need an update? Find knit sewing updates in my book: Sew Knits With Confidence. This book is a lifetime compilation of techniques that make sewing fun and easy for all skill levels. You’ll learn about sewing tools, easy sewing techniques, how to use a sewing machine and serger, how to select and use fabrics and patterns, and how easy it is to sew simple knit projects.

Watch Sew Knits With Confidence (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.

Sew Knits with Confidence Nancy Zieman Online TV show

Nancy Zieman's Blog GiveawayFor a chance to win a copy of my new McCall’s M7600 Color-Blocked Top, please leave a comment below. The McCall Pattern Company will give away one pattern to one US resident in the 48 contiguous states.

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Nancy Zieman The Blog

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122 Comments

  • BEVERLY MAGOON
    June 10, 2017

    Look so fresh and clean and summery! A must do when I get my sewing room clean!!! haha

  • Clovis
    June 10, 2017

    I bought this pattern, but I got the wrong size. I really would have to put some inches on the pattern to have it bigger. Thanks for the chance to win for a bigger size.

  • Marty
    June 10, 2017

    I like the look of the printed yoke plus solid bottom. 🙂

  • Joyce W.
    June 10, 2017

    I like the printed yolk with a solid bottom but I would also add sleeves.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win this pattern.

  • Kelly Sas
    June 10, 2017

    I watched and have your Sew Knits With Confidence still on DVR but have yet to brave sewing with knits. With this pattern I am motivated to do it. It is so modern yet can be made very classic also.

  • Nora
    June 10, 2017

    Love it! Can’t wait to make one.

  • Muriel
    June 10, 2017

    I like the versatility of the pattern, use of color and addition of sleeves.

  • Linda Allard
    June 10, 2017

    I like A and B the best. I am glad you added the different sleeve lengths.

  • nancy lewis
    June 10, 2017

    I love this pattern!! I really like sewing with knits and am always on the look out for new ideas to make myself tops. I much prefer the ones I sew to buying knit tops. They fit much better and I can get much better fabric. Thanks for sharing this great giveaway!!

  • BevM
    June 10, 2017

    What a timely and stylish pattern color-blocked McCalls pattern. I am happy to see sleeves included. It is frustrating that most ready-made tops and dresses are sleeveless.

  • Renea Yarolim
    June 10, 2017

    Very pretty blouse. Thanks for the chance to win the pattern

  • Joanne P.
    June 10, 2017

    Love the pattern. Haven’t sewn with knits for a while, but am ready to sew some knits again. Having trouble finding prints I like in the clothing stores! Time for some new patterns and make my own clothes.

  • Brenda Meyer
    June 10, 2017

    Im on medicines that have caused weight gain. I’m very self-conscious of this so your color blocked top pattern is perfect for me. I love sewing with knits and I’m so happy this pattern calls for knit fabric! Thank you

  • L Watson
    June 10, 2017

    I would like to try sewing a shirt for myself, so far I haven’t attempted it. I usually just sew things, stuffed animals for kids, purses, etc. this looks like it would be a great place to start. I think it would be fun to pick a fabric and a style that you love.

  • Kathy
    June 10, 2017

    Love this pattern. Hope I win the free pattern. Looking forward to picking out material for the color blocks.

  • Florence Dupuis
    June 10, 2017

    I love all the styles and I have been looking for a pattern to make a tank top. This would be so good to have.

  • Lynne
    June 10, 2017

    These are very cute tops. The information about how they make different areas look smaller or draw attention to a certain area is very helpful. I’m just discovering the joy of sewing knits. 🙂 I don’t know which I would make first. I’d just have to make all of them.

  • Terry
    June 10, 2017

    The tops are very attractive. Color blocking will allow me to wear colors that I like, but don’t necessarily look good on me, as long as I put them away from the top area that frames my face or arms. I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you.

  • Janetta Dobler
    June 10, 2017

    I am a quilter and would live to try sewing this top!!! I have had a ‘fear of knits’, but this looks like the perfect pattern to give it a shot and make something for myself!!! Thank you for this giveaway!!!

  • Maggie Meyer
    June 10, 2017

    I’ve not made me any clothes in a long time but this top makes me want to sew for myself again. The color possibilities are endless. Love your blog.

  • Perri
    June 10, 2017

    I’ve never sewn on knits but would love to try on this top. I also love the fact that sleeves are an option…the cap sleeve on any of the tops is very pretty.

  • Margaret Newey
    June 10, 2017

    I just ordered this from McCalls, there are so many pretty border prints for summer, I can’t wait to try it out.

  • Sharon Kirry
    June 10, 2017

    This is one of your best patterns! Love the variations and the longer back. I can see using the various sleeve versions depending on the season. Thank you!

  • Connie Jordan
    June 10, 2017

    Love the pattern-haven’t sewn much lately and I could sure use a new top. Thank you for the chance to win this pattern, and if I don’t win I will be buying it on my next shopping trip!

  • Pat
    June 10, 2017

    What a pretty top. I’ve always been a little hesitant to sew knits but your sessions on knit techniques have given me the courage.

  • Pam
    June 10, 2017

    I have been timid to sew knits. This pattern may be the right one to start sewing knits.

  • linda leigh
    June 10, 2017

    This is a wonderful. So many options to disguise the not so wanted areas. I love it.

  • Lynn Thomas
    June 10, 2017

    I love this pattern. When I look at the pattern I see many different ways to accent beautiful fabrics with the many variations included in this pattern. Thank you for the work that has achieved the looks for so many of us.

  • Pat
    June 10, 2017

    What a great pattern – and especially a good way to use up those odd knit pieces of fabric leftover from other projects that aren’t big enough to make a full top yet you hate to throw out! So many ways to make this lovely styled top.

  • Mary Anne
    June 10, 2017

    Very flattering top. I love the navy sleeveless version with the patterned yoke.

  • Karen payton
    June 10, 2017

    What a beautiful pattern. I could see me using this year round here in the south. I really like the figure flattering style these tops give.

  • Ruth Bricken
    June 10, 2017

    Nancy, I have been following you for many years! You are a great seamstress and always have a way of putting the fun back into sewing for me!

  • Hoosier
    June 10, 2017

    Finally a sleeveless pattern that is modest – no huge armholes that show skin and undies. Need to get this pattern soon.

  • Helen Stewart
    June 10, 2017

    this pattern looks like it would work with a knit I just purchased. I would love to win it!

  • Elaine
    June 10, 2017

    Love this top, looks so comfortable. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Gail Davenport
    June 10, 2017

    This is exactly the pattern I need! I gave up this week looking for affordable, age-appropriate t-shirts–with sleeves–in the store.

  • Elslaine
    June 10, 2017

    Super cute! Love it!

  • Bonnie T
    June 10, 2017

    I love the pattern you’ve published. Also the tips of how to select versions to look best on your body type. I plan to make one of these tops for the summer.

  • Virginia
    June 10, 2017

    Love the blue top

  • Cassy L.
    June 10, 2017

    This is so cute. It would be fun to sew and play with the different variations.

  • Andrea Robinson
    June 10, 2017

    I just started sewing again now that I’ve retired and just your your method to get the right fit on patterns. Love the color block look and can’t wait to try it. After I watch your videos!!

  • kati falk
    June 10, 2017

    This is so fun for summer, adds interest to such boring shaped clothes without sleeves that fill the stores. even some things you could do to some of those boring tops you have already purchased!

  • Sandy Davis
    June 10, 2017

    I’ve been collecting lots of knits for years; now this pattern is a perfect way to use some of them. I’ve always liked the color-blocked look, so I’m looking forward to getting back into sewing some tops like this. Thank you for offering a giveaway of your new pattern! I look forward to winning it!!

  • Kathy Elamon
    June 10, 2017

    I haven’t done any garment sewing for years but really like this top. Think I will have to give the blue one a try.

  • Sandy
    June 10, 2017

    I use to do only apparel sewing and some things for my home. Now that I am retired, I have begun to sew again with quilts, doll clothes for my granddaughter and homr decor, But I plan to do some sewing for me. This pattern would be great, I have fabric that I bought a few years back with the idea of making something for me. Thanks, Nancy, for all the great tips!

  • eileen horan
    June 10, 2017

    I think I can add a few “blocks” and make this long enough for a cool summer dress. I cannot find dresses in the store that hide my knobby knees.

  • Arlene Aughey
    June 10, 2017

    I think this is one of the most ideal patterns I have ever seen for the Summertime! It could be used for so many outfits, from at-home, to casual, to dressy. A great idea!

  • Carolyn
    June 10, 2017

    I like View 1 and would enjoy making it.

  • Peggy Tornberg
    June 10, 2017

    What a great pattern with so many options. I can’t wait to try it! I would love to win so that I can have the confidence to get back in to sewing with knits and make a few of these cute tops for summer!
    Thanks for the chance!

  • Bernice M.
    June 10, 2017

    Great pattern and fabric choices. Are the fabrics used, really like Style B’s fabric choices, from Nancy’s Notions? Not only would I enjoy making the top but I think this would make a nice dress by adding more length. Would love to have this pattern. Nice job, Nancy! Enjoy watching your show.

  • Ennis A
    June 10, 2017

    Love this pattern!! So many options so that each one made can look completely different. A real wardrobe help!!

  • Karla
    June 10, 2017

    Very nice.

  • Louise Johnson
    June 10, 2017

    Thank you for pointing out the way that the different style features and their use can highlight our best “spots” and visually interrupt our less complementary figure problems!

  • MILLIE CARPENTER
    June 10, 2017

    oh I would like to have this pattern, I do like the optional small sleeve. there a lots of knit fabric left over from other projects that could be used on the color blocks.

  • Laura Melvin
    June 10, 2017

    I just finished reading your book, I truly enjoyed it and I think that you are an amazing woman!!
    I would love to win.

  • louice mott
    June 10, 2017

    I love all 3 of the fantastic

  • Sherrie Lilly
    June 10, 2017

    WOW! This pattern is awesome. Would love to make several!

  • Jean East
    June 10, 2017

    Love this idea, great for the summer. I would love to win this pattern

  • fran
    June 10, 2017

    Thank you for offering this pattern – I love it!!

  • Sharon King
    June 10, 2017

    I love this pattern. It is so neat and stylish!

  • Mary Alice Alice Shane
    June 10, 2017

    Just made this for my daughter and she loves it. We just bought material to make a second top. Very happy with pattern, fit, etc.

  • Bonnye
    June 10, 2017

    I really like the color blocking. You can hide some of your flaws. I would love to win the pattern.

  • Brenda Easterling
    June 10, 2017

    Would the 3/4 sleeve looked okay if you made it longer, like a tunic?

  • Virginia Shirey
    June 10, 2017

    Wow! I see another way to use up my knit remnants! I do color-blocking to make charity quilts from flannel remnants, but now I see a pattern to put my knit remnants to use to make something quick for myself! Thanks for the creativity boost! I would love to win this pattern! PS: My husband will be thrilled to see my stash diminish in size!

  • S Carter
    June 10, 2017

    I have difficulty sewing on knits, but I am inspired to try this new stylish pattern from the book.

  • Judy Commander
    June 10, 2017

    This looks like a good pattern for me, since I am older and like the longer length.

  • Sheryl Jones
    June 10, 2017

    This looks like a great pattern for summer. I can see it in a variety of colors.

  • Sandra Carr
    June 10, 2017

    Love the pattern! Will definitely make this!

  • Eileen Mauldin
    June 10, 2017

    Great pattern and variations!

  • Cindy S.
    June 10, 2017

    Love this! So many possibilities!

  • Sharon Carbine
    June 10, 2017

    Nancy, your new McCall Pattern M7600 top is beautiful. I like both its color blocking and asymmetrical hem.

  • Michelle Hall
    June 10, 2017

    Looks like a great pattern that could be used many ways

  • Diane Langham
    June 10, 2017

    I’ve never sewn with knits, that I can recall in my 60+ years of sewing. This looks relatively easy and with the hints of different size prints, I could look “balanced”. Worth a summer try!

  • Christine Ranvik
    June 10, 2017

    Looks like a great pattern to take up sewing again!

  • Hermina McNeill
    June 10, 2017

    Love this pattern! Would love to make it.

  • Sharon
    June 10, 2017

    I could use this pattern. I think it would make a great top for someone with my body style.

  • Lori M.
    June 11, 2017

    Oh these tops are all so pretty. and wearing them during the warm months will be a cool thing….thank you for the lovely giveaway…

  • Linda Ashley
    June 11, 2017

    Nancy , I love this pattern because it can be used so many ways and has all the pieces for different out fits to wear with just one pattern. I really enjoyed your article on the variations of blocking for the tops. It gives me
    More time to sew with what you have already imagined! Love you, Nancy and all that you do for us!!

  • Linda Ashley
    June 11, 2017

    Nancy , I love this pattern because it can be used so many ways and has all the pieces for different out fits to wear with just one pattern. I really enjoyed your article on the variations of blocking for the tops.

  • Linda Ashley
    June 11, 2017

    You have imagined what I want for new summer outfits. I look forward to trying them all!

  • E. Watson
    June 11, 2017

    I have not yet sewn a shirt for myself. But these shirts look straightforward enough that I could actually finish one, without it looking horrible in the end. 🙂

  • Sharon H
    June 11, 2017

    oh wow….I have been thinking about something like this top for awhile now…I really need to check into this. But Nancy, I also need one that I can make from non-knit fabric. Any suggestions?

  • Traci Y
    June 11, 2017

    Love this pattern! Would love to make several.

  • Peggy V
    June 11, 2017

    Started sewing garments many years ago. Recent years have been quilting. This looks like a good pattern to get back into garment sewing again. Thank you for the opportunity to win this pattern.

  • Anne Z.
    June 11, 2017

    Love the pattern! It is awesome that it can be made sleeveless for hot, summer days and with sleeves for cooler days.

  • Patti
    June 11, 2017

    Love this pattern, would love to try my hand at sewing clothes

  • Susan Spiers
    June 11, 2017

    What a wonderful Pattern-I would make all the views-color-blocking looks so classy! Thank you, Susan

  • Dara Dubois
    June 11, 2017

    So excited to see this. This is exactly what I have been looking for. Will be making at least one top soon after I get back from my student conference. Loved your Part 2 series and see so many uses for the knits I have in stash. Thank you for sharing.

    Dara Lee Dubois

  • Ann
    June 11, 2017

    I really like the look of this top! Just my style, comfortable! I especially like that it is not boxy looking! I’d like to give it a try!

  • beth d.
    June 11, 2017

    I can make a color blocked t-shirt when I get the pattern. I would love to win it.

  • Dianna Wilson
    June 11, 2017

    Love the look of this top!

  • Marvel D.
    June 11, 2017

    I absolutely love this pattern for the endless possibilities. First, I envision a top with sharp color contrast: red and white or black and white. Next, I’d have yards and yards of knit remnants the could be put to use. This pattern is definitely on my list to buy!!

  • Susan Waldman
    June 12, 2017

    Just moved to Florida and looking to make nice tank tops without looking like LM running to the beach

  • Paula Wiseman
    June 12, 2017

    This looks like the perfect pattern to play with fabric. Endless possibilities.

  • Julie Kill
    June 12, 2017

    I love the versatility of the pattern. It would be flattering on any figure!

  • Paula Zidel
    June 12, 2017

    I have been looking for the perfect knit ‘loose’ fitting top that is versatile, and this pattern is perfect! I teach a serging class at Cathey’s Sew & Vac, in Tucson, AZ. I plan on using this pattern for that class, next quarter. Thanks for all you do, Nancy!!

  • Donna G.
    June 12, 2017

    Great ideas! Color blocking not only looks good, but you can use up some of the left over fabric from other garments.

  • Pat Bean
    June 12, 2017

    I like the look of the color block tops and dresses. Thank you for the tip about using color/pattern for those of us with an apple shape. I find it hard to find ready-made clothing that fits properly. Can’t wait to give this a try!

  • Brenda
    June 12, 2017

    These tops look great. My granddaughter’s would even like to have these.

  • Rosie
    June 12, 2017

    I love these tops. The color blocking looks so striking. It’s given me lots of ideas. Thanks for the hell.

  • Rosie
    June 12, 2017

    I love these tops. The color blocking looks so striking. It’s given me lots of ideas. Thanks for the help.

  • Alice
    June 12, 2017

    Very Cute!

  • Carol
    June 12, 2017

    Color blocked tops are cute and in fashion. This pattern has some nice variations to sew.

  • Gabrielle
    June 13, 2017

    This pattern looks perfect I just have to try it.

  • Sarah
    June 13, 2017

    I like these shirts! They look so summery!
    I could see wearing the tank tops with an open blouse. I can also see wearing the cute
    t-shirt with my favored pairs of skinny jeans!

  • Sheri W
    June 13, 2017

    I’ve been looking at patterns for my first apparel sewing project. Already bought one pattern and fabric but have been so afraid to take the plunge into sewing knits. I am counting on Nancy to help me through it! I love the design of this pattern, the color block makes such a big difference and I can see it would help disguise a lot of imperfections. Mybe I will finally take the plunge>…

  • Bonnie
    June 13, 2017

    What a great pattern for the summer! I love the variations and the color blocking. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • louice mott
    June 14, 2017

    I love the look of this pattern so many and beautiful colours so many styles I love to win this

  • Nancy Cooper
    June 15, 2017

    This top is very pretty and would be perfect to make for our five daughters and four granddaughters. To have a picture of our girls wearing this top made with coordinating prints would make a lovely gift for Christmas. Thanks!

  • Treva Campbell
    June 17, 2017

    Love these tops. Would love to have the pattern. I love sewing and quilting. I love your show. I watch it on PBS.

  • Deborah Scott
    June 18, 2017

    I have loved your show since the beginning. When president Bush gave everyone refunds my husband and I bought a new singer sewing machine. I sewed new curtains for a rental. Now after returning to college for a master’s 30 yeats after high school, i now work in Accounts Payable for Ascension. Being a short apple shape now I need to update my wardrobe. These tops under the swearshit cardigans with slacks and skirts would provide washable 60 something office attire. Thanks for all you do! Wife of Mercrusier tech.

  • Joan
    June 19, 2017

    I often draft my own patterns but when it want inspiration and spot on sewing techniques, Nancy is my go-to girl!!! Luv you! Hope you never stop sharing with us!!!

  • Dorothy Urberg
    July 4, 2017

    Love the look of this pattern, it’s been several years since I’ve sewn something for myself, this would be the perfect pattern. I have watched your show for many years, thank you for all the information you have given us on your show.

  • Nancy
    July 18, 2017

    I adore this pattern! Love the color and fabric choices too! Very current! 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win one; hope I’m not too late!

  • Theresa Harvell
    July 25, 2017

    Would love to make this top!! Looks like it could be dressy or casual!!! Very pretty.

  • Martha
    July 25, 2017

    I would love to make this pattern in a larger size. I cannot buy flattering T shirts. Thank you for the giveaway.

  • Nadine W.
    July 26, 2017

    Very cute top! Would love to see it with elbow length sleeves (I have large upper arms) and/or 3/4 sleeves. Might just have to get this pattern anyways.

  • Ellen
    July 26, 2017

    Love ❤️ the top so many options

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