A sporty Agnes hack

This is combination of several firsts for me! First blog post on The Monthly Stitch (so exciting to be part of this!), first Tilly and the Buttons pattern to try out and first ever pattern hack. It certainly won’t be the last!

I’m still quite new to sewing and very excited about the idea of making clothes that fit properly. As I’m sure is true for many others, one of the reasons for sewing is that I’m an awkward size for RTW clothing; I’m nearly 6 foot tall, but my height is mostly in my arms and legs, and I’ve got broad shoulders compare to my bust size. This makes finding tops and jackets that fit properly a nightmare (and getting trousers that reach the floor are pretty impossible!). So I thought I should make some good basic tops with nice long sleeves that I won’t constantly be pulling down 🙂


I’m also very pleased with how nicely my first neckband turned out!

This is quite a simple hack. I love the TATB Agnes top because it’s quite fitted, but the two frilly gather options aren’t really my style. So instead I thought I’d give the top a more sporty feel with some cuffs with thumb holes! I made the pattern as it is, in a straight size 5, only I added 10 cm to the length of the sleeve. This was slightly overenthusiastic I think, as the sleeves before I put the cuff on actually covered most of my palm! So for next time I’ll remove a few cm from the sleeve length when cutting out.


Check out how long the sleeves are!

Probably because sleeves are always so short on me, I really really love it when they do cover my hands and even more so when you they have a thumb hole (as long as they don’t then overstretch the fabric down to my hands of course…). I drew the pattern piece for the cuff using the measurement of the sleeve at the wrist, the full length I wanted the cuff and the size of the hole needed for my thumb. The cuff is folded over at the top and all the raw edges are fully enclosed. I used a tutorial on the Hey June website, which was very clear.


You have to think about where to line up the arm seam so that there isn’t too much twisting

The cuffs are slightly fiddly to put together but very satisfying when you turn it out and it looks so neat! I’m really happy with the result and will really enjoy wearing this when it cools down a bit in the UK. I’m thinking it particularly will be a nice top when it’s cold and there is lots of writing to do, as I get cold hands when typing, so I may make a few more!


This top was made out of a lovely fuchsia pink cotton jersey that I got on a fabric swap a few months ago, which meant that it was nice and stable to work with. I’m very happy with the result and I see lots of Agnes’ (hacked and unhacked) in my future!

One remaining question: there is a bit of bunching of fabric under my arms, but the shoulder seam sits in the right place (although it’s not so visible in the image above as I had to lighten it a bit to get the colour right). Anyone got any thoughts on how to solve that? Should I slightly straighten out the top of the sideseam? Can I do that without making the armhole circumference shorter? Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “A sporty Agnes hack

    • Thank you!! I’m so happy with the way it came out! And I can’t describe how nice it is to have sleeves the right length 🙂 I always used to buy double cuff shirts and fold them down so they would actually reach my hands…!


    • Thank you! I couldn’t quite believe it either – it was a big step up from my first jersey top! That was a different pattern without neckband – which came out as ‘indoor wear only’ – my euphemism for being a mess. 😉 It’s definitely an additional bonus to be able to get clothes in the bright colours I like at last – fashion is obsessed with 70s shapes and colours at the moment here in the UK.


  1. For someone who is pretty new to sewing that neckline is amazing! It looks professional! What a great hack, and yes, isn’t it so satisfying to be able to sew clothes that fit us!

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    • Wow – thank you!! I was amazed it came out so well – thanks to the great instructions and I think (accidentally) exactly the right amount of stretch in the fabric for the length of the pattern piece 🙂 I’ve been sewing for about 3 years but as I’ve been doing a PhD (nearly done!) I’ve had to live between 2 places and so have not had all that much time for actual sewing – this is the 5th thing I’ve made (if we’re not counting the 3 unfinished things in the drawer….). I guess all the time sat on trains thinking and reading about sewing paid off 🙂

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