Makes: the perfect boxy summer top

Hello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly HappyHello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly HappyHello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly Happy


Do you ever get the all-consuming need to add something to your wardrobe?

I’ve been teaching myself to be level headed and to carefully consider my makes, but when the idea for this came into my head I just had to get it done.

And guys, I’m so SO glad I did. Let’s dive in…


This was 100% inspired by the beautiful slow fashion style of the epic Elizabeth Suzann. I just love her use of natural materials and loose styles.

Specifically this was inspired by her beautiful Georgia top which is pretty much perfection. Sigh.

Since I’m a sucker for a handmade wardrobe I wanted to have a go at making my own breezy, boxy casual summer top just to see if it works for me. Plus it’s super popular shape right now.

And did I mention the linen? We’ll get back to that in a minute… 🙂

The pattern

I made this using the Maya pattern by one of the loveliest ladies in indie sewing – Marilla Walker.

So I’m definitely no stranger to this pattern. I’ve made three versions already – including a button down version and one using knit fabric.

If it ain’t broke, right?

Sadly, these have all been retired as they haven’t quite been the team players I need them to be to work in my minimal wardrobe (you can read more on team players here and how they really make magic in capsule wardrobes). But the pattern remains a solid favourite.

And guys. It works so fricken much. Especially with just a few tweeks.

Hello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly HappyHello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly HappyHello perfect boxy summer top. Made with a few tweaks to the maya top pattern by Marilla Walker | for more deets check out Randomly Happy

Details & a few Changes

So I used some medium-weight linen I scored in Walthamstow from Seedes. To give you an idea of the weight I had originally bought this fabric for cushions 🙂

I cut a size 3. This is based on previous experience of a 2 being a smidge too tight and size 4 being a bit too big. I’d say the pattern runs a tad large.

And now for the changes

I swapped out the facings. I used self-made bias binding to finish the neckline and drafted my own cuffs to finish the sleeves.

Drafting the cuffs was easy – I just cut two rectangles measuring 3″ wide and as long as the circumference of the sleeve. I then sewed the two narrow ends together to form a tube, and then attached the cuff to the sleeve.

I also cut the back in two parts. Mostly to make the most out of the little fabric I had but also because I wanted to give myself some wiggle room to adjust for sway back (my usual adjustment). In the end I didn’t need to make any adjustments, but I like the effect of a seam in the back and would be tempted to do it again.


To be honest, I was totally expecting this to turn out badly. Usually, such spurn of the moment makes don’t work out well for me, but I spent a lot of time considering the details (my secret weapon).

I think it really paid off –  the bias binding and the cuffs all work together.

And I am in love.

Seriously obsessed. This top goes with everything in my wardrobe and is so soft and easy to wear.

I’m definitely keen to make more in linen – it’s such a great material. So easy to work with and such a cracking material to wear. So soft and easy. I’m also keen to

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  • You stopped me in my tracks with that reference to Elizabeth Suzann 🙂 Her wonderful creations take up most of my pinterest board for “creative inspiration”! So as you can imagine I just LOVE your top. It’s exactly what I’ve been fantasizing about myself – I have some gorgeous linen similar to yours that I purchased a sewing/craft show here in Victoria BC Canada in the spring from one of my fabric shops. AND I’ve been waiting to for just the right pattern for it. The problem with this pattern for me is that I have to do an FBA on almost all patterns – a boxy top just won’t work for me 🙂 But I will get there…I have the MixIt pattern by the Sewing Workshop that I keep thinking would be perfect 🙂 Thank you for more inspiration and I love your addition of a band at the sleeve – it gave it just that extra something that makes it special indeed!

    • I feel you on the FBA – I probably should learn to do them 😄 I do think the Maya is roomy enough to do without, but if you’ve found a great pattern then you should definitely go for it ❤

  • This looks so good!! I love your addition of the cuffs & might need to copy that for my next maya top. The seam down the back is a nice detail too.

    • Thanks Kathryn! I’m really pleased with it 😄 and agree that the extra details help bring it closer to it’s inspiration. You should definitely have a go at making this!

  • Omg, I LOOOOOOVE this so much. The cuffs are my favourite part! Even though I’ve sewn a couple of boxy tops in the past and hated them on me, I think just maybe this one could be a winner.

    • Ha ha – thanks Victoria! Like I told you on Instagram, I was totally expecting this not to work on me (boxy tops and I don’t usually get along) but the drafting on the Maya is superb. You should try it!

  • This is lovely… I’ve been thinking about a suitable pattern for a Georgia style tee…. maybe this summer! An oversized Maya was a definite contender!

  • I love it! I am experimenting with the Maya top pattern in the hopes of having the “perfect boxy tee”. You’ve inspired me

    • Thanks Allison! I’d say the Maya is my perfect boxy tee pattern. I’d size down slightly if you can as it’s very roomy.

  • I’ve been in a sewing rut for awhile and kinda lost that sewing mojo because I’ve been so tired ever since I had a new job. But this post totally drew me in and kinda got me thinking how I’ll like to make one too and what material I should use. Love the back seam too, I think it gave the top some character.

    • I hear that about ruts! I really think creativity is about ebb and flow. It’s about not beating ourselves up. That said, I would definitely recommend this as an easy make. Really straight forward and sooooo satisfying!

  • I love your boxy t, perfect for summer and linen wears so beautifully. the cuff really looks good and is a fab detail, I’m off work next week and will have to visit Walthamstow market to find some gorgeous fabrics

    • Thanks Roo! You definitely need to hit up Walthamstow. The man outside Sainsbury’s is there Tuesdays for sure and has some really gorgeous stuff. He’s outside Lloyd’s bank during the week so don’t miss him!

  • A gorgeous make! Just be careful to avoid kids and red wine 🙂

    Thanks for introducing me to Elizabeth Suzann. I’ve been scrolling around on her site and I love practically every item for sale! Definitely plenty of inspiration there for my handmade wardrobe.

  • Perfect boxy top! Can I ask for some advice on the underarm area? I typically find when adding cuffs to a drop-sleeve top that the underarm area is temperamental. Its tends to get bunched up (pulls) to a point there, where it transitions to the body. Yours doesn’t seem to have that issue. Could it be that the underarm area is a sligtly curved instead of sharp angle between the cuff and the side-seams?

    • Great question! It’s a kimono sleeve, so slightly curved. The cuff is an additional 1 1/2″ and it works a treat! 😄

  • I love it! And I love Elizabeth Suzann, so I suppose no surprise there 🙂 This is so perfect for just about anything. The weight of the fabric works really well!

  • Great minds think alike!! I hacked the Carson dress (which I love!!) and turned it into a boxy top with the short sleeve. I had just finished 2 maya tops and wanted that little sleeve like you did. Nice job!

  • I’m in the middle of my first Maya and pretty new to sewing. What is your reason for preferring bias trim to facing for this particular top? Thank you!

    • Great question. Either finish is great. I was copying an Elisabeth Suzann top. If you’re new to sewing, I’d stick with the instructions 😀 Hope it goes well!

  • Hi! I’ve made a couple of Mayas, and recently came across your hack and fell in love. I was wondering, when sewing on the bias binding, did you sew attach it at the 5/8” (1.5 cm) seam allowance, and cut off the extra, or did you apply it higher for a raised neckline?
    Thank you, and I’m sorry for any inconvenience!

    • Hi Michelle. So glad you love this hack as much as I do 😁 For the neck I just attached the bias binding, no trimming of the seam allowance. I like a slight raised neck, but it’s a good point that it could be adjusted even more by trimming the seam allowance. Love to see you make this – let me know how it goes!

  • Thank you so much for replying so quickly! 😊 I really like how your neckline came out, and am eager to try it! I also wanted to ask, what seam allowance did you use when attaching the cuffs?

  • Hey Elena! I have a probably silly beginner question… I assume since you added the sleeve cuff that you didn’t use the armhole facing, correct?

  • Hi Emily! No beginner question is silly. I’m pretty sure she didn’t use the armhole facing, and instead encased her raw edges into the cuffs. When I made this, I cut the rectangles out, making sure to add seam allowances (the can be whatever you want, just keep the equal on the four sides so it’s easier). Then I did some atempts to make sure it fit.

    First I basted the short ends of the rectangles, and pressed the seam allowances open. Then I matched the cuff to the armhole of the shirt, and basted it into place. My first time, the cuff was too big, so I unpicked everything, and tried again with a bigger seam allowance on the short edges.

    When it fit well enough, I unpicked, sewed the short edges for real on both rectangles with the adjusted seam allowances, and pressed the seams open. Then I pressed one of the long edges of the cuff circle up. Then the duffs were attached right sides together (folded edge side=wrong side), and the seam allowances pressed down towards the cuff. Then I folded the cuff so that the folded edge covered the raw seam, and pressed. I catchstitched them into place, but you can just machine sew them down too.

    I hope this helps, and isn’t too boring. To be honest, I found the cuffs easier than the facings. And they’re super cute. Good job Elena!

  • Hi,your top is beautiful and I really want to make one. I am not sure though that I will have enough fabric (I only have a metre). Do you know how much you used? (I am probably going to be making the same size as you did.) Many thanks, Christina

  • I used about a meter of 52 inch wide fabric. Just use a different fabric for the bias binding, and be willing to be creative with the cutting layout. Hope it goes well!