Tessuti Ruby top

Tessuti Ruby top

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from our singlet week – it’s the importance of FIT. I’d always thought that singlets are fairly forgiving when it comes to sizing and fit, but we’ve been having a fine old time this week trying on all of these tops, and it’s dawned on me that the difference between looking great and looking pretty meh is more about fit than fabric. So next time you feel like an idiot for doing a toile on a tank – don’t. You’re investing in a successful sleeveless future, and will be richly rewarded in the end.

Today’s lesson in the importance of fit comes via Tessuti’s Ruby top. I’ve seen a few of these around and have always loved the shape – there’s something a bit more sophisticated about the Ruby than your average tank, and it works well in silks and more dressed up fabrics. But it’s worth taking extra time to get the size right, to avoid delays and fixes down the track. Take it from the singlet sage – I learned the hard way.


Tessuti Ruby top


Tessuti Ruby top


Pattern: Tessuti’s Ruby top comes in a dress and top, and you can order the hard copy or PDF version here. It’s got a high neckline and cutaway armholes – a bit like racer back on the Merchant and Mills Bantam… but back to front! The neckline has a keyhole back opening, with a button loop that looks like it would be complicated, but it actually quick and works like a treat. The style is longer and slightly flared at the hemline, which is good for a pear shape like me.

Fabric: I used a black eyelet/broderie Anglaise that I bought from Nagato in Tokyo Fabric Town. Mr Bombazine has made a few jokes about 80s mesh squash singlets (does anyone play squash anymore? Is it even still a sport?), but I like to think this delicate, holey fabric makes it a suitable going out piece.


Tessuti Ruby top


Tessuti Ruby top



Tricky bits and adjustments: As I said before, FIT. I made a size 10 which is standard/smallish for me, but like other Tessuti patterns I’ve used, it seems quite large for size. The arm holes are big too – I ended up taking the sides in under the arms by a couple of inches. I’m glad with the final fit, but would have been better off just starting with the smaller size. I was nervous of the stitch in the ditch binding around the armholes because I’ve had troubles with this technique before. However, I discovered that it you baste first, as the pattern suggests, the binding actually comes together really well. Well drafted patterns include these pesky steps for a reason – chances are you’ll get a much better result if you don’t skip steps (note to self).

Verdict: Happy. I love the swing-y hemline and the high neck, and I’ll wear this top a lot. I’m planning another one in silk (in the smaller size), which will definitely not make it onto the squash court. Ever.


Tessuti Ruby top


Ruby love: This gorgeous version on the Tessuti blog is slightly modified, and such a good match of fabric with pattern. The blog has other great versions here.
The Ruby dress is lovely too – evidence here;
And in case you’re wondering if the Ruby can be casual and fun, Blogless Anna made one with hot air balloons on it!

PS – Another thing we’ve discovered this week is the absolute necessity of a good bra. Preferably with a racer back unless you want to make your bra straps a feature.

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  • Your Ruby is rad. Good to see you sewing your Japanese haul so quickly. My parents used to play squash while my older brother & I ate cheesals. Those were the days… the late 70s! I was probably wear a pastel coloured terry towelling dress with halter ties. Gosh I loved that dress.

  • This is great (but I did laugh at the mesh comment!). I’m tempted to make this but being a bit of a tightwad I’ve decided to try something similar using the salme Sonja dress bodice, which is a free pattern….. That eyelet is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of wear out of it.

    • Thanks for your message Sarah – I love the neckline on the Salme Sonja dress, we’ll keep a close eye on your blog to see how it goes!

  • Gorgeous! I have this pattern sitting in my to make cue so it is good to know that the fit runs large. I sit between a 10 and 12 in tessuti patterns so I think I will go with the 10. I love the fabric you used. It isn’t at all 80’s!