Must-Have Top For Fall: The Crossover Top


People StyleWatch September wrap and crossover tops
People StyleWatch for September says wrap or crossover tops are “so of-the-moment and flatter everyone.”

Pick up any fashion magazine these days and you’re bound to find a wrap top on this season’s must-have list. The crossover style of wrap top is super-popular right now, and you can easily make your own version with McCall’s M6991.

McCall's M6991 crossover or wrap top.
McCall’s M6991 crossover or wrap top.

Scroll down for a couple of tips for sewing this pattern. But first, some inspiration:

Top by Young, Fabulous & Broke,
Crossover top by Young, Fabulous & Broke,
Crossover top by MICHAEL Michael Kors, Nordstrom
Crossover top by MICHAEL Michael Kors, Nordstrom
Top by 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Neiman Marcus
Crossover top by 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Neiman Marcus

Sewing Tips for M6991:

  • VERY IMPORTANT: Choose a fabric that is the same on BOTH sides. The front pattern piece is a single pattern piece that is twisted. If you use a fabric with a right side and a wrong side then half of your bodice will show the wrong side. You can’t use a charmeuse, for example, with a shiny side and a matte side, unless you’re going for a half shiny, half matte look. Examine your fabric thoroughly in daylight and from all directions to make sure there’s not even a subtle difference in nap or sheen.
  • Fabrics that work well: crepe, georgette, jersey, washed silk, chiffon. Go for something with a gentle drape. If you dropped your fabric on the floor it should fall into a soft puddle.
  • Make a muslin first of just the front piece. We did our best with the instructions but when you have a large pattern piece that you have to do strange things to it—like twist it—it’s best to walk through it first with a muslin. Cheryl, one of our designers, said she struggled a little bit sewing her first version of this top, but that her subsequent versions went together in a flash. She recommends playing first with a muslin of the front pattern piece.
  • We include a fold-over self facing on the front pattern piece. If you’re an intermediate or advanced sewer who is used to making pattern modifications, you can eliminate the facing and use a narrow hem instead. Just make sure you add the hem allowance to the facing edge.
  • Omit the button if you plan on wearing this top over a cami.
  • You can also omit the yoke back facing if you want. Just clean-finish the seams using your preferred method.
  • If you don’t want the dropped back hem as we show in version B, then cut your pattern on the lines indicated for version A.
  • UPDATE: I just made View D of the pattern, the one with the shawl collar. FYI, it runs big! I could have gone down a size or two, though I think it looks good when it’s a little blousey.

I am currently sewing version D of this pattern, a wrap top with a shawl collar, but I want to make this crossover top too. What do you think of the crossover top style? Does it work for you?

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. The cross over top is so trendy -I’m seeing it every where and do plan on making several for fall. So glad you did this article.

  2. I don’t know if it will work for me, but I am willing to give it a try. Thanks for all the tips!

  3. You CAN use a fabric that only reads well from one side. You just have to modify the pattern to add a seam (felled or frenched) at the bottom inside of the flip. Takes a bit of mental gymnastics to make it work, but it can be done. I’ve made a variant of this blouse for years — let me root through my vasty stash to see if it was a Butterick or a McCalls. Is M6991 a re-issue from about 5-6 years ago? The pattern I remember has several collar and sleeve variations.

    1. Hi! No, it is not a re-issue of a previous pattern. Fresh design.

      1. Found it! Fresh for McCall’s, but a very similar blouse is Vogue’s Basic Design V7853, copyrighted 2004. Still an amazing blouse. The twist at the bottom makes an excellent pouch for carrying all sorts of items. In one iteration, I sewed several “secret” pockets under there, to carry odd bits of cash money and a passport. I’ll seek out the McCall’s version, too — the Vogue has dropped shoulders, not the best look for my lumpy old body.

  4. Thanks for all the tips, I have Crepe de chine for this and I appreciate all the information

  5. I made this recently. It was super easy but I didn’t make a good fabric choice so, I ended up with a half matte, half shiny shirt. I wasn’t thrilled bit it was received well and even requested. I will definitely make this again.

  6. I bought this pattern last week and am so excited to try it out! These tips are super helpful. 🙂

  7. i really look forward to making this top soon! i’ve been wondering about the construction, so thanks for the heads up re: right/wrong sides. great pattern!

  8. Hey meg I am literally about to cut view c of this top, and I have realised I don’t have enough fabric to cut the front on the bias as instructed. Do you think I could get away with cutting it on the straight of grain, or should I cut on the bias but maybe piece the left side (that will be covered by the right side wrap over)?

    1. Hmm, not so sure about cutting on the straight of grain without knowing your fabric. Use the Derek Lam top as the standard: Will your top look graceful like this one if you cut on the grain? If you think your fabric will behave, then go ahead.

  9. I just saw an Armani version of this made in a lightweight gray wool suiting and it looked fierce. So add that fabric to the list.

  10. Looks like such a nice top. I am intimidated by it, but think it would look great on.

  11. Great sewing tips.There was a vintage Issey Miyake pattern with this twist top design.

  12. i love that you took the time to post these tips. great feature! please keep it up.

  13. Really cute top! I don’t think it would work for my very busty figure but it is very pretty.

  14. Can someone who has made this up tell me if it is easy to petite? Does it have lengthen/shorten lines?

    1. Hi Carol! Unfortunately this pattern does not have lengthen/shorten lines. I spoke with a team member and she recommended making a quick muslin of the bodice and then playing around with it to see where you want to eliminate length. Hope this helps!

  15. LOVE it. I am planning a sleeveless muslin first before I cut into my crepe de chine to make sure I can pull this look off.

  16. Thank you for posting this! I made a shirt, View B, a while ago, and I’m totally in love with this pattern! Actually, I got it as soon as you released this due to it being such a timely and trendy pattern. Whoever designed this pattern, I want to thank you for bringing this fashionable piece into your collection. I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. This is so great to hear! I’ll pass your comment alone to our design team.

  17. Meg; I have an “in general” question: I’ve been teaching beginning & intermediate sewing for years. I have found it much less frustrating – & less re-sewing when we do set-in sleeves flat – with the sleeve and the side seams open – like men’s shirts. I don’t think this is “wrong”, but do you have any reason(s) why this may not be OK?

    1. Ann, it really depends on the pattern and the design of the sleeve. I wouldn’t use the flat sewing technique for two-piece sleeves and any time I wanted the ability to play with the ease in the sleeve cap. Flat sewing like you’re talking about generally works best for drop sleeves and a very loose fit. Hope that answers your question!

  18. […] the McCall’s blog, you will find helpful hints for  this pattern.  I used several of these to help construct my […]

  19. I absolutely love this pattern and I wear it all the time. I made the sleeveless twist version. I did make a muslin and was able to cut the arm holes smaller as they were really big. I am a tall person and would love to know how to make this just an inch longer. Do you have any tips? Great design, thank you so so much, it’s my favorite in my closet and I can’t wait to make a long sleeved one.

    1. Hi Janine! I would probably insert more length to the pattern near the bottom of the bodice, front and back in the same place. But definitely try this in a muslin first, not in your fashion fabric.

  20. I am trying to make this and I just can’t follow how to do the twist. Can someone help me with this as I just don’t see in my instructions how to do this

  21. Will a knit fabric work for this pattern??

    1. Yes, definitely! There is so much ease in it that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a knit or woven. Keep this in mind as you choose your size.

  22. Hi, really helpful hints. I think this style would be great for late pregnancy, do you have any tips for making a maternity version? Many thanks

    1. Hi! For late pregnancy, use a lightweight woven with Lycra, or a knit. Remember that the wrong side shows, so choose a fabric with no detectable wrong side.

  23. Hi! I’m stumped by Step 11, and the instructions are not clear. Can you describe (or point me to a tutorial) how to actually make the twist? This is the only step that is completely confusing, and even with all of our heads together, my friends and I can’t figure it out. Thanks for any help you can provide!

    1. Pam, just saw your comment. Send an email to our experts at Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *