Sewn by Me: Denim Bustier Top

Have you ever seen a clothing item on Instagram that you absolutely love and want to buy, but don’t necessarily want to drop hundreds of dollars on it? This is the question that spurts most of my creativity with sewing. I love having the ability to see something and make it my own, at a much more affordable price point.

Simplicity #8130

In the beginning of the summer I saw Reformation post a picture of a lace-up denim bustier top. I loved it but knew it wasn’t wearable enough to spend $200 on. What do I do when this happens? I make my own and I make it even better!

I’ve had Simplicity #8130 in my stash for a while and figured I could alter it to mimic the silhouette of the Reformation top. I used view D of the pattern as a base for the top and then added on different features to make it more unique.

sew a bustier top

The first thing I altered in this pattern was the front of the top. Instead of sewing the front seam together, I left the two pieces unattached, but with finished edges. I then added rows of grommets down each side in the center of the front pieces. While grommets are a pain in the butt, they add a really cool detail that retailers really make you shell out the big bucks for. Grommets are only $3 a pack, and other than them themselves, all you need is a hammer and a little bit of elbow grease.

After hammering the grommets onto the front of the top, I created a string to loop through them. I decided to go with a light denim fabric I had laying around my sewing studio in order to add a little contrast. I think it adds a fun little detail that the Reformation top doesn’t have.

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In addition to the grommets, I added 4 lower panels to the crop-top, in order to give it that flared look on the bottom. The top part is very fitted but then the bottom panels flow out, creating a peplum like effect. I simply measured the length of each of the top pieces and widened the bottom edge of each piece. I then made these into trapezoid-shaped pattern pieces. The trapezoid shapes will create the peplum when sewn together.

The top should naturally open up under the grommets due to its shape, exposing the perfect amount of skin.

sewing with denim

Lastly, I added an exposed zipper to the back in order to match the silver metal and light denim lace-up design in the front of the top.

My favorite way to wear this top is with a lighter denim bottom. These shorts match perfectly with the light denim details on the top, creating the coolest look. I also make sure to pair it with silver accessories because of the silver hardware all throughout the top. This look is seriously the most casual-cool summer look for concerts, coffee, or even going out!

trendy young sewer

Similar Looks: Madewell Denim Bustier Top, Cropped Denim Top, Nordstrom Denim Top

Now that summer is coming to an end, I’m beginning to brainstorm ideas of what to sew for the fall season. I already have a few ideas but if you have any suggestions, please leave them down below. Let me know what you think about this top and if you’ve sewn this pattern before.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read Sewn by Me: I AM GIA-Inspired OverallsSewn by Me: Zimmermann-Inspired Floral Mesh Top, and Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit.

My Favorite Summer Adventure

It’s been a hot summer, there’s no denying that. However, it is never too hot for me to get outside and explore the outdoors. Yes, Central Park is considered the “outdoors” of New York City. One of my favorite things to do is bike around the city, stopping for food and sights along the way. First stop? Brunch of course.

upper west side brunch

It’s only natural to start off any adventure with a delicious brunch. New Yorkers just love their brunches and the restaurants here never disappoint with the endless benedicts, avocado toast, and pancakes. My friend and I started by renting Citi bikes and biking along the Hudson River, up the Upper West Side. Today we headed to Good Enough to Eat for the perfect southern-inspired brunch. Each dish comes with homemade biscuits and strawberry butter. This alone is worth the trip!

spring romper

After brunch we walked to Central Park and picked right back up on our Citi bike adventure. Biking through the park makes for some beautiful scenery and some great people watching. The best part about summer is seeing all of the people emerge from their cozy apartments into the bright sunshine to enjoy themselves and just relax in the park.

city bike style

I must say, it is pretty difficult to dress for the heat and lots of physical activity while still trying to look stylish. I opted for my most easy, comfy romper from Target (check out “Is Socioeconomic Status Still Limiting Style?” for a discussion on their clothing). Accessories are truly key with simple looks like this!

straw bag

I added my favorite new straw bag from Forever 21 to lighten up the black romper and make the look more weather-appropriate. I matched the bag with my comfy nude loafers, although they are definitely not the best for biking. Go for sneakers instead! My Raybans were a must because of the sun shining in my eyes. Not only do they make the look but they protect my eyes. And, lastly, I accessorized with a simple silk scarf from Zara. This is my first time ever wearing a scarf as a headband and I really loved it. The look reminds me of women in the 1960s sporting retro swimsuits and vintage scarfs wrapped around their heads.

fashion blogger nyc

If the heat is discouraging you from living your best life, going on adventures and enjoying nature (or the city skyline in my case), just remember fall is right around the corner! Enjoy the bright sunshine while you can.

 

Straw Bag          Silk Scarf Headband            Black Romper            Ray-Bans                 Loafers