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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit

I have been actively seeking out trendy and fashionable sewing bloggers for some time now. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck. Most sewing bloggers I find are super conservative in their style and over the age of thirty-five. For someone who is constantly following the latest trends in fashion and is pretty young, this just isn’t the ideal source of inspiration.

This being said, I’ve decided to add to my blog what I’ve found lacking on the internet- a young, trendy approach to sewing. As I make new pieces I will be updating you on the patterns I used, the various adjustments I made on them, and where I found my fabrics.

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You may recognize this jumpsuit from one of my past posts, Not Your Average Housewife. I used the same pattern for this one as I did for that one yet they turned out totally different! This just goes to show that a little bit of adjustments here and there can end in an entirely unique garment.

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I used McCall’s M7626 as a base for both jumpsuits. For the “Not Your Average Housewife” jumpsuit I kept the pattern almost exactly the same as the original. I used the pattern for jumpsuit D but added the straps of jumpsuit C. The only difference is that the one strap pattern uses buckles and the other doesn’t.

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When I used this pattern the second time, to make the jumpsuit pictured, I created a cutout in the front, used an exposed zipper, and tailored the leg seams.

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Getting the cutout just right was a bit difficult. I wanted to make it large enough where I could wear the jumpsuit out to a club and still be sexy but low enough on the top piece that there wasn’t too much underboob (just keeping it real here!). Sounds like a weird issue but it required lots of playing around with the straps and how the fabric would lay when sewn to the pants portion of the jumpsuit.

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The exposed zipper was obviously a lot easier to sew in than the invisible zipper, so I was happy about that. Invisible zippers are probably my least favorite thing to sew. For the pants I simply cut out the original pattern and then tailored the perfect fit to me when I tried the finished ensemble on. I also cuffed the jumpsuit so it would hit just above the ankle and look flattering with all different shoe types.

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I already bought this fabric in a nude color to make another jumpsuit for spring. They are just so easy to wear and a lot of fun to make. Be sure to let me know if you’ve ever used this pattern or if you plan on picking it up. Happy sewing!

Show Your Love for the Earth Through Sustainable Fashion

April 22nd. Do you know what day that is? No, it’s not International Pancake Day or International Wine Day, two “holidays” that millennials are probably more familiar with than this day. April 22nd is Earth Day, a day that is dedicated to caring for our planet and making eco-conscious choices.

I find it ironic how millennials are “Earth-activists” and care about the environment, yet most do absolutely nothing to help it. While yes, part of Earth’s future lies in the hand of our President, it is our decisions in our everyday life that ultimately effect the health of Mother Nature. Being a millennial myself, I admit that I am not the best at recycling or reusing my resources. However, I am also not preaching for everyone else to help the Earth but not help it myself. So this brings me to ask you, how have you planned to help the Earth on this lovely upcoming Saturday?

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I think we can all sacrifice a few hours of our day to pick up litter in the neighborhoods surrounding us. I highly recommend organizing a neighborhood clean-up and picking up  litter in your surrounding area. Just imagine if everyone did this; the Earth could be completely clean for a few hours! Growing up, my mom would bring my sister and I to participate in our neighborhood Earth Day clean-ups. I actually ended up always enjoying them, walking away with a sense of accomplishment that the patch of ground was clean because of my efforts. One time I even found an old love letter hiding in the litter alongside the highway. Not only are you helping your community, but you could find your own little treasures!

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You may be asking yourself, well how can I make a change that will permanently help the Earth? My answer for that is sustainable fashion. Many people, specifically Earth-activists, do not realize just how detrimental the fashion industry is to Mother Nature. Not only is it the fabric itself that is unethical, but the services of those who are making the clothing, the dying of the clothing, the shipping of the clothing… It is truly unfathomable how much harm fashion does to the environment.

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Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are doing nothing but harming the environment with the toxins their factories release into the air, the unsustainable fabrics, and the strenuous practices that they put their workers through. Unless we stop buying from these stores, fast fashion companies will only continue to gain power.

Eilen Fisher fashion blogger

While I know it is hard not to shop at these stores, because lets face it, they are the only thing in our budget, but it is essential that we at least support companies making efforts towards sustainable fashion. My favorite company working towards this goal is EILEEN FISHER. Last summer I worked as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern for them and  experienced first-hand how ethics and safe environmental practices are the core of their company (read more about my experience here). We need to support companies like EILEEN FISHER who are making an effort to change the fashion industry as we know it.

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Not only do these two companies design and produce their clothing with the environment in mind, but they make an effort to truly educate consumers. Look on either of their websites and you will see environmental statistics plastered all over. They don’t try to hide how and where they produce their products, which most companies do. Try to find out where fast fashion retailers make their clothes. Hint: you won’t be able to. They don’t easily disclose this information on their website. If this information is found, it is usually in a news article titled “Forever 21 Clothing Made in U.S. Sweatshops for $4 an Hour” or “Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo: Who’s Paying for our Cheap Clothes?“.

Eileen Fisher fashion blogger

Earth Day may be April 22nd, but every day should be Earth Day. I know we are all not perfect, but we all can do something a little extra to make the environment a healthier place. I’m not talking fighting legislation or joining the Green Party, but something we can all easily do every day, like make sustainable fashion choices.