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.

Sewn by Me: I AM GIA-Inspired Overalls

Is there anything easier to throw on in the summer heat than a romper? Rompers are my go-to for a cool, cute look that I don’t have to put much thought into. They are also a super easy thing for me to sew. You have probably seen my past sewing posts and know my obsession with jumpsuits for the winter and spring (Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit and Not Your Average Housewife). Well, rompers have replaced that obsession; I’m already sewing my third one of the season!

romee I AM GIA jumpsuit

As soon as I saw Romee Strijd post an Instagram picture in her I AM GIA jumper, I knew I had to make something similar for summertime. The I AM GIA one is black and gray plaid and features a zipper on the top half of the overalls. I wanted to make mine into a romper and change it to be more summertime-appropriate. This is what I came up with.

pastel overalls

I began by using McCall’s M7547 for the base of the romper. I didn’t change much of the pattern since the silhouette almost matches the I AM GIA one perfectly. The only difference seems to be in the waistband. Hers looks as if it is elastic and this pattern’s is just fabric with an added zipper on the side seam.

sewn overalls

I chose a light pink, white, and mint plaid from JoAnn Fabrics (similar: baby pink and blue checked fabric) to use for this romper. I thought this girly, babyish print would offset the tough hardware used in the straps.

sewing grommet detail

As you can see, the biggest inspiration from the I AM GIA romper came from the grommet and swivel hook detailing on the straps. Instead of simply sewing them on, I added this edgy touch. I was able to find matte white grommets which matched the fabric perfectly. I hammered those onto the bib of the overalls and then sewed a loop around each of the swivel hooks. It was super easy!

sewing grommet detail

You could even play around with this technique and find different kinds of hooks on marketplaces like Etsy to change up the look.

sewing overalls

invisible zipper tutorial

For this romper in particular I added a white invisible zipper because I felt it matched best with the overall look of the piece. However, I have made it with an exposed zipper as well.

sewing pocket detail

I opted for pockets on the butt rather than front pockets. I thought the geometric lines in the plaid fabric complemented the square pockets very well.

summer overall outfit

This make of mine shows that you can take any simple pattern and make it your own by changing small details. Add some hardware, change up the pockets, or use a different kind of zipper. It is easy to make each piece using the same pattern its own!

pastel sumer overall

Similar Looks: Lost + Wonder Gingham Jumper, MAJORELLE Tessa Jumpsuit, Forever21 Halter Romper

Also, shout out to Doo Wop Wildwood for making the perfect backdrop for these pictures! I don’t think I could’ve found a place that would complement this romper better. What do you want to sew me sew next? Leave me a comment below!

Sewn by Me: Zimmermann-Inspired Floral Mesh Top

Last month I had my final fraternity formal of my college career. Obviously I wanted to make something special to stand out on this night. Nobody wants to have the same dress as someone else so why not assure that doesn’t happen by sewing your own look?

sewing trendy summer top

I am always inspired by the constant Zimmermann looks I see on Instagram. The brand is so girly yet edgy and chic. While I am still not at the point in my life where I can comfortably afford to drop thousands on a sundress, I CAN design my own look with similar design elements.

mood fabrics floral mesh

I fell in love with this mesh floral fabric at Mood Fabrics as soon as I came across it on its roll in a bin. I thought it was incredibly unique to find a floral print on such a thick mesh. The fabric is even a bit transparent, making for a beautiful look up against the skin.

sew in zipper top

I actually used the same pattern I featured in my last sewing post, “Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit”, to make this top. McCall’s #7626 has truly been the universal pattern of my spring wardrobe. I simply used the bodice pieces of the jumpsuit and disregarded the pant leg pattern pieces. I also decided to make the top strapless and omit using the strap pattern pieces.

I followed the pattern just as I would if making the jumpsuit. I lined the front bodice pieces with black satin fabric and lined the back bodice pieces with the mesh fabric so that the back pieces would still maintain some transparency. I also decided to opt for an exposed metal zipper for design purposes.

Mod fabrics zimmerman inspired

To achieve the “Zimmermann look” I bought thick white mesh trim to add to each seam of the bodice. I used 1 1/2 inch thick trim in the front and 1 inch trim on the side seams. Make sure you sew this onto the bodice before sewing in the lining. This trim was super affordable at Mood and added a really cool element when sewn over the bodice seams.

spring box bag look

Overall, this top was very easy to make. It is the fabric and trim that really makes this top special. It just proves how beautiful fabric can make a huge difference in the things you make. While I wanted to sew a matching skirt for a two-piece look, I think this look still ended up looking chic and beautiful. I paired the top with my favorite chiffon shorts from Aritzia, box bag from Urban Outfitters, and black Aldo heels.

spring fashion blogger

What do you want to see me make next? I am moving onto sewing a lot of pieces for my summer wardrobe so I’m thinking rompers, sundresses, and linen shorts. Let me know in the comments below!