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!

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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.

Not Your Average Housewife

While I am definitely not a housewife (or anywhere close), I couldn’t help but feel like I was playing the role of a fabulously-dressed, nontraditional housewife as I pushed my grocery cart through aisles filled with potato chips and tomato sauce.

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This idea that women are the ones who do the grocery shopping for the family is still pretty prominent, but us millennial women are reshaping this role every day. We are quickly moving from the ones who bring home the groceries to the ones who bring home the dough. Thank god I’m not bringing groceries home anytime soon or my imaginary children would be eating a diet of purely potato chips.

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It ended up being quite ironic that I chose to wear this home-sewn jumpsuit for this photo shoot. Sewing used to be just another chore listed on the “to-do” list of a stereotypical housewife. However, it has now shaped itself into a hobby rather than a chore; a hobby many women unfortunately do not have the skill or desire necessary to learn.

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I have been sewing since I was 8 years old. The moment I picked up a sewing needle I knew it was something I would be hooked on for life. There is something so magical about being able to construct your own clothing and see your own designs come to life. In our modern age, those who know how to sew (like me) are those who are extremely passionate about art and design. It is something that is no longer viewed as a common skill but rather as a talent and an art. Just look at our society’s fascination with the television show “Project Runway”!

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This jumpsuit has quickly become one of my favorite things I have sewn because of its vintage vibes and perfectly tailored fit. I was able to find this ’70s-inspired plaid fabric at my local Jo-Ann Fabric store and the hardware at M&J Trimming in New York City. I modified McCall’s Pattern #7626 to include the buckle and grommet detailing.

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Don’t let gender stereotypes keep you from pursuing a hobby that you love. This is the age of change and breaking out of the gender roles that society assigned to us centuries ago. If you want to grocery shop in the most fabulous jumpsuit you own, who’s stopping you? If you are a man and want to learn to make your own suit jackets, who’s stopping you?

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The only answer to those questions is yourself. We are the only ones that limit ourselves to the roles society wants us to mold into. We are society and we determine the shape of these gender molds. Reshape your own mold. Get out there and break those gender roles.

Lipstick: Nars Pure Matte                                                     Earrings (similar): Forever 21

Jumpsuit: Madison Mae Designs

Similar Jumpsuits: Forever 21, Honey Punch, Banana Republic

Embodying a Unique Style

When you walk into an antique shop or vintage store you are surrounded by one-of-a-kind pieces, each with their own stories to tell and hidden history. Shopping in these stores is an experience that brings you back in time, immersing you in a different time period.

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Cape May is home to antique stores filled with World War II memorabilia, old polaroids and advertisements from the 1960s. While of course I love going to the beach and soaking up the summer sun, exploring these antique shops is one of my favorite activities to do while at the Jersey Shore for the weekend.

When I visit these shops I am enlightened by all of the inspiration around me. Seeing something that speaks to me and is unique in its own way inspires me to recreate that essence in the outfits that I wear every day.

Each look that you put together tells its own story, not about the individual clothing items but about the person that is actually wearing them. It is the first thing people notice about you and the first thing they will use to make their judgements about you. Just as every antique item is one-of-a-kind your style should be as well.

Many people are afraid to stray away from what everyone else is wearing because they fear they will stand out too much. Ask yourself, is standing out really so bad if you are sharing your story with the world?

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I am encouraging you to visit your local Goodwill or your local antique shop. Seek inspiration and soak up the stories of the past that are there to tell. Then take this inspiration and infuse it into the clothing that you wear. Before putting on your clothes, ask yourself, what story am I willing to share with the world today?