Winning at Sewing: Self-Drafted Top

I feel like I'm setting you guys up for disappointment by featuring so many sewing projects so close together. The next one is going to be a long time coming! But I did knock a few out rather quickly, and this is my most recent creation:

The inspiration for this top came from a pin I saved thinking I might make my daughter a cute dress. But the more I looked at it, the more I thought, "I want that!" The Crazy Tailor's refashion of a Climbing the Willow pattern was just too darn cute. I mean, look at this thing:

So when a couple pieces of remnant fabric caught my eye at my local W*lmart a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to strike. And, being me, I was too lazy to print out the actual pattern, so I just decided to wing it. Using a cap-sleeve top as a template, I traced the shape of the bodice, and then did some quick measurements to make sure I had enough of my secondary fabric to make a tunic.

I had bought a yard of quilting cotton with the thought of doing a bib front, but when I had the pieces cut out, it just didn't feel right. So I decided to line the bodice, which is a heavy cotton duck, with the white quilting cotton. I absolutely loved this part of the process — it was just really satisfying to me, for some reason. I think I took about 100 photos of the lining because I love it so much. 

My love of the lining led me to add a slit to the sleeves, so that I can turn them back and let the lining show. And I found a few triangular buttons in my stash that seemed to add just the right touch. 

But then I lost my mind a little bit. 

Feeling worried that the skirt was going to be too short after I hemmed it, I decided to add a lace flounce to the edge. And you know what? I kind of hate it. 

Here I am, trying to look all cool and sophisticated, and the lace just does not seem to fit. I am pretty sure I'm going to remove it and hem the darn thing. But, you know, other than that, I'm reasonably happy with this project. I was just so taken with the colors together, and I really did enjoy wearing it and pairing it with this navy blazer and gray leggings. So, lace or not, I am calling this one a win. 

Fabric: +/- $5
Buttons: $0.25 (thrifted)
Piping: $1.29
Lace: $0.49 (thrifted)
Project cost: $7


  1. The bodice really is lovely, the sleeve slits a fabulous ideas, and you really couldn't have come up with better buttons if you'd designed some specially. I must say I really agree with you about the lace; this dress/tunic would be much better without it. You could make a plain colour-block panel to replac it if you really want the length; maybe take a tip from your own styling and go with grey or navy, if a third more colourful colour would disrupt the great twosome you have so far.

    1. Glad to hear a second opinion on the lace! I honestly think it will be long enough without any additional trim, especially if I am wearing it over leggings.


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