Sunday, August 29, 2010

DIY Embellished Sleeveless Tops (Tanks)

If I had to choose a specialty, it would be making a very basic sleeveless top and then embellishing it.  I've added neckline / shoulder / hemline details in all sorts of prints and fabric types.  Here are some examples:

Tiered ruffle bottoms

Various neckline / shoulder details
(Ignore the baby stuff, the nursery just has better lighting than our bedroom :P)

Is there any interest in a tutorial on a particular one?  If so, I can do a tutorial on how to pattern / sew your own tank and then separate ones on embellishments.

Detailed photos of embellishments after the jump...

This is one of my favorites (hence my blog header).  5 large petals on each shoulder.

I really love the front detailing but I learned too late that satin for the tank body 
is a very unforgiving fabric.

One of my 1st DIY efforts.  This is made of a really cheap nylon but in real life (luckily), it reads silky.

Same fabric as above, but with tie shoulders and pearl detailed neck

This is one of the easier ones.  Just a basic tank with woven detailing secured with hand-stitches.

The challenge with this one was just getting the fringe placed evenly.

Multi-tiered bow ruffle on shoulder

Also one of my earlier DIY projects (as you can tell from white serging thread I used).
I loved these petals so much that I did the same thing on the shoulder in navy blue tank above.


  1. I loove so many of these...especially that multi-tiered bow on the shoulder. My worries with making a top is that the material won't stretch right and pull awkwardly near the shoulder/underarm areas.

  2. Wow so much girly goodness!! The navy petal-shoulder top is especially intricate looking. I think I bought the pattern for the pink center ruffle top when it was on sale for 99cents at Joann's, but I haven't had time to do much sewing yet. And definitely yes to tutorials! On all of them would be nice :P And definitely take lots of pictures when you're making something new - work in progress pics are very enlightening!

  3. Thanks ladies!

    PAG - I use 2 methods to make my tops. 1 - is to create a pattern from an existing top that I know fits me really well or 2 - use a store-bought pattern and try it on many many times with pins to make sure it fits. Generally, my fit problems are with making it too flowy at the bottom, but since I belt almost everything, it doesn't seem to matter as much.

    PetiteXXS - Tutorials are on their way! :) I finished a small project today and documented all the steps (inspired by the LOFT Ruffled Cardigan) so that will get posted soon. After that, I'm going to do a tutorial on making your own pattern (usually gives an optimal fit without a mess of tweaks, but must be a basic silhouette) and then how I embellish. Are you planning on doing some sewing? Would love to see your projects!

  4. I had grand plans to learn how to sew but sadly life got in the way... so far this skirt is still the only thing I've made.

  5. I love the bow top...definitely put up some tutorials! =)

  6. I love the multitiered bow ruffle on the shoulder - I would totally make that one! Please do a tutorial for me - PLEASE???

  7. Thanks stylepint and littlenashua! I love both of your blogs :) One bow-top tutorial coming up!!

  8. Wow

    I discovered your blog this weekend and I'm simply addicted. I love your style, and particularly these fabulous tops. I want to make them all!

    I'm particularly in love with the navy / petal sleeved one. Is there any chance at all you could do a retrospective DIY on how you made the petals / attached them to the tank? Please? Pretty please?!

    I'd love to have a go at this for my freind's wedding in a few weeks.

    Thanks - and keep up the great blog!

  9. Little_Mz - Aww you totally made my day! Thank you! Of course I can do a tut on the petal shoulder top - look for it today or tomorrow :)

  10. Loving your blog and the DIY tutorials even more.

  11. I would love to see a tutorial for the 2nd tank please!! =)


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