Look what I made, another midriff baring top!!! This bustier is actually the muslin for my playsuit top. One hell of a muslin if I do say so my self. I guess I made the skirt as well, but it is a little overshadowed by my top which is completely impractical and therefore wonderful.

My crop top is made from Burdastyle 5/2011 Bustier Top #127 in size 72. I’m sorry to say that the instructions for this top are abysmal! I was able to use the instructions to loosely determine the order in which the pattern pieces were to be assembled, but otherwise they might as well have been in sanskrit. I hesitate to rank the construction of any of my projects as difficult, but I think assembling your first bustier top with effectively no instructions earns you at least an intermediate to difficult distinction. I took tons of pictures as I was sewing so I could share how I assembled this pattern. Look for a tutorial in a couple weeks. I did find Tasia’s tutorial on sewing a boned bodice extremely helpful since this was also my first time working with boning.


I was very lucky in the fact that this pattern fit me with no alterations, so that aspect was easy. Would you believe that this bustier is actually my muslin? I couldn’t have pulled that off if many alterations were required. Determining the size had me stumped for a bit. I’d never encountered a pattern with sizing of 72,76,80,84,88. I couldn’t even find these sizes on the burdastyle sizing chart, but now I see they are on the third page of the linked PDF on the tall sizing chart? I find this amusing since I am 5 foot 2. This might be the first and last time I use a tall sizing chart. I would recommend comparing the pattern pieces to a bra you already have to determine the size. I have a little number from Top Shop with similar three piece cups that I used. Fabric selection should also assist you in the fit department. The pattern calls for a sturdy fabric with a widthwise stretch and stretch is always helpful in getting a nice snug fit. I admit that I ignored this point and got away with it. I choose a black radiance cotton/silk blend for just a hint of sheen.

Saharah Bustier back detail

All the pattern pieces are interfaced with my very favoritest interfacing ever, touch o’gold. You’ve really got to try this stuff. The bustier is self lined and topstitched along all hems and seams. I hope a couple of my pictures were able to capture this detail for you. I dropped the bottom hem down 2 and 3/4 inches to create more of a top and less of a glorified bra. Crossing the straps was a last minute alteration that happened when Laney was helping me with strap placement. The straps sort of crossed on there own and who am I to tell them no?  After crossing the straps I do require a helping hand to get the top closed which is a bit of a pain, but I don’t foresee this becoming a simple throw it on and go look for me. Maybe in my next life I will be a member of the terribly chic New York fashion crowd who can wear this as an everyday look.

Sahara Bustier front detail

And the gored skirt, why that is Simplicity 4365 style D. This project was my very first fling with wax print and still one of my all time favorite fabrics. I made this skirt several years ago while I was living in Washington DC during grad school. My haunt back in those days was G Street Fabrics. They had a whole table of wax prints (or African prints as they are call them) and I was never the same.

Saharah wind detail

Sahara walking

Having sewn this 5 years ago I am fuzzy on the construction details. I do know I cut a size 12. Recently, I took in four of the seams a 1/4 inch around the waist to create a higher rise and update the look. The pattern was originally designed to be worn 1” below the waist. If you plan to sew this skirt with a higher rise I would recommend installing a slightly longer zipper, perhaps a 9 inch zipper rather than the 7 inch prescribed in the pattern. The 8 gores while tedious to install make this skirt really fun to prance about in.

Sahara gores

Bustier Top:

Burdastyle 5/2011 Bustier Top #127

1 yard black radiance cotton/silk blend

1 1/2 yards touch o’gold interfacing

1/2 yard black boning

1/2 yard hook and eye tape

black thread

Gored Skirt:

Simplicity 4365

2 yards of your favorite wax print

2 yards of lining

9” zipper

1 and 1/4 yards of 1/2” twill tape for waist stay

hook and eye



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