A silk crop top inspired by Nicole Miller

This month’s Mood Sewing Network challenge was to make something inspired by the Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear Fashion shows, and it was just that: a challenge. I actually love to watch fashion shows. Sometimes you can catch the live feed on youtube and see the collections exactly when everyone who’s actually at the fashion shows gets to see them. (Except don’t watch them with your male children. Designers love to send unlined things down the runway. Ahem.) Anyway, I thought this challenge would be easy. I already had a slew of designer garments pinned in my sewing inspiration folder. I’ll spare you all the boring details, but I could not find the right pattern for the dress in my mind’s eye. Even after making a muslin of what I thought would work didn’t look right. Time ticked by. I decided instead to make a silk top inspired by this Nicole Miller look:

I used Butterick 6024 and some beautiful cornflower blue silk charmeuse from Moodfabrics.com to make my top. I picked that pattern because it had the front tucks like my example blouse. Even though it was for a loose-fitting blouse and the Nicole Miller was more fitted, I thought I could make it work if I made the smallest size. I also thought the silk charmeuse would be light and slinky enough to pull off all those tucks and not puff out.

I ended up having to iron my pleats down because they did not want to be effortless and billowy. A silk chiffon would have worked better. I’m not sold on the loose crop top being the best silhouette for my body type. Maybe I’m just not use to seeing myself it this type of garment.

The fabric sewed beautifully and is a lovely color. I used the matte side for this blouse, not wanting to draw attention away from the tucks. I also washed and dried it before cutting it out. This gal does not dry clean only summer blouses. Sometimes I find that silks will fade a bit upon going through the laundry but that is worth it to me to not have to dry clean.

All the edges were finished with bias bindings included with the pattern. The bottom hem is a simple 5/8″ double hem.

Sometimes you take a risk and end up surprised by how good it came out, but other times you try something new that just doesn’t suit. I’m thinking this may fall into the latter category.

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Comments


  • Pam
    March 28, 2014

    Hi Amanda,

    It’s a beautiful top but maybe would work better with skinny white pants. I’m also rather straight shaped and I find that tops like this look best on women with very thin upper bodies. That said, if you tried it in chiffon so that it would flare like in the photo it might be a more flattering shape. I also notice that the model garment has a high/low hem which also hits at a better place on the back. Regardless, I’m sure you will find a way to style it that looks fantastic. Like I said, it’s a beautiful top.

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      They’d have to be high-waisted skinny white pants. After 3 babies I don’t like to flash my midriff. 🙂 Also I cut this with a high-low hem but didn’t like the view from behind. I think it would have worked better with more cut in armholes, or longer with a tie. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jenny
    March 28, 2014

    Wow I love the colour, and the design – I think it looks fabulous. I can just imagine it with some white trousers in the summer…

  • Kimberly
    March 28, 2014

    Well made, beautiful color. I understand about not necessarily suiting though I don’t agree; however, perhaps it could be the silk shell for a fab suit in the future. 🙂

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 28, 2014

    It’s a beautiful top, Amanda! I agree with the comments on trying it with some skinny white pants or skinny printed jeans.
    I truly love it and want you to love it too!

  • carolyn roemer
    March 28, 2014

    Very nice top. And so versatile . The pleats are lovely. Turn up the bottom so it hits exactly at your waist and it will be more slenderizing. Or shape it in a little at the waist . Don’t do the drape thing. It’s a wonderful color on you and the workmanship is excellent. You’ll get lots of wear out of this blouse this summer with any color pants including jeans.

  • Ginger
    March 28, 2014

    This is so pretty! I agree that you might like it more with skinny pants, that is, if you wear them (come to think of it, I feel like you’re most often in skirts and dresses in your blog pics). Could it be nipped in a tiny bit at the waist? Maybe you would like that better.

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      Thank you Ginger. I wear plenty of pants and shorts, believe me. I just don’t enjoy making them, so they don’t get photographed often. 🙂

  • Peter
    March 28, 2014

    Amanda, this is a beautiful blouse. I’m not sure how you finished the inside seams, but one possibility it to split the sides open from the bottom a few inches — you could even reinforce the opening with a gusset. That way, more of your narrow waist would be visible but you wouldn’t lose length (or that gorgeous drape). Don’t give up on this blouse — it’s gorgeous!

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      I think the problem is my LACK of a narrow waist compared to the rest of me. My body shape is a square. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, though.

  • Cheryl
    March 28, 2014

    Simply gorgeous! Really captures the essence of the inspiration while still being a “uniquely yours” garment! Just love it!

  • Fiona
    March 28, 2014

    I really love this shape on you, especially in this beautiful colour! I’m so impressed with how neat those tucks are in this difficult fabric!

  • Lori
    March 28, 2014

    I love this blouse, the pleats are gorgeous and the fabric is fabulous! How about some fish-eye darts in the back and I agree with several of the comments, skinny white jeans. Or even jeans with a blazer or sweater.

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      I’m going to have to research this fish-eye dart – sounds intriguing!

  • Manju
    March 29, 2014

    Yep amanda this is just too beautiful to not try something different with it. Skinny jeans might be the way forward. Hope you do find a way to like it. It’s always disappointing when things you’ve spent so much care and attention over leave you feeling….meh!

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      Exactly! But meh definitely happens. Thanks Manju!

  • Sallie
    March 29, 2014

    So beautiful! The tucks, that cornflower blue color, all the finishing details… Truly a lovely blouse! I agree with the others and hope that you won’t give up on the blouse – I feel sure there has got to be a way to wear it that you would feel is more flattering. Perhaps even just pairing it with a similarly cropped but more fitted blazer or cardigan might be the way to go?

    • Amanda S.
      March 30, 2014

      Great thoughts, Sallie. Thanks!

  • Fabric Tragic
    March 29, 2014

    Oh it’s beautiful. I agree with many other comments – slim trousers especially jeans would look fantastic, helping to balance out the looser top half. I do hope you get more wear out of it!

  • Diana
    April 2, 2014

    It’s gorgeous Amanda. And anything looks good on you. After looking at it again, I’m thinking a little longer would be cute with skinny jeans.

    • Amanda S.
      April 6, 2014

      Unfortunately I cannot go any longer… Thanks for your comment!

  • Cennetta
    April 4, 2014

    Beautiful blouse, Amanda. I am always impressed by your impeccable work.

  • Diane
    April 7, 2014

    The color of your top is very flattering for you, but the fabric is too stiff for the Nicole Miller top that was your inspiration. As previously metnioned, a chiffon would have worked much better.

    Can’t wait to see what you make for next month’s challenge. I’m impressed with your sewing skills.

    • Amanda S.
      April 8, 2014

      Totally agree! There’s no challenge for next month, it’s business as usual (thank goodness.) Thanks for your comment!