Sewing for Me: Bronte Top


I know I’m knocking your socks off with this dark grey top. With its sleek, chic silhouette in monochrome, I dare you to tell me that you’re not overcome with the desire to spend an hour (or two) making one for yourself too. What’s that? You saw something strikingly similar at H & M for $5 at the Black Friday sale? Point taken.


You’ll see, though, that on closer inspection, this top has so much going for it that blows fast fashion out of the water. The lapped shoulders up the stylistic ante, and the cut is quite flattering (I was worried that it might make me look overly buxom before I tried it on, but I don’t think it does). And it’s actually a super fast project if you don’t let it sit around the way I did. I received the Bronte Knit Top pattern as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel tour I participated in a few weeks ago, but I quickly lost track of time so I wasn’t able to make this top back then.


So glad I hoisted my mojo back into place to get this one done. It might be one of my favorite tops I’ve made to date. I realize it doesn’t look all that special at first glance, but it feels very me — I look for simple and unfussy in clothes.


That’s not to say I wouldn’t change a few things. I cut the size 12 and the fit is almost spot-on, but there’s a bit of extra pulling under the arms and above the bust; I also need to invest in better fitting bras. I think I’ll grade between a 12 and 14 next time. Love the long sleeves that reach to my fingertips when I pull them all the way down, but I want to add a few inches to the bodice length. You know how I like my tops to be on the long side.


As per instructions, I hand-stitched the overlapping sections of the shoulders in place. That was a meditative last step, and it does help prevent excessive bunching. As for the fabric I used…don’t hold me to it, but I’m pretty sure this is a cotton/poly blend with some spandex or lycra. I just love working with knits that have a teeny bit of lycra or spandex in it because there’s no curling, and it’s a breeze to sew. Surprisingly, it’s not very stretchy, but this knit is on the heftier side in terms of thickness so it doesn’t accentuate the lumps and bumps in a glaring way.


This is a sewing project akin to the sorbet that comes between courses to cleanse your palate (or so I’ve heard. I’ve never had a fancy multi-course dinner involving palate cleansers). It erased the lingering albeit slight malaise I felt about the unsuccessful coat (which she wears daily, but still) and it’s helping me gear up for one of the most challenging garments I’m about to undertake. I’m talking about skinny jeans, of course. Which one should I try first? Here are my three options:


Ginger by Closet Case Patterns |  Vogue 8774  |  Jalie 2908 (skinnified)

Hmmmmmmmm. On a side note, anyone know where I can get good rivets for jeans? I’m getting motivated, folks!

41 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: Bronte Top

  1. This top looks so professional. It fits perfectly. I like the fit of the Vogue or Jolie jeans. But, I would try to widen the bottom of the Vogue pair and take out some of the flair of the bottom of the jolie pair. Make them more boot cut. But, I think that is my personal preference for jeans.

    1. Thanks so much, Greta! I like a good boot cut too! With the chilly season in full force, I find myself reaching for skinny jeans to wear with boots so I’m hankering for some more pairs 🙂

  2. Love the top, everyday things are probably my favourite projects…..just finished a first pair of Ginger Jeans and would definitely recommend them. Excellent instructions and helpful sewalong as well….

    1. I never thought I’d be this excited to sew a long-sleeved tee, but it’s surprisingly hard to make one that fits well, you know? And go Liz! That’s awesome that you completed the Ginger jeans!! They came out great – your topstitching is marvelous!

  3. hmm..that is tough. my vote is for the vogue or jalie.
    And i love that top. Very flattering on you too! Such a good layer piece–i’m thinking a puffy or just cold weather vest. Does K want one yet? i am going to have to put it in my queue.

    1. Oh yes, you know I’ll be wearing this with a vest! K hasn’t asked for a mini version yet, but it’s just a matter of time…thanks Anna!

    1. Thanks so much Heather Lou!! The post is SO helpful and I do think I’ll start with the Ginger since it sounds like the instructions are stellar 🙂

  4. Top yadda jeans yadda. Let’s talk about your hot little bod!! Did I miss a weight loss post? Or should you simply start wearing more curve hugging tops? Cause lady, you looking GOOOOOD!!

    1. *blush* Aw, thanks Abby! No weight loss as far as I can tell, though I’ve been a workout ninja and I do plan on talking about that at some point since it’s sort of revolutionized my life. 🙂

  5. The t shirt is perfect! I wish I could find something like that on sale! I wish! I love envelope neckline!

    Unfortunately, I won’t be making it. I am still recovering from the last time am internet friend asked me if I were pregnant because I was wearing my Washi dress. I still wear it, but I am still offended. Pregnant? Shheeesh! So I am just forcing my creations on my children.

    1. I can’t even tell you how many times people have congratulated me on my baby, Max! I guess I should stop wearing tops that look maternity, but they’re so comfortable….

      If you ever do venture into making something else for you, I think you’ll find this top pretty painless 🙂

  6. I love the shirt. I had seen it on others and worried that it might fit me too tight… but it looks just perfect on you. I might have to try it.
    I just finished sewing up the black magic skinny jeans from Ottobre fall/winter 2014 and reviewed them here:
    I like them because they aren’t super tight skinny. But I need to make a couple of adjustments from the corduroy muslin before I make the real deal in perhaps stretch velvet or something dressier. 🙂

    1. Very cool! I like a little breathing room with my skinnies too and bravo to you for plowing through an Ottobre pattern, Kristi – looks great! I have yet to try one though I keep hearing positive things.

  7. I just love the shape of the Bronte top. You look lovely in it! I have been wanting to make one, but not sure about type of fabric to use. About the jeans…I would go for the ginger! Looking forward to see your skinny jeans.

    1. Thanks, Maria! I would recommend a thicker knit like ponte (no thin cotton or rayon jerseys, in my opinion). Another Ginger vote…I think it’s the winner!

  8. i soooo want that shirt or to make one for myself. it looks awesome on you. the top of the shirt (shoulder area) reminds me of infants/kids t-shirts and onesies… oh so comfy looking. i’ve never made a t-shirt — this might be my first one.
    also, you have the coolest boot collection and wear the most flattering skinny jeans. where do you get them?

    1. Yes! It’s the classic infant/toddler neckline! It’s truly comfy and a fantastic staple to have. Thanks for the boots and jeans love. I get my boots from all over, but this particular pair is from a local shop called Resoul. The jeans are J Brand, and I’ve had them for about six or seven years now and they’re still going strong. Totally worth the investment!

  9. Oh this top suits you so well! I love it in the charcoal too. Who cares if the fabric isn’t “exciting” to look at in a blog post, man. You’ll wear this all the time! And I would too if it were in my closet…

    The length looks perfect to me btw.

    1. Right on, Kristin! It’s true, this is going to be in heavy rotation and it’s a really nice knit fabric, so I’m hoping it’ll last for a good long time. 🙂

    1. Yes, super easy to wear, and very handy for layering. I wore it under a half-sleeve sweater that’s sort of hard to match with anything the other day and it worked perfectly!

  10. Oh, I love this top! There may be more “exciting” fabrics out there, but I doubt there are any that would get more wear!

    My vote would also be for the Ginger Jeans. I haven’t made a pair yet, but I love the shape of them. I actually plan to tackle a pair myself soon!

    1. It sounds like I’m going to have to go with Ginger by popular demand 🙂 I’m going to place my rivets order this week! Thank you, Katie!

  11. H&M has nothing on you, Sanae! I’d take your version anyday:)
    Oh, and I love that last photo of you – stunning girl!

  12. Hi there…I stopped blog reading for a bit, but it is always fun to come back and binge! I love this tee, and any tee that might have the side effect of buxomness is a tee for me. (Don’t even get me started on H&M …and Loft…and…and….) And the jeans!!! Yes, these are on my list, although I’ve since…um…grown out of all of my store bought jeans and wondering if dresses and skirts aren’t the way to go. Much harder to grow out of those… Ha.

    1. So nice to see you here, Monica! I’ve been terrible about keeping up with my blog reading, just terrible. I’m trying not to let the guilt get to me. And jeans can be tricky. I’ve noticed that I’m a full size different depending on the time of the month, if you know what I mean. I might have to make two pairs in two different sizes!

    1. I’m ordering the rivets from Thread Theory today (I hope – am hosting a sleepover for K’s friend so we’ll see how crazy things get)!! I’ll definitely need good luck — fit and pattern adjustment is definitely not my strong suit! Thanks, Shelley!

  13. I love the top! All I’ve been making recently is everyday wear… I find it gets so much more use and I invest my time and money a lot wiser than making my daughter another dress that she will only wear a few times.
    Also I totally vote Ginger Jeans! I’ve seen so many versions in blogland and they look good on EVERYONE. I love skinny jeans and I think they would look great on you! I want to try the skinny legs but low waist version 🙂 Excited to see you tackle this project!

    1. It’s so gratifying to get a lot of wear from handmades, isn’t it? I love it. And I just printed out the pattern for the Ginger low rise, and will try to work on assembling it tonight. We’ll see how it goes! Thanks, Lia!

  14. Okay, I’ve been thinking about buying this pattern for a while. You’ve sold me. The overlapped shoulders… love! I made my first adult tee a few weeks ago- Lane Raglan by Hey June. It’s cute and it was a satisfying sew. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote, Dawn! I’m slower than a sloth on vacation with my current Ginger jeans, so I’m inclined to estimate that the Jalies will get its turn in about five years…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *