Introduction: Ruched Bustier Crop Top

In the mess that is 2020, a ray of light has appeared in the form of bustier tops. They are definitely among my top five favorite fashion trends of this year. There is something to be said about the confidence one exudes while wearing a piece of clothing modeled after traditional lingerie designs.

In this Instructable, I'll be teaching you how to create your own bustier top for a fraction of retail price.


1 shirt, stretchy material

1 Safety Pin

Sewing machine


Measuring tape

Bra (for reference)


Step 1: Cutting ✄

Remove the sleeves, collar, and any other extra bits, leaving just the front and back of the shirt.

Starting from the bottom hem, draw a horizontal line at the 12 inch mark. Cut the 12 inch piece of fabric out and hem the raw edges. Using darts, tailor the top so that it fits tightly to the body. I had to take mine in about 1 inch on each side.

Turn the new top inside out. Using a bra as a guide, draw two symmetrical cups starting from the top hem. Cut the cups out, leaving the back panel intact.

By the end of this step, a new top should be created with two bra cup cutouts.

Step 2: Measuring the Cups

Using a tape measure, measure the length and width of a bra cup. Add 5 more centimeters on to the width and 4 more centimeters to the length. My measurements were 18 cm x 20 cm.

Step 3: Creating the Cups

Using the leftover fabric from the original shirt, draw a rectangle with the exact length and width of your previous measurements. Draw a bra cup within the rectangle. Cut it out. Use the cup you just created to cut out a second bra cup.

Using your shirt as a guide, cut a length of elastic that matches the bra cup cutouts.

Pin both cups to create tie channels for each elastic. Using a bobby pin, thread an elastic through each tie channel, creating a ruched effect at the top of each bra cup.

Using the longest possible straight stitch, stitch around the curve of each cup. DO NOT back stitch. Tug on the top stitch to create a ruched effect around the entirety of the cup. Space the ruching out evenly.

By the end of this step, two bra cups should be created with ruching all around.

Step 4: Assembling the Top

Turn the body of the top inside out and flip each bra cup so that the insides face out. Pin around each cup and sew. Hem any remaining raw edges.

By the end of this step, The body of the bustier top should be fully assembled.

Step 5: Sleeves

Cut two pieces of elastic long enough to circle around your arm.

Using the sleeves from the original top, create a tie channel around the top of each sleeve. Make sure to leave an opening. Thread each elastic through a tie channel. Sew the ends of each elastic together, and sew the tie channels closed.

Cut out two shallow curves on each side of the top. Attach the sleeves using the same method from before.

By the end of this step, the bustier top should be ready to wear.

Step 6: The Final Look

I'm in love with the elegance of this top. No doubt, it will be a staple piece in my closet during all four seasons. Rate 10/10