DIY: Philip Lim Inspired Top


img_2016Hi all! The inspiration for this stash-busting top was a Philip Lim creation I saw at the San Francisco Saks a couple of weeks ago. It’s so fun to wander around in that amazing store, a real treat for me since we don’t have a Saks here anymore (wah!). But when I saw this top it was instant ‘love’. The bold plaid, the color blocked side panels, the contrast trim and stitching, I wanted it all. But alas, the price tag….


So, I set about making my own version. The good news? I used left over remnants from my recent Day Dress, and another plaid from a top I made years ago. So no new money was spent in the making of this top.

img_2040The pattern I used for this make is a tried and true: Vogue 9054.

It’s out-of-print but still available on their website and on Etsy. The design detail that makes this pattern the perfect choice for my Philip Lim top is that it has a front panel. So, that’s where I placed my cotton plaid. I used a contrasting off white knit for the side panels. Even though this pattern is designed for knits, my inspiration top combined knits and wovens, so I went out on a limb and did the same thing. I think the loose design of this top made that combination less risky than it otherwise would have been. The fit really didn’t change. I also added a contrast band to the collar and cuffs.

img_2020A detail I love on the inspiration top was the stitching on the front and back panel seams. To get that look, I top stitched those seams with a decorative stitch. I wanted to use the flat lock stitch on my serger, but alas, it just wouldn’t behave. My substitute stitch isn’t quite as stunning, but I still like it.


I especially like the way Vogue designed the hemline of this top. There’s a bit of a high-low thing going on there that’s fun.

img_2002Well, I think my top will work as a reasonable substitute for the Philip Lim top, and wearing my DIY  version will save me from spending hundreds of dollars I don’t have. I rarely think that sewing saves money, but when it comes to designer fashions, it has a very strong edge. Thanks to Philip for the inspiration! The colors of this top make it a seasonal transition item, I think, and I feel almost Springy as we persevere through another ice storm with freezing rain. Ugh!

I’m glad I used some fabric from my stash here, because my goal this year is to reduce the size of  my stash (yes, I used bold font so I won’t forget, LOL). Lately, I’ve been feeling like I have to ‘sew to my stash’, if you know what I mean. I often buy fabric with a project in mind, but by the time I get to it, my enthusiasm for it has waned or the inspiration is gone. That means my stash is huge, and it means my sewing is often motivated by the guilt that comes with excess. It overwhelms and confuses my creative urges (yes, I’m a junkie). So, my goal is to sew some of it ASAP and give some to friends or charity so that it doesn’t weigh me down. What do you think, fellow fabric junkies? Will this strategy work? 

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!


18 thoughts on “DIY: Philip Lim Inspired Top

  1. Wow! You nailed that top! You’ve got a good eye for inspiration. Great way to use some of the stash too. I laughed when I read your description of the hows and whys of your pile of fabrics. It described me to a T! I think I’ll take your lead and start sorting through it.

  2. No, you are not alone there with fabric purchases that didn’t get made up right away. My hand is up too. Cute top and isn’t it great when the leftovers are just enough to make something more? You have given me an idea for my T-shirt. I had worked out that I had just enough for the sides and sleeves but no center sections. I had been looking through knit leftovers and now I’ll check the woven fabrics. Maybe use it on the bias for some stretch. I’ve been making doll clothes from small pieces for my granddaughter. Brings back memories of the original garment and if it was her dad’s I tell her about what I had made for him when he was a boy. I am more compelled to use my stash now that the fabric store that was close by has gone out of business. For the last several years I have been keeping a notebook with notes about the things I make and put a red star by anything I use that has been in my stash for more than a few months. Love seeing those red stars.

    1. I love your idea of using the woven for your top on the bias for stretch. I’ll have to give that a try next time! Doll clothes are such a great idea for those scraps, such a good way to pass on some memories too. I’ve been thinking I need to track my stash in a notebook. Here’s to more red stars!

  3. You were in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago?!! So was I! And I went into the Saks off Market street, too! Man, it was dreamy in there. I loved everything on display. I was tempted to grab a bunch of stuff and try it on just for fun but I didn’t trust myself to stay out of trouble. Your version looks very close to the designer version. Great job! I’m trying to sew my stash, too. BTW, did you go into Britex Fabrics while you were in San Francisco? I didn’t end up buying anything becasue it was too expensive and I already blew a lot of money at Mood in LA this past summer.

    1. Oh, I can’t believe we were in San Francisco on the same weekend!! Yes that Saks is dreamy, and yes, I was tempted to try things on but settled for watching my friend try on Shoes. I couldn’t stay away from Britex…I bought a yard and a half of a cotton print that I think is Donna Karan from last season. I wanted to buy so much more but couldn’t believe the prices. But when I got home, I wished I’d inspected the bargain floor a bit more. What an incredible place! I’ll be going back soon 🙂

  4. I love this top! So much that if I wasn’t on a fabric/pattern diet I would go searching for it. Maybe later. Love that you used fabric from your stash. I am in the same mode as you to sew from my stash as I have way too much in it. Like you (and many others) I buy some fabric with an idea and by the time I get to wanting to use the fabric, I don’t want to make the original or even why I had to have it. I hope the strategy works for you and same one I have. We will see.

    1. Thank-you! I love your term, “fabric diet”. Yes I need to be on a very strict one! Yes, as time passes my stash becomes a ‘what was I thinking’ situation:) I agree, time will tell…

  5. Lovely work! It’s very similar to the inspiration piece although yours is better 😉. And how satisfying to use up some stash too!

  6. It looks like a perfect “knockoff” of the original! Well, except I like your colour better – IT’S BLUE! So if you were inspired by Philip Lim, does that mean it is a #DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER contribution? I’ll be collecting contributors all year this year, you know. Hmm?

    1. Thanks!! Yes, the blue factor on this make is high, which is probably why I live it. And Now that you mention it, I can see that it totally qualifies for ‘designin’ december!!

  7. This top is SO you! It’s funny that you mention Philip Lim. I just finished up writing about my less than favorite experience with a pattern, and I came across a Philip Lim cropped sweater and thought it looked just like you too. It’s here:

    I say go for it with your plans to sew down your stash. The Wardrobe Sudoku challenge going on right now seems like a great opportunity for it. I thought about it, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to power through that much sewing, but it seems the perfect opportunity to add a lot of functional pieces while sewing down your stash at the same time.

    1. Oh! Thanks for the link to that top, super cute! Hmmm, the wheels are turning….Yes, I’m pretty motivated right now to continue with my stash reduction plan, would love to get it significantly reduced before summer so that I can feel free to shop when I’m traveling. You know? I will check out the wardrobe sudoku challenge..I love a good challenge:)

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