Aren’t you glad you sew? Blumarine

I absolutely love snoop shopping so I thought it might be fun to start a weekly feature showcasing an expensive designer garment that would be easy for us to duplicate (oops, is that a run-on sentence?). Sound like fun?

Today’s garment is a rayon/lycra knit from Blumarine with a retail price of $1,070 (all photos are from While I would never spend that much on a tee (let’s face it, that’s what it is), it’s important to note the little details that make it special. Details which you and I can easily duplicate in our own sewing rooms for a small fraction of the retail price (so that we can spend the $1000 or so we save on more fabric).

Granted, it would be impossible to find the same print but easy enough to find something that would give the same luxurious feel. The neckline of this top is trimmed in leather – how impractical is that? Since the binding is so narrow, it would be easy to get the same look with a faux leather. I, personally, would choose Ultraleather because it has good stretch across the grain making it perfect for this application. Believe me, no one will know it isn’t the real thing. Additionally, since I cannot get away without a bra, I’d narrow the neckline just a bit to hide my straps.

The neckline is trimmed with two large and eight small crystals at the center front. Yay! An excuse to buy sparkly things!

The sleeve opening is also trimmed out in leather and features button-and-loop closures trimmed with crystals. I have a nice little stash of expensive crystal buttons purchased during my employment at Maggi’s For Fine Fabrics in Boca Raton (known as THE place to buy buttons in the tri-county area). Maggi’s may have closed but I have a good portion of the inventory right here! If they are washable, this might be a good project to use them on since my formalwear days are practically non-existent.

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21 responses to “Aren’t you glad you sew? Blumarine

  1. Great idea Gigi! I love inspiration.

  2. I love the idea of a weekly deconstrution of designer stuff! Thanks for this first installment.

  3. Wow! That’s some t-shirt…
    Thanks for all the details! It would be fun to knock off…can’t wait to see your future inspirational installments!

  4. Tessa

    Do you think Blumarine is in cahoots with the dry cleaning industry? Why else would you trim a t-shirt with leather?

    I like the knock-off inspiration idea. Looking forward to more!

  5. Great weekly feature idea – thank you – I will definitely enjoy it every week!

  6. OMG, Gigi, I actually almost bought that fabric tuesday – from the vendor who is importing these designer fabrics to Denmark.. It was about 25$ a meter – I was in doubt because of the colors, but now I see I should have bought the roll… Have to call her tomorrow and see if there is more left, because now I want a tee from it!

  7. Gigi – What a great idea, I look forward to all the inspiration. You are such a great enabler. I know that you will have a knock off of this in no time. I also have no doubt that it will better than the orginal.

  8. I think you will make up a great knock off of this. I am always amazed at the fashion ideas you find. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Gigi, this is a wonderful idea! And I just love that fabric. I wonder if I could find it in New York? If not, I’ll have to email Maria to see if she can get it for me!

  10. L-O-V-E the crystal trim on the sleeves and neckline Gigi! Go for it.

  11. Love the tee and the inspiration. Great idea for a weekly feature – thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to future installments!

  12. coolobreeze

    Gigi, this is a *WONDERFUL* idea. A sew-along would be cool too for this.

  13. Omg, you have just hit on my very very favorite thing. Not the tshirt but the concept. Can’t wait to see this and learn. And what is the deelio with necklines that show off my bra straps? Don’t designers know that customers have breasts?

  14. Great inspiration top! I love the details, this is going to be a fun want to knock off!

  15. vicki_hks

    Wow, you have got us inspired. Beautiful T!

  16. Melynda

    So, does anyone know an online source for a similar type fabric? Love it!

  17. Abi

    Great tee top.Snoop shopping rules.Would be great to drop by regularly to be inspired.

  18. I trimmed a washable jacket in leather piping, with leather buttonholes…I wash it with no problem – red leather on orange MM fleece. Just incase some one wants to go for real leather….dont let that stop you.

  19. I LOVE that top!! Thanks for posting.

  20. Anonymous

    Great post. Love this tee, especially the use of two similar but different scale prints to give breadth to the shoulder line (along with the wide neckline, of course). Thanks for the tips about Ultraleather. I didn’t realize it was so stretchy on the cross-grain. I think a thousand dollars was spent on thinking through the design so that we could benefit from Gigi’s deconstruction ;-) Sue

  21. I just found this site. I am inspired to sew my version.
    Glad to know I’m not the only machine obsessed person that doesn’t shop for groceries.