DIY Cecilie Bahnsen Inspired Puff Top

Makyla Creates
by Makyla Creates
8 Materials
3 Hours

I recently felt very inspired by the Danish designer Cecilie Bahnson and her gorgeous pieces! The style inspo got me thinking about a new sewing project. I decided to DIY a puff top that I made from fabric scraps. Check out this sewing project in my tutorial below!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Buttons
Sketch ideas


I have this little sketchbook of designs from uni. I’ve always loved the aesthetic of puffy and oversized dresses and so I decided to adapt one of my old designs and drew a puffy top that I couldn’t wait to make! I decided to make a front bandeau panel and two panels at the back because I want the bandeau to be tight. The rest of the top would be gathered onto the bandeau to make it really full and puffy and fun! 

DIY tank top ideas

Here is a sneak peek at the pattern pieces I would be using in this DIY. As I would be using scrap fabric I had to make sure I had enough to gather for the peplum of the top. To check this, I measured my bust and multiplied that by 1.5. 

Trim the pieces

First, I had to figure out how I would sew all my pieces together to make the peplum. I trimmed the pieces to make everything nice and square and ready for the sewing machine. 

Cut out the bandeau pieces

I also cut out my front and back bandeau pieces so that they were ready to be sewed as well. 

Sew long pieces

Make the peplum pieces

In this step, I sewed my scrap pieces into nice long pieces of fabric that I could make my peplum pieces out of for the front and back of the top. I decided to construct this top using French seams. 

Cut to size

Next, I measured the peplum pieces and cut them to size. I realized that my maximum width could be 31cm (12 inches) and my maximum length could be 75cm (29.5 inches). 

Sew a French seam

Sew the bandeau 

I then went ahead and French seamed the side seams of my bandeau top. 

Attach the front and back peplum

Join peplum seams and gather stitch

I attached my front and back peplums together with a French seam. 

How to make a tank top

I then sewed two rows of gather stitching across the top and pulled the thread to gather the peplum piece nicely. 

Spread the gathers

Attach bandeau to peplum

I spread my gathers nicely and evenly and then went ahead and attached the bandeau to the peplum with a French seam. 

Homemade tank top

Sew and attach straps and button loops. 

To sew the straps, I folded them as small as I could and sewed them with a really tiny edge stitch to make them as narrow as possible. 

Make button loops

I made the button loops the same way, so I went ahead and attached them to the center back of the bandeau just as I had planned. I then sewed the straps onto the top. I made sure to try on the top so that I could see if I needed to make any adjustments to the straps. 

Add lining

Attach the lining

In this step, I pinned and sewed the lining onto the bandeau. If you didn’t use a see-through fabric, you can skip this step. 


I hopped over to my iron to press the lining and then moved back to my sewing machine to understitch the lining. 


Edge stitch the center back seams

Next, I edge-stitched down the center back seams as I would be leaving the back open for a feature.

Sew on buttons

Hand sew on buttons 

For the final step, I grabbed a needle and thread and hand sewed on buttons to the back of the top. 

Sew a tank top

I adore this Cecilie Bahnsen inspired top! It is the perfect puff piece and I’m so glad I could make it out of fabric I already had! How would you style this top? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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