I first developed this to save money, as I'd paid alot for Sailor Jerry material, which I have recently discovered is reasonably priced from Etsy.com from America.
The black panels down each side take away from the heavy patterns and make the tops easier on the eye! Also, the black fabric is stretchy enough to make the top fitted without any difficult stiching :D
Firstly, measure your bust and the length of your torso from your armpit to just above your hips. I will use my measurements as an example. I measure a meager 32 inches around, and 16 length, so to be safe,and for hemming, I will use a little extra, making it 36 around and 18 length.
The front and back panels will consist of your patterned cotton material, and I like these panels about 10 inches across. So, taking 20 inches from the 36 leaves us with 16 inches to split into two for the black stretchy panels, will makes them 8 inches wide each. The diagram should clear things up for you! Obviously, your own measurements apply, with a little extra for hemming!
Next, using your sewing machine, use a simple stich to sew together the panels, so that you have a long rectangle of black, then pattern, then black, then pattern. Hem along the top and bottom, and finally sew the top together, tidying any loose cotton away after. Its that simple!
The stretchy fabric should allow you enough give to get the top on and off, I like to stich about 3 times for each panel just to make sure I don't break it!
Add bows, buttons and badges as necessary :D