Introduction: Fitted Summer Crop-top DIY
This is a great way to make a little something to wear in the summer. It's fairly easy (though does require basic sewing skills), cheap, and quick to make! I got my fabric in the sale and overall the whole thing cost less than £3!
I made mine in a floral print, but I think it would look great in a lightweight denim or plain cotton too! Have fun and experiment with different ideas:)
(Mine turned out a bit shorter than I'd intended, so add a little extra length onto yours if you'd prefer a longer top!)
Step 1: You Will Need...
- ½ yard of fabric
- 4 - 6 buttons I used 5
- cotton thread matching or contrast
- 2 - 4 sheets of A3 paper if you can't get hold of that you'll need 4 - 6 sheets of A4 paper
- measuring tape
Step 2: Taking Measurements...
To make the top fit you perfectly you'll need to take some measurements, and draw out a simple 2 piece pattern. It may seem like a drag to begin with but it'll save time later on, and ensure the right size.
So for this we're going to need 3 main measurements: Waist - bust - back
Using a flexible measuring tape , record your 3 lengths in inches.
Step 3: Making the Pattern...
Copy out the blueprint above onto your paper (if you're using A4 you'll need to tape the sheets together on one side) using your own measurements. Follow the instructions on the blueprint to get the correct length.
For example, if your waist size is 24, you will divide it by 4, then add 2.5 inches, making the length you draw out onto your paper 8.5 inches. This calculation will appear on the blueprint like this: (Waist/4)+2.5
Tip - take a long look at the blue print before drawing out your own. For example, if the top of the arm hole ends halfway down the piece, then draw yours out to look the same. If you take care and go slowly there's no reason why you won't have a great looking perfectly fitting top at the end.:)
You can also change things like the neckline to match your own personal taste.
Once you've made your pattern pieces, cut them out.
Step 4: Cutting Out Your Fabric...
Fold your fabric so that the wrong side of fabric is showing and the edges meet in the middle. Lay your paper pieces out flat onto it. The pieces must lay with arrows pointing onto the fold of the fabric.
Pin the two pieces onto fabric and cut out using fabric scissors.
Tip- the more pins you use the less the paper will slip around and the easier cutting out will be. Use extra pins on curves.
The WRONG side of fabric must be facing up!!
Step 5: Transferring Markings...
You should now have your two pattern pieces cut out and still pined together. Do not remove pins yet.
Use a pen to mark onto the wrong side of both layers of fabric the dart points. The points are the circles on your darts.
**Darts are the triangle shapes on your paper pieces that will give your crop top shape**
The easiest way of doing this is pushing a pin through each dart point, one at a time, and then drawing a small dot with your pen where the pin comes through on the other side.
Once you've transferred all points, remove pins and spread out flat. Use a ruler or straight edge to join the points together.
Step 6: Making the Darts...
Use a pin to fold together your dart points. Ensure that each line matches up and that the dart is pulled into the wrong side of fabric. Once your dart is secured, make a running stitch along the line. Do not back-stitch at the point, tie a not.
Tip- Run stitch right off the dart point to prevent a 'bubble' in your garment.
Once all darts are in place, iron the bust darts pointing downwards and the waist darts pointing into the center.
Your garment should now look like this.
Step 7: Button Holes...
Fold the left side of the front bodice over 2cm and mark on where you want your button holes to be. I used 5 and spaced them about 1 inch apart. I recommend using a button hole foot on a sewing machine to make your holes, but if you don't have one don't worry - neither do I, and it's really easy.
Hand sewing the button holes....
Cut the hole roughly 4mm wide (depending on the buttons you're using) along your marking. Make sure your hole is a the same length as your button.
Loop your thread around the raw edge of your button hole. Once you've been around the whole hole, tie a knot and trim loose threads.
Or for a more detailed look, see here for a tutorial on sewing buttonholes by hand...
Step 8: Sew the Top Together...
Pin right side of bodice front and left side of bodice back together on wrong side of fabric then running stitch them together, 1.5cm into the fabric.
Iron the seam flat against fabric.
Pin shoulders of bodice back and front together 1.5cm into fabric, running stitch them together.
Step 9: The Neckline and Hem...
Neck and arm lines -
Fold the raw edge of the neckline over 1cm and pin in place. Sew 1/5cm from edge using a running stitch, or by hand. I used a prick stitch by hand, which is essentially a tiny stitch that barely shows on the right side of the fabric.
Repeat this with both of the arm edges.
Depending on how short you want your crop-top to be, fold and pin the bottom edge of the top to the wrong side of fabric. If your two pieces are slightly different lengths, pin them so they both match up.
Step 10: Buttons...!
The final stage of the project! Hurrah!
It's the fun part, too - everyone loves sewing buttons, right?
If you've never done them before, don't panic - they're pretty straight forward.
Find the only edge still with a raw edge.
All you need to do is fold over the raw edge of the fabric by about 1 inch, and place your button in the correct place according to where your button hole is.
Starting behind the button, push your threaded needle through one of the small holes in the button. Keep threading it through all the different holes until you're happy with ho secure it feels. Then tie a knot behind the button, and trim thread.
If you have any questions, I'd love to help:)
Thanks for reading!