LA Fire Conclave 2007: Burn Costume: Cropped Tee

Introduction: LA Fire Conclave 2007: Burn Costume: Cropped Tee

About: Freelance writer and editor. I blog at Metroblogging LA:

This is an Instructable for the cropped top to go with the panel skirt, for the LA Fire Conclave performance at Burning Man.

Sorry 'bout the colors, the lighting varied. But it's all the same top.

It can be cropped high-up, like my final product, can be cropped at the midriff, or can be not cropped at all, depending on how you want it to look.

~You'll need a fitted t-shirt. Look for purple; if you can't find one, like me, get a pink or blue one & dye it.
~You'll also need some stretchy gold trim. It needs to be stretchy, 'cause it has to stretch with the t-shirt.
~You'll need gold or yellow thread. IMO, use yellow: real gold thread is a pain in the ass.
You'll also need some little embellishment like a frog or cool button. You'll see further on what I mean.
~And you'll want some pins and a sewing needle. (Or you could say screw it & use flexible-set glue & duct tape. Whatever works.)

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Step 1: Get a Shirt.

American Apparel's a good resource; I got these at a dollar store in Highland Park on the corner of Figueroa and 61st.

If you can't find purple, get pink like I did.

Step 2: If Your Shirt's the Wrong Color, Dye It.

Use a fabric dye to change your shirt to the color it should be. Uh, make sure to rinse the washing machine with a cycle of bleach afterwards (1/2 cup bleach in the water should do it).

Step 3: More With the Dyeing.

I threw the shirt into the washer on the smallest load setting, dumped the dye in, let it mix itself up all good, then made it set for about 1/2 hour before letting it continue its rinse cycle.

Step 4: Dry the Thing Out.


Step 5: Ok, So Let's Look at What We've Got Here.

Ooh, looky! Purple. Turn the little dude inside-out.

Step 6: Chop Off the Sleeves.

Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the sleeves off. It's not rocket science; if it's a little messy, no one will notice. But it helps to follow the sewed lines.

Step 7: Yay! Sleeves Are Off!

You go!

Step 8: Survey the Terrain.

Ok, so try it on. Think about how short you wanna make it. Hell, you can leave it long, like this, if you want, & just sew the trim onto the bottom.

You can fold it up to see how short you want it.

Step 9: Length Option 2:

Just fold it up, see if ya like it. If not, you can go shorter still.

Step 10: Length Option 3:

Folded up to the full crop-top.

Step 11: Mark Where You're Gonna Cut.

Using a sharpie or chalk, mark about an inch to an inch-and-a-half BELOW where you want the top to crop at. Helps to do it while you're wearing it so you know for sure where it sits on you.

Step 12: Cut.

Try to do it straight, 'kay? again, not the end of the world if it's a little off.

Step 13: See?

Cropped. Ta-da!

Step 14: Shiny!

Get out your stretchy trim. It's sorta hard to find stretchy trim, but it's there at Joanne's & other fabric stores. Usually has sequins on it, which is trés fabulous.

Step 15: Line Up Your Trim

Line up the trim along the cropped edge, doubled--you'll need to attach it all the way around. Allow yourself an extra five, six inches (I didn't and came up short, buh).

Step 16: Pin the Trim On.

Use pins to keep the trim attached to the bottom of the shirt as you sew it. It's a pain in the ass to stitch it on while it's flopping all over, so the pins keep it in place.

Step 17: Sew Zig-zag Stitches.

Look close at the picture & sew stitches that zig-zag. This way the shirt can still stretch. If your stitches are straight the shirt will be bound by the straight line of thread. Zig-zags allow it to flex.

Step 18: All the Way Around the Shirt.

Sew the trim on all around the cut edge of the cropped shirt, using those zigzag stitches.

Step 19: Froggy!

This thing is called a "frog." I don't know why.

They sell 'em at fabric stores.

Step 20: Ta-da!

Frog sewn in, try your top on. Hopefully it fits. ;)

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    4 Discussions


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha... When I learn how to make 'em...and when my friends who make 'em, and sell them, won't kill me for cutting into their business. So, like, never, prolly.

    fire fingers 04.JPG
    fungus amungus
    fungus amungus

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Ahh, fire hands.

    Wait a minute... there's a staff instructable around here someplace.



    here it is! fire staff


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice, well done instructable. Nice job. Thanks for sharing.