going off the griddle

purposeful living guidebook

Crop it perfect every time!

Crop tops are arguably this season’s hottest trend. Being a petite gal, I’m glad this look is in, kicking extra long tunics to the curb.  It took me a while to realize this, but wearing extra long shirts as shirts, and not as dresses, is not a good look for me.  Lately, I’ve been either tucking in my tops, or wanting to wear a crop top.

My favorite way to wear a crop top is with a high waisted, midi length skirt and ankle boots.  You can also rock a crop top with a pair of high waisted cropped trousers or gauchos for a really fresh, updated look.  These proportions make my waist look like the smallest point on the body, which it actually is!  Those long tops just hid all my womanly curves and made my legs look shorter.

Luckily, crop tops are easy to hack & made for the DIY set.  You can breath new life into thrift store finds. I always buy these silk shells that don’t get worn because the proportions make me look like I never stopped wearing my clothes from back in the day, though this wasn’t even my style back then. I’m especially a sucker for crazy colorful prints from the late 80’s & early 90’s.  You know, they usually come with shoulder pads and a dry cleaning tag still attached.  These shirts are almost perfectly on trend, however the conservative length just takes it from cool & hip to old & mature. But if I crop it?  Presto – I have a new shirt.

It’s amazing how easy & affordable it is to achieve this look. Last weekend, I saved three tops from the “outgoing” pile, cropped them & voila!  New outfits all week long.

Here are a couple tips that have served me well in cropping & hemming, that help me crop it perfect every time!

        • Determine how cropped you want it.  I used an existing store bought shirt to copy because I already know I love the length of it, my measurement from high point shoulder to the bottom edge is 19″.
crop top DIY

crop top DIY

    • Use a measuring tape and put it at the high point shoulder [located at the edge of the neck hole where the shoulder seam lives], hold tape at 90 degree angle to the bottom edge so you get the most accurate results.
crop top DIY

crop top DIY

    • Mark where you want to cut, in my case 20″ (19″ +1″ seam allowance).
    • Note the distance from the mark to the bottom edge, in my case it was 5″.
    • Proceed to measure 5″ up from the bottom edge from side seam to side seam.
crop top DIY

crop top DIY

  • Use really good scissors and cut along the line.  It’s ok to cut through 1 layer, but I prefer cutting through 2 layers – do what makes you feel comfortable : )
crop top DIY

crop top DIY

  • Turn the raw edge over 3/8″ and stitch it down, turn the stitched down edge over 3/8″ and stitch down again.
crop top DIY

crop top DIY

Voila! You have a new shirt : )

crop top DIY

crop top DIY

If you are really good & patient, or if the fabric is cooperative, you can double fold the hem and stitch down only once for a cleaner looking finish.  If you do stitch down twice, bear in mind, it will look like a 2 needle stitch on the inside of the hem, but the outside will look just like it should with a single needle topstitch.  Personally, I’m not concerned with the inside look as much, since these were about to be donated, hence money I’m throwing away.  So naturally, I’m quite pleased that I can freshen up my wardrobe while not spending money on anything new.

This project took me less than one hour, and I’m already planning on cropping some more shirts soon.  This boxy shape is refreshing to me & I intend to rock it all summer long!  Good luck, happy sewing : )


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This entry was posted on May 10, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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