One of the biggest trends in fashion this year is the cropped top. Cropped tops are, of course, not meant to be tucked in, so they’re usually hemmed above the waistline so a little skin shows on the torso. After seeing so many examples during my time at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week while taking pictures at runway shows, I thought I’d take a stab at creating my own version to illustrate just how easy this trend is to adopt while using something you may find at Goodwill, or a blouse or top you already have in your closet. It’s really a simple project to do, even for those without any sewing skills. If you like this DIY, you may be able to achieve it your own way by using iron-on fabric bond to create hems like I will show here. If you don’t have an iron, well perhaps it’s time to get one! Or, perhaps you might trade a service or job to someone who could sew this for you. Bartering is just a great way to benefit both parties involved!
I started with finding a blouse I liked at my local Goodwill. The blouse was $3.99 and 100% silk (brand by Tess). It was a button down dressy blouse, but I liked the lightweight, summery feel of the fabric, as well as the reptile print in blue, gray and black, which lent it an air of sophistication. I measured where the waist would be on my sewing mannequin and really tried to emulate the white top in the photo. I liked how the sleeves were the same length as the top. I laid the blouse flat and folded the sleeves in to the center as well. Using a straight edge, I marked the line with dressmaker’s chalk. When I unfolded the sleeves, I once again marked them straight across using the point where the mark met the waistline as a guide. I cut the excess fabric off using a pinking shears, which leaves a serrated edge on the fabric and causes less unraveling. With silk fabric, unlike cotton, there isn’t much chance of unraveling!
I folded the hem up ¾-of-an inch toward the inside of the sleeves and waistline and then pressed them. I pinned them loosely, and then added a straight stitch to secure the hem. I also decided to sew along the facings of the placket (where the button holes and buttons go to fasten the blouse) just to give it a little more stability. And, as they say my friends, that was it! I liked the way it turned out so much that I had my friend Kenzie, who is just starting out as a model, slip it on with her shorts to show how cropped tops can look classy when not too much skin is showing. (See more of Kenzie's photos in the slideshow below.)
I always encourage people to try their hand at modifying items you have, or things you might find at Goodwill. Why? Because learning about fashion is something anyone can do! For a few pennies on the dollar you can recreate runway looks YOUR way just by shopping at our stores. When you donate or purchase items from Goodwill you support your community, and nothing feels better than looking great while doing good for someone else.