If like me you love vintage prints, whether its ditsy daisies or candy coloured prints, you’ll understand my excitement when I bought this cute mint green light weight cotton material. I wanted to make something simple but stylish for summer days out with it, so decided to make my own vintage inspired summer crop top. I made this garment using only 4 simple measurements on my body. This is a really easy way to make a top that fits you without following a pattern, if you want to make your own here’s how…
You will need:
- Fabric of your choice – approx. 1 meter
- Tape measure
- Chalks or pencil
- Tracing/graph paper or large sheet of card or similar.
Getting your measurements
To create a pattern you need to construct a box shape on your card or tracing paper using your own personal measurements. Measure from the center of your collar bone (throat) down to where you want your top to come to, then add a few cm as you can always make it shorter but not longer. I am a size 8 and I want mine around 50 cm long. This number will be the height.
Next measure around you waist, and then loosen the tape measure to how baggy you want the top. For example my waist is 70 cm but I then extended it to 88 cm. You then need to divide this number by 4 to get quarter of the size to apply it to the box, mine would be 22cm. This number is the width.
On your paper or card draw a rectangle using the height and width measurements.
Marking one height side as your center fold side.
From there, measure from your collarbone out towards your shoulder stopping where you want your strap to start. Mine was 10cm. Then add the thickness of your strap e.g 5cm thick. Mark these on the top of the box. Measure down from your collar bone again to how low you want your neckline e.g. mine was 12cm.
Mark this on your center fold line and join the first strap mark up with your neckline with a smooth curve to get your neckline.
The last measurement you need is from your under your armpit down your side to the hem of your top.
Mine was 30cm, on your card measure up from the bottom of your box on the side which isn’t marked centerfold. This is going to be the bottom of your armhole.
Draw a smooth curve from second strap mark down to armhole mark. You can now see you top construction.
Add a seam allowance of 1.5 cm all the way around your pattern leaving out the center fold line.
Cut out your shape.
Fold your fabric in half and place center fold edge of your paper right up to the fold of the fabric.
Pin in place and cut.
Open your fabric up and you will have your front. Do the same for the back but instead of cutting a scoop for the neckline, cut straight across.
Lay the front and back pieces on top of each other making sure you put right sides together and the wrong side is facing up.
Pin all around edges.
Now it’s finally time to get on the sewing machine.
Thread up your machine with a thread that matches you material.
Sew the straps together first. Stitch to a 1.5 cm allowance with a straight stitch. Then do the same with two sides avoiding the armholes and neckopening. Turn inside out and out should have a basic shape.
Now is probably a good time to try your top on to see if it fits and if you need to make any amendments. I had to cut a larger scoop in my neckline as I found it was a little high for my liking.
You need to finish these edges so I always find the quickest way is to cut them in half then as I don’t have an over locker, use a zigzag stitch over the edge. This will stop fraying.
To finish the outer edges I would recommend a rolled hem. To do this use an iron to press and fold under ½ cm then ½ cm again, use pins to hold the edge in place before stitching it all down. This gives a nice neat edge all the way around your garment. Do this on all edges including sleeves and the hem once you are happy with the length.
And you’re finished!
Give it a quick iron and then you are ready to wear your very own vintage style summer crop top. I love wearing mine with a pair of high waisted jeans, shorts or tucked in a midi-pleated skirt.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have made anything similar.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!