U-neck cropped top to V-neck dress

imageThis is my latest project! More details to follow. 🙂

Sometime in early January, I was browsing JCP.com for work pants and chanced upon a cropped top in the sale section. At $3.99 per piece (U.P. $16.00), I saw lots of possibilities for refashioning. Especially since the cropped top look isn’t what I usually go for. So I got 3! 2 in blue and 1 floral piece. Here are screenshots of what the original pieces looked like off of the email confirmation JCP sent me. Pardon the small size of the images, I couldn’t find bigger ones as they’re unavailable online now.crop top 2

crop top

The tops were Large and a little loose so I cut the front, twisted one side, reconnected the fronts, and now I have a bow of sorts. Difficult to imagine? These pics may help.

Snip snip down the front

Snip snip down the front

Pin the RightTop to the LeftBottom and vice versa. Sew and then arrange neatly.

Pin the RightTop to the LeftBottom and vice versa. Sew and then arrange neatly.

After arranging the overlapping folds, I hand sewed the bottom and top sides together to bring up the neckline and lengthen the middle bow section. Use a matching thread! Flip it inside out and voila, a brand new crop top with something special. Because I handsewed just the top and bottom but did not go up and down the length, I have 2 “holes” to insert ties or scarves to accessorize the top.

Insert pre-made tube of matching fabric through the holes to create a more interesting look

Insert pre-made tube of matching fabric through the holes to create a more interesting look

I knew I wanted to add length to the tops – the question is, how much? With the blue top, I had some stripey fabric stashed away that I felt would match both the blue as well as the coming of Spring and Summer. It had similar stretch as the top so that was perfect.

I folded the striped fabric in half and laid it on my cutting mat. Then laid the blue top flat on top. I used that as a measure of width before making the necessary snips, adding several inches. Still in the high-low hem craze, I made a curved cut so that it would be shorter in front and longer in the back. Be sure to end the back 90 degrees to the fabric.

A stripey skirt!

A stripey skirt! Top of this pic is the bottom of the skirt.

Foldover and sew the bottom edge of the skirt. Connect the open sides of the skirt and remember to zigzag stitch the edges, especially if your fabric tends to fray. Use pins to connect the skirt to the top. The extra inches were folded into an outer pleat at the middle-abck of the skirt – this creates a very interesting optical effect with the fabric being striped.

Adjust the fit and you may find excess length when you get to the front of the top. Don’t worry, sew the top edge of the excess skirt width shut, hiding the edges inside, when you zigzag stitch the top to the skirt. You may wish to add elastic to help the top hold the skirt up, otherwise the weight of the skirt may add stress to the top.

And that’s it! The dress is ready. 🙂

Front view. Excess material in front creates a beautiful cascade of stripe.

Front view. Excess material in front creates a beautiful cascade of stripe.

Back view. Pleat creates an optical illusion that hints at a curvilicious behind.

Back view. Pleat creates an optical illusion that hints at a curvilicious behind.

I have one more blue and one floral cropped top. Lots more refashioning to do! Happy sewing/crafting!

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