Reversible woven (non-stretch) crop top

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With so many things on my endless sewing queue I had to ask myself- what do I want to make the most? what will I get the most wear/enjoyment out of. Wouldn’t have guessed that would be a crop top, but for some reason making a woven crop top has been on my wishlist for a long time!   Note: I didn’t make the skirt in the above pictures, I only made the top. I know the skirt is fabulous! (I do want to make my own similar version because it is very easy to wear)

I have been seeing lots of these fabulous two piece sets and I’m still not sick of the crop top trend (not that I’m one to follow trends, but when it’s right for me I just go with it).

Anyway I had a muslin/toile lying around from a past project (my Marimekko shift dress), so I thought, (to make things easier) why not adapt this pattern by marking and cutting up this toile that I already have?! Then it was quick and easy to check the length and create a new neckline (by cutting directly into the toile). I marked the muslin/toile with the design changes I wanted, retraced the paper pattern that (that the toile was made from) and then made my design changes to my traced pattern: transforming the shift dress pattern into a cropped top (of my own design).

Was all the pattern making tedium going to be worth it? I wasn’t sure if it was going to work because I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to pattern-making (I am NOT a maths person- maths is what I’m worst at, so I’m kind of scared of drafting) but there was no horrid maths and It was all pretty intuitive.

I gotta say I was surprised- the system worked! 😉 It was just the kind of top I saw in my head. YAY!!

The finished product feels a bit more sophisticated than cropped knit top and because I made it reversible the extra layer adds structure to the piece. I also love it because I have and I have a lot of high-waisted skirts so it fits surprisingly well into my wardrobe (I am wearing the top as I type this). If I travel again, I just may take it with me because you get two different tops that take up the space of only one.

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By the way I have used this black and white spot (cotton/poly poplin) fabric before. I made a dress from it in 2012!

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The black fabric on the reverse side is a black cotton voile (light and lovely to work with) I bought in bulk when on sale of course 😉

I almost forgot to mention that I designed the neckline so that it would be low enough for the top to slip over my head (no fastenings or zippers needed)

I thought of drafting a facing for this top. Facings do make for quicker sewing but I figured since the top was so small I would go all out and just line it (more time consuming but a better finish). Did I want to make my life easier and add a center back seam? Heck no! Was kind of a blessing in disguise because I had to put my problem solving hat on when lining it and now I remember the trick I was taught, which is impossible to put into words. If i was to explain I think id need to do a video…not because it’s smart or hard, but simply because its so dam tricky to explain.

I got some good pictures of my (sewing) process so i’ll show instead of tell…

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I was on such a high after making this! Don’t be surprised if I make, like, a billion iterations in different prints and colours. I have already cut out the 3 (linings included) 😉

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22 comments
  1. Natalie said:

    GENIUS! I’ve been sketching and day dreaming about matching crop tops and wiggle skirts but keep putting off the actual making because I had this strange idea that crop tops should really be princess seamed (ridiculous I know) and I don’t have a TNT princess seam pattern. What a goose I am.
    I love this on you, and can’t wait to see your next three! I’m totally crushing on the crop top and high waisted skirt look, I hope you’ll forgive me if I make a few of these too xx

    • Yay! Thanks :). A crop top with a wiggle skirt, now that’s a really great combo too! Haha you are not! I know what you mean- I’m like that too (I’m quite particular about what design details I want on things) Princess seams do give the best fit, and it’s nice to forgo the hassle of marking darts. The advantage of darts is, sometimes they are less intrusive when you are working with a printed fabric.
      🙂 I will only be mad at you if you DON’T make any! I can see this look being fabulous on you!! xx

  2. Noelle said:

    Such a cute top! Love that it’s reversible.

  3. uglybeat said:

    Loooove it! Can’t wait to see the other crop tops. Great idea to make it reversible! I love that sewing challenges my logic or lack thereof–It’s so good for your brain to give it challenges like this, so pat yourself on the back for this success. I’m working on a cute 60’s shift dress right now that is way to wide in the shoulders. I’m inspired to go back in the sewing room and fix it now! Thanks for the lovely blog, as always.

    • Thanks so much lovely! 😀 That’s true! Its very rewarding when you have a successful problem solving session (at the machine). That’s awesome! I’m sure you will sort out your shift out (if you haven’t already) a girl can never have too many!

  4. Melanie said:

    I love this top – and I love that it’s reversible. It looks GREAT with the skirt you’ve choose to wear with it.

    I SUCK at maths…it’s my downfall when sewing as my brain just doesn’t think “like that”.

    I’m also really BAD at visualizing things so I cannot for the life of me figure out your lining method. I need an IRL demo please.

    • Thanks Melanie! Glad I’m not the only one! I just don’t have a very logical brain and all the spatial awareness/intelligence is a problem for me. If someone asks me for directions I can only tell them what landmarks are nearby, I never remember street names!
      I know what you mean about visualizing things. That’s why I’ve always preferred to learn about sewing through my own experiments or trial and error, rather than following instructions- visualizing instructions is not my strong suit.
      Real life demo is a good idea! hmmm….

  5. erin goh said:

    LOVE this cropped top!!! Brilliant idea Kath! It’s great for using up leftover fabric, and the reversible top means double the co-ordinating options! I really hope to find the time to whip up at least one of these for my daughter before I go visit her at the end of the year. She loves wearing skirts and shorts so tops like these will go far for a student living out of a suitcase 🙂

    • Thanks Erin. Yay! So glad you like it! Oh yes that sounds perfect! Perfect for a busy student/traveler like her 😉

    • Yay! Thanks Lena 🙂 That means a lot coming from you!

  6. Great Job ! I love it and you looking great !

    • Thanks Hun! I love your blog- you make such fun clothes :)! x

  7. Rebecca said:

    Cute top! Love the shape and making it reversible is just fabulous.

  8. This is adorable and the combo with the skirt is just so good!

  9. ummm babe alert! you look smoking! I keep trying to decide to what to make for my work Christmas party and you have made me change my mind again!

    I was thinking of making a similar twin set for casual wear from a striped fabric. I like your idea of no zipper to just let it slide over your head. I will totally borrow that idea if you don’t mind?

    And yes! sew more! when you have a good thing going, keep sewing!

  10. Laura said:

    This is so chic – you must be able to wear it with all kind of bottoms, including jeans for a smart casual look.

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