We have had beautiful weather here in Lexington and I couldn’t be happier. To kick off my spring sewing, I am excited to share with you a crop-top setacular. The crop top was made using Simplicity 1099. I had intended to use their midi skirt pattern, as well, but I ended up copying a pattern from a ready to wear garment in my closet, instead. I was first inspired to make this combo after seeing Erica Bunker’s version that she made for her daughter’s graduation. I thought her version turned out beautifully.
This is not my first foray into the crop-top craze. Please refer to Exhibit A. I’m still in love with that Cynthia Rowley crop top and midi-skirt that I made last year. This version by Simplicity 1099 is much simpler to put together, however.
I cut the size 12 because that is what I cut the crop top out of for the Cynthia Rowley crop top and it most closely matches my bust measurement of 34. There are only three main pattern pieces. I did make a muslin and I was satisfied with the fit. It’s snug, but not too snug.
I only deviated from the instructions when it came to zipper insertion. The instructions tell you that you need a lightweight separating zipper. I have never applied this type of zipper before, and unfortunately things did not go well. I ended up ripping out the first zipper and instead applying an invisible zipper. I am satisfied with the results.
The skirt, surprisingly, proved far more challenging than the top itself. I cut skirt E in a size 14 because that was the size I cut for my last midi skirt and the fit was perfect. I decided not to make a muslin, which was a mistake. Whenever I think I can take a shortcut, I’m always disappointed. Anyway, because this pattern is for a pleated full skirt, I needed 4 1/2 yards of fabric. I found this gorgeous, vibrant, fun fabric at Joann’s. They’re really on their fabric game lately, which is nice since there aren’t many options in this town. Well, this fabric is heavy. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it feels like a blanket. I constructed the pleated skirt and got about as far as putting the zipper in when I realized everything was wrong with the skirt. I wish I would have cut the size 12 because it was fitting loosely on my lower hips and not at my waist the way I wanted it to. Also, due to the heaviness of the fabric and the pleating, the skirt was making my hips look wide. I also decided that I wanted a back zipper insertion and not a side zipper. Also, the pockets were adding too much bulk at my sides. Basically, I cut the whole damn thing apart and started over.
I had this beautiful A-line skirt from Ann Taylor that fit me perfectly. I decided I needed a simple skirt pattern that would not weigh down my fabric. I used this Ann Taylor skirt to draft a skirt pattern.
I simply traced the seam lines and added 5/8″ seam allowance. The results were so much better. I also tried my hand at a new hemming technique. I decided to hem my skirt with horsehair braid to give the hem more flounce.
If you’ve never used horsehair braid before, it’s really quite simple to use. It’s the same idea as hemming with bias tape. It’s a plastic-y flesible material that you sew along the right side of your hem and then turn under.
It adds a little bit of weight to your hem and gives your skirt a kind of flirty look is I suppose the best way to describe its effect. You can buy horsehair braid in different widths. The wider the braid, the more dramatic an effect. I actually originally stitched in one inch braid, but it caused my hem to flare outward too much, so I cut it off and put in 1/2″ instead.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. I can’t wait to debut this look on a Saturday night somewhere.