Hey all, hope you've all been enjoying the recent DIYs. Apologies for letting those boots hang out on the front page for over a week, but I was just way too proud of them to sully my blog with anything else, lest it be inferior. A simple black crop-top, why, Sundal, these are readily available in any high street store for less than a song! Yes, I hear you cry.
But more in the spirit of earth-saving than penny pinching (as this DIY actually cost me more than the price of a plain black crop top), I wanted to rescue this sad looking polo neck from certain garment recycling death. Why I waited so long to post this DIY will all be revealed in good time...
You will need:
1 victim top. I've had this one knocking around for ages and this was the DIY to save it.
- sharp textile scissors
- a set square
- tailor's chalk
- measuring tape or ruler
- matching thread, needle and/or sewing machine
- tailor's pins
- (optional) flexible curve or french curve
Using a set square and measuring tape/ruler (if your square is not long enough), mark an equal distance at intervals from the hem to 1 inch below the hem. This extra inch will be your seam allowance.
Cut along this dotted line.
Using the french curve, draw a curved line with the tailor's chalk from underarm to shoulder. You can also draw this freehand if you have a steady hand.
Pin-tack the two layers of fabric together so that they don't slip when cutting along the line.
Cut along the chalk line.
Fold the top in half and trace the line onto the other armhole.
Pin-tack again and cut along the line.
Now, you may not need to do these next few steps if your top is a good fit, unlike mine. If not, try the top on and get a friend to help you pin out the excess.
Sew parallel to the seam-line, as indicated by your pin. Try your top on to make sure you are happy with the fit, and take in extra if necessary. I had to do this three times before I was happy and I also had to take in diagonally to remove some of the extra gapeage near the bottom of the armhole.
Once you're happy with the fit, trim the excess seam allowance, leaving about an inch. You can leave the seams raw, as they're jersey which doesn't fray too much, or if you prefer you can finish them as below:
Finish the raw seams with the overcasting or zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine. If you have an overlocking machine, even better. Unfortunately mine needs repairing so I just used the overcast on my sewing machine.
Fold over the seam allowance (1 inch on the hem and 1cm on the armholes, as they're curved so you want less there) and sew with a straight stitch. You can press the seam before you sew it, to make it easier, or after, to speed things up.
Now this is optional and only if your top is really old and faded, like mine was. Using some black machine dye and table salt, follow the instructions on the pack to refresh the colour (or change the colour if you like!) in your washing machine.
If you didn't allow for shrinkage, like me, now would be a good time to cry at your DIY fail (hey, at least the colour looks great!)
Hit up your local high-street store and pick up a crop-top for a throwaway price to wear with high-waist trousers, skirts, shorts etc. and forget ever attempting DIY again!
Top - Primark
Trousers - Vintage
Boots - Vintage
Bracelet - DIY
I could have saved the top, like I did with my DIY western cut-offs, by adding some of the excess fabric I'd removed back on, but that wouldn't have looked particularly streamlined. I could have added a contrasting coloured jersey band around the bottom, and that would have looked pretty cool. And I probably would have done that, had I not already promised the top to a friend who is quite partial to this underboob look, and I'm sure it would look really sexy for a photoshoot. I will probably add a proper roll-neck to this primark top, as the lack thereof gives it away as a cheaper high-street buy.
We all have DIY fails, yes, even me, after over a decade of DIYing my own clothes, and my main issue is I'm way too scissor happy and I cut everything too short. Now that I've noticed the pattern of my behaviour hopefully I can remedy the issue and get back to DIY wins! Most important is to never give up.
Have you had any DIY fails? Did you manage to rescue them and if so, how? Share one, share all...