With temperatures dropping in San Diego, I started riffling through my closet for some autumn-appropriate clothing. Finding very little that excited me, and even less that still fit, I was feeling defeated. I was resigned to the fact that I’d be raiding my husband’s side of the closet for the next few months. That was until I stumbled upon a dress I picked up in a thrift store a few years ago: a double-breasted knit dress. I no longer wore it, and I had long contemplated getting rid of it, but the dress still had potential. I love to reimagine or reinvent something that I already own, giving it a new life and saving it from the landfill. This dress seemed the perfect candidate. I decided to make it into a little cropped top and high-waist skirt, similar to one I saw Solange Knowles wearing. (Yes, the girl who wears khakis and hiking boots for a living occasionally reads fashion blogs!)
There was only one problem: I had never sewn anything more than a hem, so this was going to be a steep learning curve. It turned out it wasn’t so hard after all and I’m thrilled with the end result. My new (old) outfit is perfect for San Diego’s mild autumn.
8” wide coordinating knit fabric (length approx. = waist measurement + 1” seam allowance)
Try the dress on and use chalk to mark your real waist.
Cut the dress in two at real waist marking.
To make the top more fitted I added 2 darts to the front and 2 to the back.
I used a pattern block to mark the location of my darts. If you don’t have one available, this handy youtube demonstration will show you how to mark and sew them in the right place.
Mark and sew two pleats in the front of skirt and two darts in the back.
Cut two strips of the black knit fabric, one 2” wide (edging for top) and the other 6” wide (waistband). Calculate the length of strips required by measuring the total length of cut edge of top or skirt and adding 1” for seam allowance.
Fold strips in half and iron flat. Fold raw edges in towards center and iron.
Sandwich the raw edge of your top within the edging. Pin and sew.
Sandwich the raw edge of the skirt within the waistband. Pin, sew and you’re done!
I love my new crop top and skirt. They are so much cuter than my husband’s over-sized sweaters.