Tracing the Steps

Quite a few weeks ago, I wrote about my adventures in crop tops. I spoke about my search for a crop top that fit to my dream specifications and was relatively easy to make. I have an outfit plan on the brain and am more than halfway there.

I’ve been through a few drawers of patterns in the store and online searches but nothing was matching my vision. Sometimes when I have a very specific plan, it’s hard for me to deviate from it.

What I did have was a store bought top that was everything I wanted. I came to realize that the pattern I was searching for, was one that would make this exact piece.


I’ve seen many sewing bloggers just make a pattern around existing clothes, and when I looked closer at the construction of this top, my “do-it-yourself” attitude kind of took over. This can be broken down into three main parts, the front, back, and sleeves. How could I not tackle that?

I folded the bodice in half and began planning my attack.


 The front and back pattern pieces would be almost identical, just the neckline of the back would need to sit higher. I can also see that the sleeves attach in the style of a baseball shirt, which for me, makes for an easier time “tracing” out the pattern.


In a previous post I spoke to tracing out pattern pieces and used wax paper (which was a chore) and lamented not having pattern tissue in my stock. My ever helpful sewing mama, who continues to give me tidbits and shortcuts after every post, pointed out to me that dollar store gift wrapping tissue makes for a perfect (and cheap) substitute. Since I’m the kind of person who believes in re-using all of the things, I keep the gift wrapping from all the gifts I’m ever given. I have a freezer bag full of old tissue paper. Look’s like I won’t need to go to the dollar store for years to come.

So I started with the bodice pieces:



I traced around the top with pencil (marking it where the sleeve seems begin and end so I can ruler them together). I added in seam allowance, but only to the side seams not at the fold, otherwise I’d end up with double what I needed. I also factored in the hem and neckline but after looking at it more carefully, I suspect I’ll need to add a bit more length for those two.

Then I repeated the process for my sleeves with a bit of a twist:


After tracing around the outside bottom of my sleeve, I flipped the top over to get the mirror opposite and create a piece for a sleeve as if it were cut open and laying flat. Confusing? The next picture may clear that up…


That’s where I leave you today. We’ll see if this pays off, and hopefully my crop top quest will finally come to an end. What’s the outfit project that I’m working on?

Hopefully you’ll see it all finished next week.


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