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Easy Crop-Top Tutorial

Hello Everyone! It actually feels like a lifetime ago that I did the St. Patrick’s Day tutorial. I hope everyone has been in good spirits and good health through all of these tough times. I just want to start off by saying Goodwill has done a fabulous job in reopening their stores. I have been a very hardcore social distance-er (can that be a word now?) since the start of all this, so my anxiety was a little high getting back into my thrifting game.

I went to the North Olmstead location and the organization was top notch. Someone was greeting at the door to ensure everyone had a face mask on, as well as to wipe down the carts before handing them off. There were signs all over reminding us to remain 6ft apart, and everyone was extremely respectful of that. I’d say the only big difference that I noticed was that they weren’t offering a color of the week sale at the time that I went, but by the time you are reading this tutorial, even that will be back into effect!

Now back to the tutorial! Now that the weather has finally warmed up, I thought it would be a fun idea to create a trendy short sleeved top out of oversized T-Shirts! What inspired me? My love of being comfortable and fashionable all at the same time. I knew I wanted to tie-dye a shirt when I thought about sharing this project, so I went in looking for a men’s large or XL plain white t-shirt, but if tie-dye isn’t your thing, this project looks cute with any shirt you find!

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 Supplies:

  • ½ inch elastic
  • Oversized shirt
  • Tie-Dye kit if you are following along
  • Sewing machine + supplies

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Shirt is from Goodwill’s men’s section size L: 5$ new with tags
Tie-Dye Kit and elastic: 12$ total but get multiple project uses

               First thing you will want to do is open and set up your tie-dye kit and fetch out the rubber bands. There are many different patterns and designs to create while tie-dyeing, I just happened to remember the swirl pattern I favored as a teenage free spirit. All you do is pinch a section of the shirt and start twisting it in a circle. Once the shirt is all folded up, rubber band the heck out of it until it is secure. If this design doesn’t suit you, check online, there are countless tutorials on tie-dying.

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Once you have your T-Shirt ball created, I always spray some water one it (because the internet told me so) and then take it outside. There is no right or wrong way to dye your shirt, just keep adding color until you are satisfied. The only tip I would give is to be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies of the shirt for maximum color, and because you’ll be cropping the shift down, focus mainly on the inner circle.

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Once you are satisfied, wrap your T-Shift into a plastic bag of any kind and set it aside for a 4-6 hours. After the long wait, it’s time to unravel your shift and admire your work! If you have a wash basin in your laundry room, you’ll want to wring out your shirt of excess dye. You can also do this outside using a hose. Once the water is running mostly clear, throw it into the washer alone and set the cycle. Once it is dry, it’s time to start sewing!

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1. Try on your shirt and while looking in the mirror, mark where you want to cut the shirt. You should cut the shirt approximately 2 inches LONGER than your desired length. This leaves room for a hem

2. Cut your shirt

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3. Measure your natural waist (This is the slimmest part of your torso). Do not pull tight because you want the elastic to just sit on your waist, not squeeze it. If you do not have a measuring tape like I do, wrap a string around your waist and then measure the string.

4. Cut elastic to the size of your waist (add .3 inches or so)

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5. Turn your shirt inside out and flip up the edges to create a hem just large enough for the elastic to fit through plus a seam allowance. I just went with approximately 1.5 inch give or take to be on the safe side.

6. Iron your hem and then pin it into place.

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7. Take your shirt over to the sewing machine and sew along the raw edge.
IMPORTANT: leave a gap! Do not finish the complete hem, about 1.5 inches before you hit your starting point, stop and back stitch.

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8. Feed the elastic all the way through the hole you created in your hem. The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and push it through. It makes the feeding process a lot easier. Make sure the end of the elastic always sticks out of the hole.

9. Sew the two elastic ends together, make sure the elastic is not twisted anywhere in the shirt.

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10. Fluff the shift around the elastic band and stitch closed the gap you left in the hem.

11. Flip it right side again and enjoy your brand new crop top!

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Like I said before, this project works for any shirt. I also created one using an “Equality Wins” rainbow shirt I found in the same men’s large section, it came out just as cute and is perfect for pride month! If you aren’t a sewer, just use fabric glue in the same areas that I stitched. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, happy thrifting!

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