I love the aesthetics of retro housewife culture, but I hate the oppressive idea that a woman must be domestic and ladylike or else there's something wrong with her. To demonstrate these feelings, I decided to turn a vintage tablecloth into a provocative crop top.
JUST KIDDING. I really do feel that way, but the thought process behind this project was not that thoughtful. I found this cute fruit print tablecloth for $3 at a thrift shop. I didn't want to let it sit collecting dust and I'd seen some cute ruffled tops around and thought it'd be the perfect material to make one. Plus, I don't hold enough parties to warrant use of a tablecloth anyways and if I do have a party, you better believe I am using paper things because teenagers are GROSS AND DIRTY.
Here's what you need:
+ruffled tablecloth (one like this would work, you could also use plain old fabric and sew your own ruffle)
+sewing machine (you could probably due it by hand)
1. You will be using your sleeveless shirt as a guide. I used a loose fitting silk tank that I found at Goodwill. Put on your shirt and place a pin at the spot where you want your to top to stop, taking into account that you will attach a ruffle. I pinned about an inch and half above my natural waist.
2. Place the shirt on the tablecloth. If it's patterned, place it on top of the part of the pattern you like best. Pin the shirt to the tablecloth in a few places so it doesn't move. With the pencil, trace the shape of the shirt, leaving about a 1/4 inch of room around, from where you pinned before.
3. Unpin the shirt from the tablecloth and place next to wear you traced. Repeat the tracing process once more.
4. You now have the front and back of your shirt! Alter the neckline, using a pencil, if you feel that it's too high or low. Just wing it.
5. Cut out the shirt pieces. Sew the edges of the pieces so they don't fray.
6. Fold the edges of the armholes about a 1/4 inch and iron. Pin where you've folded and sew along the edges.
7. Pin the pieces together, pattern side down.
8. Sew the sides together.
9. Sew the top of the straps together.
10. Measure the width of bottom of the top and double the number and add an inch. This is the amount of ruffle you need to cut off from the tablecloth.
11. Pin the ruffle to the bottom of the shirt, pattern side down. Sew along the edge.
Voila! You are finished!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I know that my instructions would cause many fashion design students to cringe.