Today’s thrift flip starts off as a pillow case. No, really!
I decided to try my hand at this trendy summer top (originally by the brand Trois The Label) which is essentially a single panel of ruched fabric with an extra long strap strategically woven through 2 tunnels to create an open back crop top.
You can do this DIY with any fabric, but a pillow case works perfectly because you’ll need to cut 2 panels of fabric (which means you just lay down the pillow case, plop the pattern on top, and cut). No need to fold fabric and worry about waste or grain direction. Plus, after attempting this top in satin, cotton, and a few other fabrics, I found that the lightweight cotton (or cotton blend) fabric that pillow cases are usually made with, has the perfect weight and feel for this particular top.
• fabric (pillow case) + matching thread
• fabric scissors
• paper + pencil
• fabric chalk
• seam ripper
• large safety pin
• sewing machine
• optional (a ribbon or rope to use as the strap)
• start by drafting your pattern. Here is an example pattern of what an average size S/M would look like. (Adjust accordingly by adding or subtracting 1.5 inches for larger or smaller sizes.)
• After cutting 2 pieces of the BODY panel, pin them right sides together, and sew a straight stitch along all the edges (leaving a 3-4 inch gap on one of the sides). You’ll use this gap to flip the top so the right sides are out.
• Once the top is flipped right sides out, sew a straight stitch down both sides.
• With fabric chalk, mark the 2 tunnels, and sew a straight stitch on each marking (dashed lines on pattern). The width of these tunnels should accommodate the width of your strap + 0.5 inches. Keep this in mind if you’ll be using a ribbon or rope instead of making your own strap.
• Use a seam ripper to rip open the stitches on the edges of the tunnels, essentially opening up the sides so that your strap/ribbon can pass through.
• Next move on to making the strap. Cut a strip of fabric about 110” long by around 2” wide and clean finish the edges by folding the fabric over twice and sewing a straight stitch down the entire length of the strap. (OR, skip this step altogether by using a ribbon or rope as your strap instead.)
• Lastly, attach a large safety pin to one end of the strap, and start weaving it through the tunnels to create armholes and a back tie.
• Once the top is assembled, all that’s left to do is gather the fabric along the tunnels and adjust the strap to fit your body.
And here’s the final look
The entire project took me about 45 minutes – cut this time in half if you don’t make your own strap from scratch! I would 10/10 recommend giving this a try if you’re comfortable with a beginner level sewing project.