DIY: Applique Cut-Out Crop Top - Hey Mishka Creative Living Blog - Michelle Christina Larsen

Time to get crafty! Today we’re making a DIY crop top using materials I have laying around the house and a little bit of t-shirt surgery.

The finished product is a tie-dye cut-out crop top, made from a previously existing top I picked up at a thrift store here in Brooklyn.

Wear this over a knit turtle neck in the fall or pack it away for your next vacay. Instructions below.

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1. Crop your top! Find a top to work with at your local Sally Army or favorite second-hand store. Pick out a cheap one for your first project, in case you chop a little too much! You can make one from scratch too, but why not recycle and give an old top new life? *wink*

Put the top on to measure where you want the cropped hem. I like the front a little bit higher than the back hem, to create a draped effect. Cut while laid flat.

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2. Cut-out the shoulders. Cut semi-circle shapes from the shoulders. Start small and try on the top a few times to determine how much to cut. Remember, it’s easy to cut more, but you can’t add fabric back!

You can also mark this while you’re wearing it… but I like to live on the edge!

Tip: If your fabric is fray-resistant, like a sweatshirt knit, a rough edge will be fine. If not, you may have to turn in the edge and do a zig zag stitch or hand-tack to keep things in place.

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3. Make your applique.  Cut a triangle—or whatever motif you’re into—from some contracting fabric.

I chose a pre-interfaced gold faux-reptile skin material that had a bit of stiffness and was easy to work with. Position it on your top, and pin it down.

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4. Attach your applique. I do this by hand, but you can do it by machine! If you’re doing it by hand, I recommend the whip stitch to keep the applique in place.

A thick, contrasting thread can create an interesting visual accent, while a more subtle thread in a tonal color can disappear on the front of the design. It’s up to you!

Need some help? Learn to whip stitch here (it’s super easy).

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That’s it! The key to making this one super cute is selecting a cool print, and a colorful fabric to create the applique.

Have fun, and show me what you made when you’re done!

hey mishka hand drawn xoxo michelle christina larsen

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Written by Mishka
Michelle Christina Larsen (a.k.a. Mishka) founded heymishka.com in 2008, and has since documented her love of DIY, vintage, and creative living here. She curates and sells vintage fashion at Hey Mishka Vintage and runs the annual Sugar x Spice Holiday Makers Market in Brooklyn each holiday season. When she's not blogging, hunting for vintage, or doing DIY projects, Michelle Christina writes marketing copy for fashion brands and helps freelance writers grow their careers at Day Job Optional.