Crop tops are all the rage right now in fashion, and the only thing better than a crop top is a crop top with matching high waisted skirt! I know I am seeing this style everywhere from the runway, to the street and on many celebrities. Since I really wanted to make a two piece dress (crop top and skirt), I documented all my drafting steps using our new fitted dress sloper as my base pattern. Check it out, and easily make one for yourself!
I had this polka dot spandex lying around (meant to be made into a bikini) but since summer is almost over (really?) I decided to extend my polka dot fabric into a garment that I can wear a little longer outside after summer is over. As soon as I knew I wanted to make a two piece dress I instantly reached for this spandex and knew that the style of the garment and fabric would be perfectly cute together. So once I had my fabric and fitted dress sloper together I was ready to draft and show you how to make a crop top from scratch and matching high waisted skirt!
Formula: crop top + high waisted skirt = two piece dress!
I originally thought I would use our basic bodice and skirt slopers, but very soon realized that a dress sloper would be much easier and more accurate to use. First off, I knew that my fabric was super stretchy so I went down 2 sizes from what I normally sew in woven fabrics.
The first line that I drew was 1" above the waist level line indicated on the paper pattern at center front, and 1 1/4" up from waist level notch at side seam. Then I drew another parallel line 1 1/2" inches up from the first. The space between those two lines (1 1/2") represents the gap from the top of the skirt to the hem of the crop top. The more space the more skin you see, and vice versa. I thought a 1 1/2" gap was a good amount between the top and skirt.
At this point you can literally trace out the top and skirt to those lines, but I wanted to convert the darts in the top and skirt into princess seam lines. I wanted to do this mainly because I was sewing this garment in spandex and I don’t like darts in spandex.
When separately tracing off the top and skirt from the dress sloper you need to plan and think of how to finish the edges. I suggest a regular hem for the top and a facing for the top edge of the skirt.
To convert the darts in the top to seam lines, I simply extended the line of the waist dart to resemble a princess seam style and I made sure that the curve also touched the dart tip of the side seam dart. Then for the skirt I just drew a line parallel to center front extending down from dart tip.
Next was to trace off the various sections of my top. For the side piece I traced from my size line of the waist dart leg closest to the side seam to the dart leg closest to the hem. My side seam dart tip is now a pivot point and I rotated my tracing paper to close the dart. Then I traced the remainder of the piece to my princess seam line.
For the center from panel of my crop top I just traced from the dart leg closest to center from and up my princess seam line. At this point I also established a lower neckline, you could make it any neckline such as a V or even a sweetheart.
For the skirt panels, much like the top I traced from each dart leg to my middle style line. For the skirt once I separated the panels and added seam allowance I labeled ‘Cut 2’ for the center front and back panels and ‘Cut 4’ for the side panels. Since I was sewing my two piece dress in spandex I knew it would be ok to have the same pieces for the front and back skirt.
The back top was a little easier since the back doesn’t have a side seam dart. To make sure it sews to the front top correctly I measured the side seam length of the front top and the shoulder line extension. I repeated the steps of draw in a princess line and separating the panels.
I added 3/4" of allowance on the top and skirt hem as well as the top of the skirt. On panel and side seams I added 1/4" and then on the armhole and neckline I added 3/8"
The sewing of this two piece dress was super simple, and I loved how it turned out! Next time I make a two piece dress I will for sure sew it in woven and possibly make the top have long sleeves. This variation is so cute and great for day or night time fun. I like the look of this dainty garment paired with an edgy leather jacket, and I also see this garment being super interchangeable with my wardrobe. I have a cut off ripped pair of denim high waisted shorts that are screaming to be paired with this polka dot top!
Check out more photography of my two piece dress here.