Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Ruffled almost-Anthropologie top tutorial

I wanted to make this top form Anthopologie – obviously I don’t have the money to buy one, and even if I did, it would break my pledge. The thing is, my internet connection went screwy so I only saw the top once and I’m far too impatient to wait for a connection!  It was a bit like doing comprehension at primary school… remember that, reading a bit then writing it in your own words? Just me? Oh well :) In the end, this became my almost-Anthropologie top.
This is what I started with – a strange sundress thing I bought in last year’s summer sales for about a penny. It was hugely unflattering but I loved the tropical style fabric and knew it would come in handy for something, (you all do this, right?)

I ripped out all the thick chunky elastic, the silly tie bow at the front, and separated it along the waist seam. I then cut a basic tank shape with a deep neckline and sewed the shoulder seams together (a mannequin is soooo useful for this) At this point, it was huge across the bust but I was planning to take it in later. I also remembered that I didn’t intend to cut the front and the back with a low neckline (damn that rotary cutter) but I decided it would be fine and cracked on :)
I then made my ruffle. I cut strips from some of the fabric I separated from the bottom of the dress and sewed them into one long length. Using my sewing machine, I sewed long stitches about 1cm from each edge and, by pulling both bottom threads at the same time, I gathered the strip.
I then pinned the gathered strip to the top to get the right length (you’ll need to adjust the gather while it’s pinned to the top to make it sit flat) and knotted the ends of the loose threads to stop it unexpectedly getting longer! I ironed the gathers flat, and pinned again, just to make sure it was right.
I removed the pinned ruffle,and sewed along the edge of the ruffle with a tighter stitch, just inside the loose stitching. The idea is to hold the ruffles in place, and I had to go very slowly to stop them from moving about. On the inner (neck) edge, I ripped out the loose stitching.

The rest is fairly easy, I pinned the ruffle back in place on the neckline, face-to-face, and sewed them together. I added on and extra piece to the bottom hem, putting in little belt loops I cut from the hanging-tape. I then took in the sides, keeping an a-line shape by sewing a straight diagonal line from the armpit to the bottom hem, and hemmed the armholes.
The silly ribbon-tie thing became a belt.
I decided to leave the collar edge raw and leave off the buttons.
If I made it again I might be tempted leave the back neckline higher, and make the front lower, but all-in-all I’m proud at my first attempt, and I don’t care if it’s not exactly like the original :)


  1. How cute. Thanks for the tute. Great blog.


  2. I love Anthropologie! Especially their visual displays; they're so creative. I often look to Anthro for inspiration when I create my own window displays, which I've been posting on my fashion/art blog.

    -Chelsea Knights

  3. Honestly, I like your version better than the anthro-original! I posted a link to your project on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  4. Beautiful. Your version is MUCH better!

  5. Thanks so much chaps! I winged it a bit but my dressform is a godsend and I think it turned out alright :)

    If anyone makes one, I'd love to see it!

  6. You have the coolest tutorials! Thanks so much! :)