How to DIY a Super Cute Crop Top and Skirt Set From an Old Curtain

9 Materials
5 Hours

The stiffness of the grommet strip on this thrifted curtain inspired me to make my first box pleat skirt.

I got a crop top and skirt set and a tie belt from a single curtain panel. The pieces look great together and they're so versatile you can wear them separately too.

Tools and materials:

  • 2.5 yards medium weight fabric
  • 10 - 12 inch zipper 
  • 1 yard 1/2" Bias tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Sewing machine
Measurements for crop top and skirt set

1. Take measurements

Measure the finished skirt length and add a 1.5 inch allowance. 

Measure your waist, multiply by 3 and add a 2 inch seam allowance. For me this came to 89 inches or 2.5 yards.

Cutting fabric

2. Cut fabric

Cut off the grommet strip a half inch from the seam. 


Measure and cut your skirt length across the width of the fabric. 

Making box pleats

3. Make box pleats

Keep the long finished edge for your hem.

Measure and mark one inch from the side edge for the allowance.

From the 1 inch mark, measure and mark 4 inch sections across the full width at the top and bottom of your fabric.

Making box pleats

Pick up the top and bottom edges at the first 4 inch mark. Fold the fabric to the 1 inch mark and pin in place on both edges.

Making box pleats

To complete the pleat, lift the fabric at the second 4 inch mark and fold it in the opposite direction to the third mark.

Making box pleats

Continue across the fabric, folding each pleat alternately to the left and right, until the width equals your waist measurement plus 2 inch allowance. 

Make sure that both ends of the fabric have the same allowance, so that when they're joined together the finish will be seamless.

Adding waistband

4. Add waistband

Press the pleats so the edges are sharp. Tack the place where each fold meets on the right side and sew across the top to keep them in place.

Adding waistband

Cut the grommet strip in half widthways. Turn under a half inch allowance on both bottom edges and press.

Mark the center of the waistband and the upper skirt edge. 

Adding waistband

With right sides together and matching the center points, pin and sew one side of the waistband to the skirt along the seam allowance.

Inserting zipper

5. Insert zipper

Open the zipper and press it close to the teeth with a cool iron.

With the right sides together, place the top of the tape on the waistband fold.

Pin one side of the zipper tape to the side edge of the skirt along the seam allowance. Sew close to the teeth as far down as possible. 

Inserting zipper

Pin and sew the other side of the zipper tape in the same way. 

Close the rest of the back seam.

Finishing the waistband

6. Finish waistband

Turn the ends of the waistband inside out and sew them close to the zipper. Trim the allowance and turn the ends right side out again.

Finishing the waistband

Pin and sew the other side of the waistband to the inside of the skirt.

Shaping the top

7. Shape top

Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than your torso and drape it over the front of your body just below your neck.

Pinch the excess fabric to create bust and waist darts on both sides.

Shaping the top

Check that the darts are symmetrical, then pin and sew them.

Press the waist darts towards the center and the bust darts towards the waist.

Shaping the top

Cut off the lower edge of the top where the waistband will go, leaving a seam allowance.

Sides and straps

8. Sides and straps

Pin the waistband in position temporarily. Wear the top and pin one end of the bias tape to the waistband.

Take the tape over your shoulder, mark where it attaches to the top and remove the excess fabric.

Sides and straps

Enclose the side edges of the top in the bias tape and sew it up to the neck edge.

Attaching the waistband

9. Attach waistband

Mark the center points of the waistband and top. 

Sandwich the lower edge of the top inside the waistband, matching the center points. Pin and sew the top of the waistband in place.

Attaching the waistband

Wear the top to measure the length of the straps. Finish the ends of the bias tape and attach it to the ends of the waistband.

DIY crop top and skirt set

DIY crop top and skirt set

To wear my white two piece skirt set as a dress, I overlapped the waistbands and made a tie belt from remnants of the fabric. 

DIY crop top

The crop top looks great worn with high waisted pants, with the tie fastened at the front.

DIY skirt

DIY crop top and skirt set

I paired the box pleat skirt with a blue and white blouse and threaded a blue belt through the waistband for another stunning look. 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please let me know in the comments.

For more upcycling content, check out my post on How to DIY an Elegant Wrap Crop Top from Pants.

Suggested materials:
  • 2.5 yards medium weight fabric
  • 10 - 12 inch zipper
  • 1 yard 1/2" Bias tape
See all materials

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