Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

HelenLockhart Hacks, Lockhart Jumpsuit and Dress, Pattern Hacks1 Comment

Lockhart Top Hack

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

The beauty of the Lockhart pattern is in its abundance of options. The jumpsuit and dress views can be broken down into tops, pants and skirts! We have already covered how to make pants or a skirt using the pattern, and today we will show you how to make a bustier-style crop top. 

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Get 20% off the Lockhart Jumpsuit and Dress sewing pattern during launch week - Helen's Closet

Lockhart is on sale this week for 20% off! No code required. 

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Fabric Requirements & Notions 

We have calculated fabric requirements and cutting layouts for this hack for you. You can view them here and print these pages out if desired!

Besides the main, lining and interfacing fabric, you will also need a separating zipper:

Side/back zipper requirement:

  • B-Cup Size Range – 6” (15 cm)
  • D-Cup Size Range – 7” (18 cm)

Front zipper requirement:

  • Measure your pattern piece after any adjustments to find the zipper length you need.

It is important that you get a separating zipper since you will not be able to get the top on and off with a regular zipper. Keep in mind if you want to lengthen the top, you will need a longer zipper. 

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Lockhart Pattern Pieces Needed 

For the Lockhart top, you will need the bodice and strap pattern pieces: center front bodice (1), side front bodice (2), center back bodice (3), side back bodice (4) and narrow strap (5) or wide strap (6) pattern pieces. 

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Fitting & Adjustments

We highly recommend making a muslin before sewing the final version of the top. This will help navigate all the fitting issues before the zipper is inserted. Making a muslin first will also help you determine if you need to make any adjustments to the length of the top before you cut it out of the main fabric. Keep in mind if you lengthen the top, you will need a longer zipper. 

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Zipper Placement

You have a few options for zipper placement when it comes to this hack. Placement in the side seam will hide the zipper, but the zipper pull may irritate your underarm. You can opt for a statement top with a zipper down the center front, or a more understated look with the zipper in the center back seam. If putting the zipper in the center back, assistance may be required to get this top on and off. 

I personally don’t find the pull irritating, but I do find it challenging to put this top on. It’s worth it, but be warned that you may need help. Place the zipper on the side that you feel you will best be able to reach.

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Pattern Piece Adjustments 

You will need to make a couple of small adjustments to the pattern pieces before you start sewing. You can optionally add length to the bodice to make it the height you desire for your top before you make the below adjustments for the zipper.

1. Front Zipper:
For this look, you will need to add a seam to the center front bodice (1). Either trace a new front bodice pattern piece or tape the extra paper to extend the center front slightly. 

Add ½” (1 cm) to the center front to result in ⅝” (1.6 cm) seam allowances (because the zipper teeth add some width). 

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Make sure to note on the pattern piece that you will now need to cut 2 instead of 1 on fold as before.

2. Side and Back Zipper:
For this zipper placement, the adjustments are the same but will affect different seams. Remove ⅛” (0.3 cm) from the seam allowances on the seam where you are planning to insert the zipper.

For a side seam, the affected pieces will be a side front bodice (2) and a side back bodice (4). For the center back seam, you will need to adjust seam allowances only on the center back bodice (3) pattern piece. 

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

How does the math work? The exposed zipper width is roughly ¼” (0.6 cm), which we need to take into account to ensure the fit of the top is not affected. This means that we need to remove that amount from the seam where the zipper will be placed. 

In the case of the center front zipper, we are adding a seam where there wasn’t one before. Adding ½” (1.3 cm) will amount to the seam allowance we need [0.675- (0.25/2)].

In the case of the side and back zipper, we need to remove the width of the zipper from the existing seam allowances on the seams where the zipper will be placed. We are doing so by removing half of the exposed zipper width from each pattern piece where the zipper will be inserted.

Instructions 

The illustrations will show how to insert the zipper into the center back seam, but the steps are the same for inserting the zipper into all seams.

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

1. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of all outer fabric front and back bodice pieces: center front bodice, side front bodice, center back bodice and side back bodice. Apply fusible interfacing to the straps.

If you are using lightweight fabric like rayon or cotton voile, consider interfacing the lining pieces as well. This also helps if you are planning to wear the top without a bra.

2. Fold and press each long edge of the straps ¼” (0.6 cm) towards the wrong side. Press the straps in half lengthwise and edgestitch. For wide straps, edgestitch the opposite edge of the straps as well. Set the straps aside.

See page 21 of the instruction booklet for an alternative clean strap finish. 

3. On the right side of the two pieces of the bodice in between which you plan to sew the zipper, mark the zipper’s starting and end points ⅝” (1.6 cm) away from the top and bottom edges. Measure the distance between the marks; this will be the zipper opening. On the wrong side of the same pieces, draw a seam line ⅝” (1.6 cm) away from the raw edge. This line will be a guide when pinning the zipper.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

4. Check the zipper length against the zipper opening distance. If your zipper is longer than recommended, remove some zipper teeth from the top so that there is just enough room for ⅝” seam allowance. Install a new zipper stop, or hand sew a few stitches in a matching thread to fake a zipper stop. Trim any excess zipper tape. Repeat for the other side of the zipper.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

5. Separate the zipper. Working with one side at a time, place one side of the zipper face down onto the right side of the bodice where you are planning to attach the zipper. Line up the edge of the zipper tape to the edge of the bodice and center the beginning and ends of the zipper in between the zipper opening marks.

Pin the zipper, placing the pins close to the zipper teeth and checking to make sure they line up with the seam guideline on the wrong side of the bodice. Depending on the width of your zipper tape, you may have to move it a little further away from the edge of the fabric. 

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Using a zipper foot, attach the zipper, sewing close to the teeth. Repeat for the other side.

6. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin a front side bodice to the center front bodice at the middle notch. Then, align and pin the other two notches. Pin the rest of the seam after the notches have been aligned.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Sew. Clip into the seam allowances around the bust and press the seams open. Repeat for the other side.

7. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin and sew the side back bodice pieces to the center back bodice. Press seam allowances open.

8. Front and Side Zipper. With the right sides together, pin and sew the back bodice pieces along the center back seam. Press seam allowances open.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

9. Attach the back bodice to the front.

Front and Back Zipper. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin and sew the front bodice to the back bodice at the side seams. Press seam allowances open. 

Side Zipper. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin and sew the front bodice to the back bodice at one side seam. Press seam allowances open.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

To test the fit, follow Checkpoint #1 on page 23 in the booklet.

10. Repeat steps 6-8 above, as applicable, to partially assemble the lining.

11. Attach the back lining bodice to the front lining bodice

Front and Back Zipper. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin the front bodice lining to the back bodice lining at the side seams. Sew one side and sew the top and bottom of the other side, leaving about 4” (10 cm) in the middle unsewn. Press seam allowances open.

Side Zipper. With the right sides together and matching notches, pin the front bodice to the back bodice at the same side seam you have sewn in step 7 above. Sew the top and bottom of this seam, leaving about 4” (10 cm) in the middle unsewn. Press seam allowances open.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

12. Get your zipper opening measurement from step 3. Cut out a rectangle 1.5” (4 cm) wide and the length of your zipper plus 1” (2.5 cm) out of a scrap of lining or other soft fabric. This will be the zipper facing (optional).

With the wrong sides together, fold the zipper facing in half and sew the short sides using ½” (1.3 cm) seam allowances. Turn the zipper facing the right side out and press.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

13. Place the zipper facing on top of the zipper on the side with the zipper pull. Double-check to make sure the zipper facing is a tad shorter than the zipper. If it is not, shorten it. With the raw edges lining up to the raw edges of the bodice, pin the zipper facing on top of the zipper. Baste in place.

Follow steps 10-14 in the instruction booklet, being mindful of the zipper stops when attaching the lining to the bodice. You may need to switch to the zipper foot to sew around the zipper.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

14. With the right sides together, turn the lining over onto the bodice. Pull on the lining slightly so that the lining attachment seam and understitching rolls onto the lining side. Pin the lining to the bodice along the zipper opening. Attach the lining to the bodice along the zipper using a zipper foot.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

15. Pin the lining to the bodice along the hem. You can pull on the lining slightly so that it extends past the bodice by about ⅛”-¼” (0.3-0.6 cm). This will ensure the lining stays inside and does not peak out on the right side. In this case, drawing a stitching line on the wrong side of the main bodice may be helpful, ⅝” (1.6 cm) away from the hem’s raw edge.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Attach the lining to the hem. You may need to use a zipper foot when attaching the lining at the hem around the zipper. Switch to a regular sewing foot for sewing the rest of the hem.

16. Trim corners and turn the top right side out through the opening you left in the side seam. Press well.

17. Sew the side seam opening closed. You can close it by hand for a truly invisible finish.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

18. Optional: topstitch alongside the zipper, around the top of the bodice, and/or around the hem of the bodice. This adds a nice decorative finish and extra strength and stability if required.

Lockhart Top Hack Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

I really love making these cute tops to pair with my collection of me made bottoms (including my Lockhart pants and skirt hacks)! We made these samples in washed linen (lime green) and cotton/rayon (gingham). 

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

I like to interface the entire bodice (main fabric and lining) to make a stiff top that can be worn without a bra. It’s surprisingly comfortable to wear and works great for a summer day. I am excited to try the center front zipper in a denim fabric! I think that would be so cute. 

Lockhart Crop Top Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog
Get 20% off the Lockhart Jumpsuit and Dress sewing pattern during launch week - Helen's Closet

Lockhart is on sale this week for 20% off! No code required. 

About the author

Helen

Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

One Comment on “Lockhart Top Hack”

  1. Are the top and bottom hacks available in a print format please? I like to keep a polypocket project folder containing the pattern pieces and all the instructions in one place,as an easy ‘go to’, on my learning to sew journey.(Also I find on screen instructions difficult to read). Thankyou

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *