DIY Cropped Pants and an Easy Top

img_7842Hi All! What are these? Cropped pants? Wide shorts? Culottes? Tell me, please. Whatever they are, they’re strangely reminscent of a poppy skirt I bought in junior high. Yes, it has been that long since I had anything in my wardrobe that was poppy! Can’t tell you why I’ve waited this long because the color is so fabulous. In fact, when you think of all the colors you can wear with it (black, navy, white, denim, maybe even army green?), you could almost call it a neutral.


I’ve wanted a pair of wide shorts/cropped pants since I saw Mimi G rocking them on her website. Yes, I could have purchased one of her excellent patterns to make these, but I felt sure a shorts pattern I had in my stash would work just fine. But after I made them, I realized didn’t have quite the right top to go with them. You know how it goes. One thing leads to another….


The cropped pants are a long version of Vogue 9008, a shorts pattern that is so versatile. You can make a flat front or pleated front version. I chose the pleats, but then I sewed them down to give the front a smooth finish. To get the full leg look I wanted, I lengthened the shorts by six inches, keeping the line of the shorts wide at the bottom. I love the effect. The shorts are snug at the top, but they flare out like a skirt at the bottom.

The pattern is pretty straightforward. It has a mock fly zipper, which is easy to insert, and you can add pockets if you want. The instructions were clear. It wasn’t hard, but with belt loops and a back yoke (which I love) this pattern is a bit time consuming.

I made them from poppy linen, purchased at Fabric Depot. It is midweight and I planned on lining the shorts with silk, but ended up taking the lining out because it made the legs too full and bunchy.  Yes, I wanted them to be full, but I did not want them to look like clown pants.


The top is made from a cotton-linen blend that’s the color of denim. I love this fabric and wish I could remember where I got it because I’d love to have more. The pattern is Vogue, 8906.

It has front pleats that form the shape of the bodice, eliminating the need for darts. There’s a zipper in back. To make the sleeves a little more boxy, I added a sleeve band that is 5″ wide. It makes the sleeves look more ‘finished’ to me, and adds a bit of a retro vibe, I think. I also added a v-neck, and adjusted the facings accordingly. This pattern is super easy! I plan on making several more versions including one with buttons down the front. The fit was spot on for me. I didn’t even have to adjust for my narrow shoulders. Nice!

img_7846I’m not sure if Poppy is a fall color, but I’m going to be wearing this outfit now, because linen is so perfect at this time of year. I’m not sure if I’ll really wear this top with the shorts though. Together they might be too much flare for me. Maybe I should wear them with a top that fits snuggly, or maybe something tucked in? Opinions welcome!

I hope your sewing projects are going well. Fall is my favorite time to sew, because the new fabrics are so fabulous. Enjoy!

14 thoughts on “DIY Cropped Pants and an Easy Top

  1. I think poppy is definitely a Fall color! I just love it, and you are so right that is goes with so many other colors.

    Your shorts/cropped pants look so good on you! I must admit that this style is one I do not wear–they just don’t work on me!–so I don’t have any useful advice on how to style them with tops. I think something shorter (just to the bottom of the waistband, maybe?) could work well as long as it doesn’t have too much volume, and tucking in slimmer tops is a good idea too. I know you’ll make it work: you always do! =)

    1. Thanks! Great advice to try these with a shorter top. Brilliant! After all, that’s probably what Mimi g would do. Hmmm, I may not have the perfect one though…just might have to do a bit of sewing! I can’t imagine how I lived so long without poppy!

      1. Nice. Or you could make up and entirely new word and say “They’re gondolis – haven’t you heard of them? Where have you been?” 😉😉😉

  2. I agree with Naomi — they look like Bermuda shorts to me. The colors in both garments really suit you. I agree with you, though: I’m not sure both pieces pair perfectly together. Because the top is so fitted and interesting, I think it would pair really well with a slim pair of pants. I think that would help highlight the sort of peplum detail of the hem. And because the shorts have a lot of volume, I think they would pair well with a knitted tank or t-shirt tucked in, maybe in the color white? And then you could tie in the poppy color with some other accent piece like a scarf or bright necklace. So many options!

    1. Great idea to pair the top with skinny pants! It would definitely give the peplum look of the hem some contrast. I think the tick on short with the shorts is good, I’m probably going to have to sew up something, don’t you think? I have some white linen that’s calling to me? Thanks for the fabulous suggestions. I’m getting into this color….

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