mmmay day 12: simplicity 1803, crop-top style and something abs-olutely horrifying

the trend of “crops” is, if you’ll pardon the pun, “cropping” up everywhere this year. but more on that in a minute.

the evolution of this look started from the idea of a two-piece dress. it became increasingly clear from the fabric combo that wearing both pieces at once would need to be reserved for special occasions, where the full-on kitty-cat goodness would be warranted.

so i went for it this way:


the fabric is from the lizzy house “catnip” collection. one of the things that strikes me about these prints is that they are so clearly designed to interact with one another. it’s cheerful and bold and modern while still being cute.


top make the crop top, i just used the bodice portion of my simplicity 1803 pattern, and finished all of the edges with bias binding. easy-peasy, and you can make any top in to a crop by doing this. sweet!


with a cardigan for a work-appropriate flavor. it’s like the crop top version of a mullet! business on the inside, party on the outside! wait, did that make sense?

i’m obsessed with these new spring trousers that i bought at the nordstrom topshop boutique back in the dark days of winter. i swear that part of me was convinced i could never wear them because it would never be warm enough! i felt vaguely ridiculous in february perusing a rack of coral-colored spring trousers.

but look at these things. i am transfixed by them. i see many more pairs of trousers in my future, if i can make them all like this: perfect height at the waist, perfect height on the slits, gorgeous fullness in the leg.

but back to crop tops. did anyone see this story in the “paper of record” today?

“The stomach is the new erogenous zone, but not in a vulgar sort of a way,” she said. “Yes, you can show your whole midsection in a bra top, but most of the styles only give you a peek. Regardless, it is making women frenzied about shaping up their abs.”

The 5-foot, 115-pound Ms. Williams, for example, spends more than two hours most days of the week exercising in stomach-centric classes like Ab Attack (Crunch offers three others as well), running and dancing. Her day begins and ends with 100 crunches, she said, and she has drastically cut down on her sugar intake.

“I bought six crop tops, but I felt like I needed tighter and flatter abs to feel good wearing them,” she said, “so I’ve been working really, really hard to get them better-looking.”

it gets worse.

Dr. Michele Olson, an exercise physiologist at Auburn University, stressed that cardio intervals such as alternating sprinting with walking are the first step to a six-pack. “You need to have less fat over all to have firm abs,” she said, “not do hundreds of crunches or situps.”

Neither approach was enough for Nicole Abrahamson, 24, of Camarillo, Calif., a nursing student who spent more than $6,000 in March on a minimally invasive fat-removal technique called Airsculpt to address four pounds of unwanted belly. She says that even though she exercised and dieted, her middle was “doughy.” “I was really intrigued by crops,” she said, “and wanting to wear one gave me the push to get this procedure done.”

Dr. Aaron Rollins, the cosmetic surgeon who invented Airsculpt and performed it on Ms. Abrahamson at his Beverly Hills practice, says that she is one of nearly a dozen women a week who see him for the procedure. “Last year, it was the usual wanting to rock a bikini,” he said, “but this year, women come in actually wearing the short shirts and tell me that they want their bellies to look good in them.”

um, i think i just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

this was particularly interesting because mikhaela recently posted with some eloquence about this topic.

One of the reasons I love Me Made May is that it’s an excuse to feel fancy and to think a little more about what I put on. And to dress every day the way I WISHED I actually dressed every day of the year. And to practice a little self-appreciation and feel good about my style and my body.

But as I go through and edit the photos I’ve snapped to find my favorites, I find myself wondering: why are women supposed to hate our bellies? Why do I find myself choosing what is “most flattering” by whether or not my belly might look as squishy as it actually is?

When I was pregnant, I remember feeling this huge sense of relief — a break from any body image anxieties that might have plagued me for the past 30 years. No sucking it in, no control garments under clingier dresses, no avoiding lots of front gathers or staying away from knit pencil skirts.

I’ve worked very hard to love my shape and not talk myself down (especially in front of my little girl—who is thankfully incredibly self-confident and pleased with her beautiful young self!) but why SHOULD that have to be such hard work? Why should I have to go look at photos of Christina Hendricks in her Joan outfits from Mad Men to calm down my nasty inner critic?



sing on, sister suffragette. sing on. the glory of sewing is that we get to decide what makes us feel good, and sexy, and like the person we want to be today. no surgery required, thanks.

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9 Responses to mmmay day 12: simplicity 1803, crop-top style and something abs-olutely horrifying

  1. Trice says:

    Love this outfit. Holy smoke those pants.

    I am kind of into the crop tops too after seeing one of the curvy plus size fashion bloggers I follow, rockin one with a full skirt that came to her waist. Brilliant.

  2. Sarah says:

    What a great idea for the Lizzy House fabric, I love it! I love it so much I made a dress with the green version last month and I’ve been eyeballing the cream ever since xx

  3. prttynpnk says:

    I this this is adorable!!!!

  4. oonaballoona says:

    i am speechless. i almost couldn’t finish reading that last bit before mikhaela. that’s an expensive friggin crop top, in many ways…

    but your outfit is killer.

  5. Susan says:

    So very excellent. Love the outfit, the way you’ve styled it, all of it — what a superb find with those pants! (Which I totally thought were a skirt at first.)

    About the article… Just…. F*ing UGH! So much sick and wrongness where to even start.

  6. maddie says:

    Yes! I saw that article! Such a good read. This is my first year doing Me Made May and so far, I love it. It’s an eye opener to appreciate my clothes and my body.

  7. poppykettle says:

    Gorgeous outfit, devra! Love the cut out in the bodice, but I’m seriously creeped out by those excerpts. And not half surprised, really. We may as well bring back the days of corsets to contort our bodies into the ‘ideal’. Did you see that article on airbrushed art to make the naked ladies look more akin to what we see today? if you’re interested.

  8. Clio says:

    Wow. Those are some extreme measures to take just to chase a fad. Oy.

  9. Pingback: simplicity 1803 + simplicity 1873 = awesomesauce | puu's door of time

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