A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

ReFashion 2015: Crop Tops & Bellies & Visible Belly Outlines, Oh My!


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Finally more ReFashion 2015! I feel like the onslaught of racist terrorist events in the United States and ensuing conversations around racism in recent weeks have been consuming my energy and my heart. I’ve just been able to get back to my creative work in the last 48 hours and couldn’t wait to share my latest development in my Summer Wardrobe Capsule project. It’s officially Summer,  hot as Hades in L.A. and a new kind of humid. It has been over 90 degrees in my house all weekend and a crop top sounds just about right.  So I’m making my first Crop top and tackling one of my biggest fears; showing more of my shape and a visible belly outline (VBO)! Before

As you may remember I wrote a Letter to my Belly not too long ago. And then I talked about facing my fears. Well, it’s time for the sentiments of my personal body image evolution to show up in my closet! In July, I am challenging myself to do something I have never done which is bare my belly. The VBO or visible belly outline is one of those things that terrifies me. Having an extended belly, it is never truly hidden, and the bottom line is it shouldn’t have to be.

How to ReFashion Separates From a Maxi Dress

So here we go! A mini summer capsule based off of this refashioned long sleeved maxi. First I cut off the sleeves of the dress (1), cut the bodice off at the waist (2), removed the belt (3) and cut off the bottom of the skirt just below the knees (4).

  1. Now I began with the crop top. I adjusted the cowl neck bodice in the armholes for a better fit. Next I created a hem with an elastic casing like in this tutorial.
  2. I then took the original waistband and attached it to my new bodice. That allowed me to get a little more length & let my decorative waist tie hang down or tie it up into a bow.
  3. Now on to the skirt. I used the same elastic casing method to create a waistband and then wanted a little more shaping. So I created a second elastic casing at the hemline to be able to play with the length and volume of the skirt. It also leaves options for wearing it as a top or accessory. (future posts)
  4. Lastly, I now have some leftover fabric (5) to play with and am thinking I will make some kind of accessory.
  5. Voila! One amazing crop set and some previously handmade staples. Plus I love Black and white for summer. Year round so fresh!

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The Crop Set

Crop Top and Maxi ReMake

The Crop Top and Me Made Maxi Skirt

Crop Top and FlaredHem Skirt ReMake

The Crop Top and Me Made Flirt Skirt

 Anatomy of Fear

So now I have this adorable capsule that I had fun shooting in and yet am scared shitless to wear outside of my house. And there it is. Society does a real number on us with their “summer-ready body” campaigns and their diet industry oriented nonsense. Corporate America has truly colonized my mind and I am working at taking it back. My mind may have been colonized, but my heart fights it every step of the way and my life mission is to take it back. My fat wide bellied body deserves to be cool and comfortable in my adorable creations as much as I deserve to be comfortable in my own skin. And it will happen, it is happening.

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So I am half way through ReFashion 2015 and so excited to have come this far. I’m so excited about all of the work to change and refashion my closet. I’m so excited for all of the work I’ve been able to do not just reimagining my clothes to suit my body but the self-work I’ve done to own my body. Thank you for coming along with me for the ride!

More Summer fabulous ReFashions are on the way and more personal revolutions along with it! Next up I’ll be exploring alterations, and more hot weather revelations! And I would love to hear what kind of refashions you’d like to see! ❤


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Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

17 thoughts on “ReFashion 2015: Crop Tops & Bellies & Visible Belly Outlines, Oh My!

  1. Loving the crop top with the maxi, very slinky xxx

  2. I wrote a poem about recent events.

  3. I love what you did with this dress. I HAVE to try this!

  4. YESSSS! I am ALL about this!! You are such a talented and inspiring woman ❤

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