Manhattan Meets Wilmington: the Perfect Anniversary Outfit



Blogger: Stephanie Taylor

 Manhattan Meets Wilmington

My wedding anniversary is coming up and probably like a lot of people, I headed to Pinterest to get inspiration for a fancy evening night out dress. I kept running across this same chiffon tiered skirt and crop set over and over again and I decided it would be perfect for a swanky night out with the love of my life. Of course, just because you have wonderful ideas some how doesn’t always mean you have the exact pattern you need, but scrolling through the Styla catalog, I decided I had had the start of what I wanted and just needed some hacks to Wilmington and Manhattan to get the look I wanted.


Wilmington Crop Hack
Cut the front bodice, back bodice, straps, and bodice lining pieces, making all needed body adjustments. To determine the length of separating zipper, measure the center back bodice length and subtract 1” (2.5 cm) for seam allowances. For a size 10 graded to a 12 waist, my center back measured 7 5/8” (19.4 cm). I bought a 7” (17.8cm) separating zipper and removed top teeth to get the 6 5/8” (16.8 cm) length needed. The original pattern, called for an invisible zipper, so width must be removed when using a metal separating zipper. My zipper teeth were 1/4” (0.6cm) wide so I removed 1/8” (0.3 cm) from each center back bodice piece.


 Construct the straps and bodice per the tutorial, stopping after finishing the center back seams on page 40. Press a 1/2 “ (1.2cm) memory crease on both the bodice and main bodice bottom edge. Now is a great time to try on your top to check fit.

After my initial try on, I decided the blend to a size 12 waist had more ease than I
desired, so I straightened out the center back seam before applying my zipper. To install the zipper, put the zipper face down onto the fabric main with the zipper edge aligned to the fabric edge. Baste in place, keeping the memory crease folded. Flip the lining piece down so the zipper is sandwiched between the main and lining fabric. With the memory crease still folded, sew the zipper in place keeping the zipper foot as close as possible to the zipper teeth. Repeat for other side.


Turn the bodice right side out and try the bodice on. Wilmington has positive ease which is needed for movement for the original romper pattern, however, it was more than I liked for a crop top. I pinched out an additional 1/2” (1.3 cm) at each side seam bottom. Starting at the dart, I sewed a line down on both the lining and main fabric to achieve a more tapered fit. With the fit complete, I then topstitched along the memory crease. Tadah! Wilmington crop top!



Manhatten Tiered Skirt Hack
To match my inspiration photo, I knew I wanted a 3-tiered double ruffle skirt. To achieve this look, I lengthened the Manhattan skirt by 2” (5 cm). This provides my seam allowance for each of the tiers. I’m 5’5” (165cm) and rarely adjust for height. The 2” (5.1cm) would be in addition to any height adjustments you might need to personally adjust for.

I wanted the first tier to hit approximately at hip height which for me meant cutting 6” (15.2 cm) from the top of the skirt piece. I wanted the 2nd tier to hit approximately at knee height, so I cut 14” (35.6cm) from the remaining skirt pieces. Tiers should be cut using the same hem line as skirt length desired. I wished to have a maxi skirt so used the lines in orange to cut along. Similar to the Manhattan tutorial, sew the sides of each back piece to the sides of the center front piece. Set tiers aside.


For the ruffles on each tier I used the table below. My fabric was 60” (152.4cm) and
using the full width of the fabric was slightly greater than 1.5x the circumference of each cut.

Quantity     Width     Length 
5                 WOF      5.5" (14 cm)
5                 WOF      7.5" (19 cm)

Taking 2 of the 5.5” (14 cm) pieces, sew one short end together to make a one long
piece. Finish the bottom edge with a narrow hem (1/8” (3 cm) turned twice or using a rolled hem foot. I preferred the rolled hem for mine. Repeat this process for two of the 7.5” (19 cm) pieces. Place the shorter 5.5” (14 cm) ruffle over the longer 7.5” (19 m) ruffle. The wrong side of the 5.5” (14 cm) ruffle will face the right side of the 7.5” (19 cm) ruffle. Align the top, raw edges and sew a gathering stitch through both layers of fabric along the top edge.

 Gather the ruffle the same size as the bottom of the first skirt tier. Place the ruffle over the top skirt tier, right sides together, aligning the bottom edge of the top skirt tier with the top of the ruffle. Baste in place with a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. 


 Place the middle skirt tier over the top skirt tier, right sides together, with the ruffle
sandwiched between. Align the top of the second skirt tier with the bottom of the top skirt tier. Sew to attach with a 1/2” (1.3 cm). Repeat this process for the 3 rd tier using the remaining ruffle pieces. When constructing the ruffle there will be 3 pieces of fabric to join together for each ruffle instead of 2.
My outer chiffon layer was too sheer, so I had to construct a lining piece per the
instructions given in the Manhattan tutorial. At this point, I laid my chiffon tiered skirt on top of the lining and installed the waistband and invisible zipper as described in the tutorial, treating the two layers as one. I finished the back seam of the chiffon layer and lining layer separately to create more flow and movement. At this point, both layers are hemmed. I used a rolled hem for the chiffon layer and finished the lining as instructed in the original tutorial. Tadah! All finished!

Okay, almost finished! I can’t not emborder plain fabric. The temptation is too strong. I added Madeira daisy collar inverted to follow the sweetheart neckline of Wilmington for just a little something extra. I love love love my new anniversary outfit and hope I have inspired you to make your own version!



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