Make a Gorgeous Open Back Top From a Long Sleeve Shirt

Julie Willaert
by Julie Willaert
6 Materials
30 Minutes

I love a good fashion transformation and this is one of my favorites! I refashioned a long sleeve shirt into an absolutely stunning open back top. In just a few simple and easy steps I was able to create a stunning, fashion-forward top that has become an absolute closet essential. If you are looking for your next fashion upcycle, this tutorial is what you need! Follow my easy, step-by-step guide and get started on creating the most amazing open back top that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Tools and materials:

Long sleeve shirt





Sewing machine

Mark the open back
Mark the shirt

The first thing I did to get this stunner of a top is mark where I wanted the open back to end. 

Mark a new neckline

I wanted to drop the neckline a little lower so I marked on the front where I wanted the neckline to be. 

Draw the open back

Next, I turned the shirt over and marked from the start of my open back to the top of the shirt. Using a ruler in this step would have definitely been easier!

DIY cut long sleeve shirt
Cut the shirt

I then used my scissors to cut along my markings including the lowered neckline! I could already tell this was going to be an amazing top.

Cut out ties

I snipped open the bottom of my shirt and then drew two semi-circles along the bottom. I cut these to form the ties for my open back shirt so I made sure to leave them attached to the fabric and not cut all the way through. 

Cut across

I then drew a straight line across the shirt at the point where my open back would end. I cut along this line carefully avoiding the ties I had just made. 

Sew the ties
Sew the ties

I folded the ties right sides together and sewed. I then made sure to turn the tie right side out and it had a beautiful, neat finish. I repeated this on the second tie at the back of the shirt. 

Easy DIY long sleeve shirt
Hem the edges

I hemmed the edges of my new top to give it a neat and professional finish! 

Add a neck strap
Add a neck strap

To create a neck strap for my amazing new shirt, I used the neckline of the original top since it was stretchy material. I made sure it fit and sewed it on across the back. 

DIY open back shirt

I am so obsessed with this open back blouse! What other long sleeve shirts upcycle ideas do you have? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Marker
  • Pins
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2 of 4 comments
  • Altmanrainey25 Altmanrainey25 on Feb 08, 2021

    Also you can also put another strip in the middle to cover your bra for those that have bigger boobs and would like to wear something like this

  • Katy Katy on May 03, 2023

    This is cute.. Anyone have any non sewing ideas for long sleeves to make them cooler without losing sleeves? I guess it might make semse more if i add that i work outside with trees all day. Long sleeves are a must but i can go shoulderless. I've tried sports sleeves but they're hot and they slide down. Looking for ideas for maybe cut and tie styles as i dont have sewing machine and by hand I'm alright for a few stiches but I'm not the greatest at it. Fixing buttons, hems or holes is about the extent of my sewing talent. Theyre not near the best looking repairs at that. Haha