How to Make a Cute DIY One Shoulder Crop Top Out of an Old T-shirt

Paige Sechrist
by Paige Sechrist
9 Materials
30 Minutes

Crop tops are a great go-to warm-weather top and they’re super easy to make out of just a t-shirt. If you’re looking to upcycle old or thrifted t-shirts into something stylish that’ll have a long shelf life in your closet then this DIY one-shoulder crop top tutorial is for you. Let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Sports bra/bralette
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Elastic
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Iron
  • Safety pin or bodkin
Placing a sports bra on top of the t-shirt

1. Align your t-shirt and sports bra guide

Lay your t-shirt down flat and overlay a sports bra on top of it. The sports bra is going to act as a guide for the size and general shape of the top.

If your t-shirt has any logos, make sure you’re positioning it underneath the sports bra exactly where you’ll want it on the top.

Cutting out the shape of the crop top

2. Cut out the fabric

If this is your first time, I recommend using fabric chalk to outline the top before cutting. I’ve done this before, so I’m just going to cut it out without it. 

Fabric pattern pieces for the DIY one-shoulder top

Make sure to leave a seam allowance on the sides of the bralette and leave enough room on the bottom to fold it over for the elastic in a later step. You won’t need any seam allowance on the top.

Back pattern pieces for the DIY one-shoulder top

For the back, just follow the shape as the front part, but cut straight across instead of cutting the straps. 

Pinning the front and back pieces togethr

3. Pin the top together

Pin the front and the back together and make sure you do this inside out. 

How to sew a one-shoulder top

4. Sew the top together

Then, sew where you pinned with a straight stitch.

Pinning the bottom hem ready to sew

5. Sew the bottom hem

Fold the bottom of the top up so we can create a hem.

Sewing the bottom hem with a zigzag stitch

Then sew with a zigzag stitch. Make sure to leave enough room to fit the elastic.

Cutting out a strap with a rotary cutter

6. Create the strap

With the remaining fabric, cut two strips that are 2¼ inches wide. These will be our straps. I used a rotary cutter but you can use scissors.

Cutting the end of the strap at an angle

To attach, cut both strips at an angle.

Sewing straps for the DIY one-shoulder crop top

Then align the angles and sew together with a straight stitch.

Ironing the straps

7. Iron the strap

Use an iron to press open and flatten the seam that you just made.

Tip: apply spray starch to the strap to stiffen the fabric.

Folding the strap over to make bias tape

8. Fold over to create bias tape

Fold the fabric over itself to create a double-folded bias tape then iron to make it as even as you can all the way down.

How to make a one-shoulder tank top

It should look like this once you’re done.

Attaching the bias tape to the crop top

9. Attach bias tape to the top

Sandwich the top that you made between the bias tape and pin it all the way around.

Pinning the bias tape to the neckline

Make sure to stop before it meets the other end and leave a gap where the shoulder is.

Sewing the bias tape

Sew all the way around.

How to sew bias tape

When you get to the end of the top, keep sewing all the way down. The leftover strip will create the strap.

Trimming and sewing the strap

10. Trim and sew the strap

Trim the strap to a length that fits. Feel free to use the bralette as a guide if needed.

One-shoulder crop top DIY

Place the strap underneath the back and sew together with a straight stitch.

Threading elastic through the hem

11. Thread the elastic

For the elastic, cut a very small hole in the hem of the shirt. You can use a safety pin or a bodkin to thread the elastic through the hem. 

Sewing the elastic ends together

Sew the ends of the elastic together.

Sewing the gap in the hem closed

Use a needle and some thread to sew up the hole.

DIY one-shoulder crop top

DIY one-shoulder crop top tutorial

All done! Here’s the final look of the DIY one-shoulder crop top. It’s super cute, and a must-have basic for your closet! If you liked this tutorial, let me know how you plan to style it!  

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirt
  • Sports bra/bralette
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
See all materials

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