How to Cut a T-Shirt Into a Crop Top in 4 Super-Cute Ways

Martina Pan
by Martina Pan
5 Materials
1 Hour

Pick up some t-shirts from your thrift store and get ready to turn them into four trendy crop tops! Follow along and I will show you how to cut a t-shirt into a crop top that you’ll love wearing. It’s simple and inexpensive so let’s start.

Tools and materials:

  • 4 thrifted t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing pins and thread
  • Sewing machine
Measuring where to crop the t-shirt

1. Make a ruched V-neck crop top

Measure 35 centimeters (13.78 inches) from the shoulder of a t-shirt to mark the length at which you will crop it. Cut the bottom of the t-shirt off, straight across, at that mark.

Cutting the bottom off the t-shirt

Find the midline of your shirt and cut straight down the front of your shirt at the midline, from the neck to the bottom. Also cut off the neckline from your shirt.

Hem the bottom of your crop top.

Folding and sewing the new neckline

Fold in and sew the neckline to finish the edge.

Making ruching channels

Pin together the front center edges of the crop top, with right sides facing together, and sew the center front seam with a 2-centimeter (0.79-inch) seam allowance through which you’ll attach your straps later. 

Sewing the ruching channels

Stitch along both outside edges of the seam allowance. 

Cutting strips for the drawstring

From the fabric you cut off your shirt, cut two long strips. Then fold each strip in half lengthwise and sew the open edges. 

Inserting the drawstrings into the casing

Use a safety pin to thread each strap through one of the center casings, extending the strap out the top and bottom of the casing.

Cutting off the excess strap

Adjust the straps so that you have enough length at the bottom to pull on them and gather the ruching down the middle of your crop top.

When you are satisfied with the strap length, cut the excess strap off the top, and stitch the top of the straps in place inside the casing.

Black t-shirt crop top with ruching

Adjust the ruching by using the straps to tighten or loosen the gather and then tie off the straps in a bow. 

Measuring where to crop the t-shirt

2. Make a backless crop top

Crop your t-shirt at 38 centimeters (14.96 inches) from the shoulder.

Marking and measuring the t-shirt

Draw the midline down the back of your shirt. Then draw lines 2 centimeters (0.79 inches) in from each side, starting at the bottom and extending up 20 centimeters (7.9 inches). 

Cutting out the backless crop top

Draw diagonal lines from the top of the side lines to the point on your midline where you want the backless part of your crop top to start.

Now cut out the backless shape from your crop top.

Hemming the bottom of the DIY crop top

Hem the bottom of your crop top.

Folding and pining a casing around the back

Fold in and pin a casing around the back opening, allowing 1 centimeter (0.39 inches) for inserting the strap.

Snipping notches in the seam allowance

Snip notches in the seam allowance to help you curve the back opening as you sew the casing.

Sewing the casing

Sew the open edge of the casing on the wrong side of the crop top.

Sewing one long strip for the casing

Cut strips from your leftover fabric and attach them so you end up with one long strip measuring 3 x 200 centimeters (1.2 x 78.7 inches).

Folding the strip, ready to sew

Make one long, thin strap by folding both long edges into the middle lengthwise, and then folding the whole strip in half lengthwise.

Sewing the strap to the open edge

Pin and sew the strap on the open edge.

Backless tie t-shirt crop top

Thread your long strap all the way through the back casing and tie the ends of the strap behind your back at the bottom.

Cutting off the sleeves of the t-shirt

3. Make a ruched sleeveless crop top

Cut the sleeves off your t-shirt and crop the length at 38 centimeters (14.96 inches) from the shoulder.

Hemming the sides of the t-shirt

Hem all the sides of the t-shirt, including the neckline if you want it a bit lower.

Cutting strips from the t-shirt

From your leftover fabric cut two 4-centimeter (1.57-inch) wide strips, the length that you need from under the arm to the bottom of the crop top. You will use these strips to make strap casings on each side.

Sewing strips on the inside

Sew one strip on the inside of each side of the crop top, stitching down the middle at the side seam, and both side edges.

Sewing ruching at the sides

Make 4 straps (2 for each side) as you did for the previous top, measuring about 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) long each.

Insert a strap into each casing (two on each side) and sew the top of the straps to your crop top.

DIY crop tops from t-shirts

Tie the straps at the sides to create the ruching.

Cutting out an asymmetrical pattern

4. Make a ruched asymmetrical crop top

Following the side seams of the shirt, draw and cut out an asymmetrical pattern, keeping one side seam and a section of shoulder seam intact.

If the original top is loose fitting, cut some fabric from the side as necessary. Sew the open side seam if you cut it.

Hemming the DIY crop top

Hem all sides of the crop top.

Making a crop top out of a t-shirt

Create side strap casings and straps the same way as you did for the ruched sleeveless top. Insert the straps and sew them at the top of the casings.

Tie the straps to create the ruching just like with the other tops.

How to cut a t-shirt into a crop top

How to cut a t-shirt into a crop top

That’s it – 4 new crop tops. I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know which DIY crop top you made, or, if you made them all, which one you liked best! 

Suggested materials:
  • 4 thrifted t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
See all materials

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