How to Make a DIY Drawstring Top That Hits All This Season's Trends

by ModernModiste
10 Materials
3 Hours

I’m going to show you how to make this cute DIY drawstring top. From the collared sweatshirt trend and exposed seams to ruching, this top has all the latest fashion trends!

I also opted for a knit material as everyday loungewear clothes are also a fashion trend. If you’d like to see how I made this, follow my drawstring top tutorial below!

Tools and materials:

Tracing the bodice pattern

1. Cut the pattern pieces

First, make a bodice and sleeve pattern by tracing your existing clothes. You can watch my previous video on pattern tracing to see how to do this.

Place your pattern with the center on fold, as shown. 

Extending the bottom of the pattern

Trace the pattern onto your fabric and extend the bottom by around 6 inches (or longer). We're making it longer because we're adding the drawstring and ruching.

Cutting out the bodice pattern

Cut it out and align the folded edge on the edge of your folded fabric. Cut around the pattern except for the neckline. 

Drawing a V neckline

Since this will be the front bodice, draw a v-neckline. Then, cut. 

Cutting out casing for the drawstrings

Next, cut out two strips of fabric that match the length of the main bodice’s sides, with a width of 3 inches. These will serve as the casings for the drawstrings. 

Cutting out the sleeve pattern

Now, cut two sleeve pieces using your DIY sleeve pattern (see the same video above).

Sewing the side and shoulder seams

2. Assemble the front bodice

Align the front and back pieces, right sides facing. Sew the shoulder seams with a zigzag stitch and the side seams with a straight stitch. 

Trying on the bodice to check the fit

3. Make alterations

You have a vest! If the pattern is big for you, now’s the time to adjust the sides according to your preference. 

Altering the bodice

Mine was pretty loose, so I took in the sides and cut the excess fabric after. I also took in the shoulders a little. These alterations changed the armhole, so I will have to adjust the sleeve pieces accordingly. 

Altered top with deepened v-neck area

Here’s my new and improved shape. I also deepened the V-neck area. 

Cutting out fabric for the drawstrings

4. Sew the drawstrings and ruching

Cut out four 1x20 inch strips.

Pressing open the side seams

Press open the side seams of your top with an iron. 

Hemming the bottom of the top

Hem the bottom of the top with a double fold. 

Sewing the sides of the casing

Sew in the sides of the casing by ¼ inch and hem the short ends. 

Folding the drawstrings

Sewing the drawstrings

Fold in the edges of longer strips and fold the whole strip in half lengthwise. Sew the fabric strips along the edge.  

Aligning the drawstrings with the side seams

Align each drawstring along each side seam. 

Laying the casing over the drawstrings

Lay the casing over the drawstring and pin in place, just above the hemmed edge of the top. 

Pinning the drawstrings and casing in place

Ensure that your drawstrings are pinned in place on top. 

How to sew a drawstring top

Sew along the top (together with the drawstrings). 

Sewing the sides and center

Then, sew down the sides and center but ensure that you do not sew the drawstrings when sewing down the sides. 

Tip: Place pins along the drawstrings to ensure they won’t get sewn.

How to make a drawstring top

Done! Now, do the same thing for the other side. 

Finishing the V neckline

5. Finish the neckline

Cut a long 1-inch wide strip of fabric. Fold it in half and align it to one half of the neckline, two inches from the shoulder seam. Then, trim. Do the same for the other side. 

Sewing the neckline binding

Sew the centerpieces together and trim off the excess fabric. 

Pinning the binding to the neckline

Align the point with the center and pin to the neckline, right sides facing. 

Attaching the binding to the neckline

Sew to the neckline. 

Finished neckline

Trim the excess bulk on the inside, then topstitch the ditch. 

Measuring the collar

6. Make and attach the collar

Measure around the remaining collar and add an extra inch for seam allowance. 

Adding interfacing to one collar piece

Cut two collar pieces. The bottom matches the measurement you just measured. Add interfacing to one-half of the collar. 

Sewing the collar pieces together

Sew the two collars together, right sides facing. Be sure not to sew all the way down to the bottom edge. 

Turning the collar right sides out

Trim the corners, turn the right sides out, and press. 

Aligning the collar to the neckline

Make a notch at the center of the collar and align it to the center of the back neckline. Pin around with the edges slightly overlapping. 

Sewing the collar with the interfacing

Sew the layer with the interfacing.

Pinning the second collar layer

Fold the front layer inward and pin. Press the edge before sewing. 

Finishing the collar

Next, topstitch in the ditch and around the edges of the collar. 

Folding the sleeve in half ready to sew

7. Attach the sleeves

Fold your sleeves in half and sew the sides with a zigzag stitch. 

Inserting the sleeve into the armhole

Turn your shirt inside out and pin your sleeve inside the armhole. Sew with a zigzag stitch. 

Sleeve with exposed seam

I accidentally sewed my sleeve inside out, but I like the look of exposed seams; they're very on-trend at the moment. I decided to keep it and do the other sleeve the same way.

Stitching the collar ends in place

Hem your sleeves and stitch the collar ends in place. 

DIY drawstring top

DIY drawstring top from the side

DIY drawstring top tutorial

Thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed this drawstring top tutorial. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • DIY pattern using your own clothes
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation