DIY Upcycled Crop Top T-Shirt Tutorial

Nima Fatima
by Nima Fatima
5 Materials
30 Minutes

Hi, everybody! Today, I’m going to be showing you two different types of shirts that you can make with an old, oversized t-shirt. The first one is similar to one I made previously that had off-the-shoulder sleeves. This time, I’m planning on making the sleeves bigger, so I get a cap sleeve look instead. The second style will be a simple crop top t-shirt. So if you want to follow along with my thrift-flipping process, keep reading!

Tools and materials:

  • 2 oversized t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Elastic band
  • Needle and thread
DIY crop top t-shirt


To begin, I cut all the way across the t-shirt, armpit to armpit. 

Make a crop top t-shirt

Then I cut off the sleeves. I used the first sleeve as a guide to cut the second sleeve, so they would be symmetrical. 

Simple crop top t-shirt

Cut elastic

I cut one piece of elastic that fit around my chest, above my bust, two pieces that fit around my shoulder, and two pieces that fit around my upper arm. 

How to make a crop top t-shirt

Insert elastic

I made a small snip in the finished hem of the shirt, and the finished hems of the sleeves and used a safety pin to run the corresponding elastics through each hem. Once I pulled them all the way around and back out through the snip, I sewed the ends of the elastic together and closed up each hole I made. 

basic crop top t-shirt

Make a hem and insert elastic

On the unfinished edges of the sleeves, I folded the edge up once and sewed it down to create a hem, and then I ran elastic bands through those hems, as well, using the same method as above. 

easy crop top t-shirt


To finish this thrift flip, I sewed the sleeves onto the sides of the top edge of the shirt. 

crop top t-shirt tutorial

Now, onto the second t-shirt. 

Mark and cut

I tried on the shirt and marked my preferred length. Then, I cut straight across the shirt about 1 inch below that mark, so I would have enough material to hem it.

Pin and sew

Then I folded up the bottom edge all the way around the shirt, pinned it, and sewed it down by hand. I left a gap in the stitching on one side near the seam so I would have a place to insert the elastic. 

Insert elastic

I used a safety pin to pull the elastic band through the hem I created at the bottom of the shirt. Then I sewed the ends of the elastic together and closed up the gap I left in the stitching. 

I really like how this came out. I normally wear high-waisted jeans and tuck in my shirts (because I’m so original and unique), so it’s nice that this just hits on my waist and I don’t have to tuck in. It’s also just super comfortable. 

Let me know what you think of this super easy crop top t-shirt!

Suggested materials:
  • 2 oversized t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Sue Sue on Aug 15, 2021

    I really like the idea of the gathered waist. My shirts are always too long and tight across the hips. I like this look a lot. Thanks for your ideas. Sue

  • Paula Ziehl-Nordhoff Paula Ziehl-Nordhoff on Aug 15, 2021

    I loved both shirts, I think I will try the 2nd as I don't sew and am looking to start trying and it was so cute and looked easy. I also think you are very cute and explained everything as well as showing and that is how I learn things to that helped a lot. so keep doing videos and I am subscribing.