How to Make a DIY Distressed Choker Top Out of an Old Turtleneck

7 Materials
1 Hour

Off-the-shoulder tops are usually very clean-cut, so this DIY distressed choker top is a really nice change! Follow along as I show you how to make your own choker top out of an old, ribbed turtleneck.

Tools and materials:

  • Ribbed turtleneck sweater
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper or tweezers
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
Cutting up the turtleneck

1. Disassemble the turtleneck

To create the raw edges of your distressed top, cut off the top of your turtleneck, cutting straight across the sleeves.

Cut the neckband out of the removed piece of turtleneck, leaving one inch of fabric around it.

Adding one-inch darts to the bodice

2. Add darts

To tighten the shoulder, create one-inch darts on the bodice of the turtleneck. 

Pinning the darts

Pin the dart from the top of the bodice to the sleeve seam, and if there is excess fabric just stretch the smaller layer as you sew. Stitch the dart right over the original sleeve seam.

Trim the excess fabric and finish the dart with a zigzag stitch.

Sewing the raw shoulder edge

3. Secure the edges

Sew a zigzag row of stitches one inch below the raw shoulder edge to secure it and keep it from unraveling or stretching over time.

How to distress a top

4. Begin the distressing process

Gently pull on all of the raw edges to begin the distressing process on the turtleneck. Do this for the neckline, cuffs, and hem.

Using a seam ripper to distress the top

Now use a seam ripper or tweezers to pull on the threads at the raw edges. 

Make your own distressed choker top

Continue to pull threads in small random sections, pulling from the top edge and then moving down in a tapered V-shape. 

Pulling on the distressed pieces

Finish each distressed section with a little tug.

How to make a distressed choker top

You can vary the distress pattern by making some holes larger than others, or by going back to a distressed section and pulling it out a bit more.

Choker cut out top DIY

5. Add the choker

Remember the collar you cut out of the turtleneck? You can now use that to accessorize your DIY distressed top with a matching choker!

DIY distressed off-shoulder top

DIY distressed top tutorial

You can wear your new DIY distressed top with skinny jeans or shorts, or you can dress it up with a different choker and a flowy skirt for a more feminine touch.

Try out this DIY choker top for yourself and let me know in the comments how it worked out. 

Suggested materials:
  • Ribbed turtleneck sweater
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
See all materials

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