How to Make a DIY Lace-Up Shirt With Eyelets, Inspired By Shein

Elegra Margiela
by Elegra Margiela
12 Materials
5 Hours

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to transform a plain button-down shirt into a sexy DIY lace-up shirt. If you’re interested in learning how to make a lace-up front shirt, then keep reading to find out how I did it.

Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Shirt
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Grommets
  • Grommets machine
  • Scissors
  • Interfacing
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Seam ripper
Lace-up shirt on Shein

I saw this lace-up shirt dress on Shein and fell in love with it. I thought this could be something I might be able to make myself.

Plain button-down shirt for the thrift flip

So, I decided to use this old button-down shirt to recreate the look.

Taking waist measurements

1. Take your measurements

First off, take your waist measurement and add 6 inches. 

Measuring the width of the shirt

Next, measure how wide your shirt is. My front measurement was 24 inches. Multiply the front measurement by 2 to get the whole length.

Then, subtract your original waist measurement from that. So for me, the equation goes like this:

  • 24 x 2 = 48
  • 48-36 = 12

So, I need to take away 12 inches. 

Measuring darts on the front of the shirt

2. Measure the darts

To take away 12 inches, you’ll need to make some darts. Here, I measured one inch from the center placket. Don’t go too high or too low when marking the darts. 

How to make your own lace-up shirt

I’ll be making a total of 6 darts: 2 in the back and 4 in the front. Each dart should measure around 1.5 inches wide and 3 inches long. 

Pinning the darts

Draw out the rectangles and test out the darts before altering the shirt. Do this by pinning and within the rectangular area, as shown. 

Button-down shirt with the darts pinned

Remember, you don’t want to cinch too much or too little fabric. This will give you a pretty good idea of how it will look. 

Creating darts on the back of the shirt

Now, create your back darts. One each side will be best. Also, you can make the back darts a bit longer; instead of 3 inches, make them 4 inches. 

Cutting the bottom of the shirt

3. Cut the bottom

Cut the bottom of the shirt as you’ll need the extra fabric to create the placket in front. Draw a straight line and cut carefully. 

Making front plackets for the shirt

From the spare fabric, cut two rectangles that measure 3.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. These will be your front plackets.

Adding interfacing to the placket

Next, lay one placket piece on some interfacing and cut to size. 

Fusing interfacing to the fabric with an iron

Fuse the interfacing to the fabric using an iron. 

Folding the plackets right sides together

Fold each piece right sides together and pin the edges. 

Pinning the plackets ready to sew

Then, stitch the outer edges and turn the plackets inside out afterward. 

Adding grommets to the placket pieces

4. Add the grommets

Place your grommets on your placket pieces. Ensure they are spaced out evenly and don’t look too congested.

Marking where the grommets go

Line them up as symmetrically as possible and mark where each grommet goes for ease of reference. 

Snipping the markings for the grommets

Fold the fabric piece and make a snip on each marking. 

How to make a lace-up-front shirt

Then, fold the piece the other way and snip again. 

Pushing grommets through the holes

Squeeze each grommet through each hole. There will be a lot of pulling and tugging, and you may need to use your scissors to open the hole even more slightly. 

Attaching the grommet to the placket

Next, punch in the grommet using grommet/eyelet pliers.

Three grommets on the placket

Repeat the process. This is what you should be left with, three perfectly aligned grommets on each side of your fabric piece. 

Attaching the placket to the shirt

5. Assemble the DIY lace-up shirt

Sew your first dart and then insert the placket on the second dart (don’t sew the second dart yet). Insert it with the wrong side facing upward. 

Make your own lace-up shirt

Then, fold your shirt over so that it aligns and connects to the rectangular marking that you did. Pin the layers and sew to secure the placket and dart in place.

The placket should be sandwiched within the dart. 

Removing the buttons from the shirt

6. Change the buttons (optional)

This step is totally optional. I didn't like the original buttons on this shirt so I manually removed each button with a seam ripper.

Sewing the button placket down

Next, I pinned the button placket together and sewed it straight down for a seamless finish. 

Creating strips for the lace-up part

7. Make the lace-up front

Connect the scrap fabric and make two strips that will be the lacing for the front of the blouse. Connect the short ends, fold the strip in half lengthways and stitch the raw edge. Lastly, flip each strip inside out. 

Hemming the shirt

8. Hem the shirt

Double fold the bottom raw edges and hem the shirt all around with a straight stitch. 

DIY lace-up shirt

DIY lace-up shirt tutorial

So, here’s the transformation! What do you think of this spruced-up DIY lace-up shirt? It cinches right on my waistline and creates the perfect ruffles throughout the shirt.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to make a lace-up front shirt. Good luck! 

Suggested materials:
  • Shirt
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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