From Old to New: DIY Off-the-Shoulder Top

Rosa Padilla
by Rosa Padilla
6 Materials
1 Hour

Out with the old and in with the new! Or, take the old and make it new. It’s never too late to repurpose an old piece. Stop overspending on clothing and start bringing your closet to life.

Tools and materials:

  • Old button-down shirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
DIY off-the-shoulder long sleeve top

Cut and pin

Using your scissors cut across the top of the shirt - from shoulder to shoulder. You are removing the collar and shoulders with this cut. 

DIY off-the-shoulder top from t-shirt

Pin and hem 

Next, fold the edges over to create a hem and secure it in place with pins. Sew your hem. 

Sew an off-the-shoulder top

Measure and mark 

Unbutton the shirt and take a ruler to measure out 35 centimeters (approximately 14 inches) from the top on the inside of the shirt. Mark your place 3 times across the shirt and then use a ruler to connect the markings. 

Measure and mark

Next, use a ruler to add and attach a line on both sides of the shirt. Note that the line will be diagonal and not straight given the cut of the shirt. 

Pin the bottom to hem

Hem the bottom

Following the stencil you just drew, cut off the bottom of the shirt. Then fold the edge over and pin it in place. Sew your hem. 

Measure shoulder straps

Make the shoulder straps 

Using the extra fabric that was cut off the top of the shirt, measure out 3 centimeters (approximately 1.2 inches) and cut out 2 strips. Next, fold the strips in half and pin them to secure. Sew it closed and make sure you’re left with a tube-like piece of fabric. 

How to make an off-the-shoulder top

Pin the straps to either side of the shirt for two shoulder straps and sew in place. 

Hem the sleeves

Make the sleeves 

Cut off the cuff of the sleeve for a more modern look. Then fold the edge of the sleeve in, pin, and sew. 

Off-the-shoulder top

Next cut out 4 more straps - similar to the shoulder straps from earlier. Fold, pin, and sew until you have the same tube-like shape. Attach 2 straps to the bottom of each sleeve and tie a bow. 

Finished off the shoulder top

I think we can all agree this shirt has a brand new life. It went from being an old button-down to a chic off-the-shoulder top in less than an hour. Thank you for joining me on this repurposing journey and I can’t wait to see some of your amazing creations! 

Suggested materials:
  • Button-down shirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Aileen Aileen on Feb 22, 2021

    Very Cute indeed;-)

  • Brenda Brenda on Feb 22, 2021

    Really nice. Love it & if I can get one of my 2 sewing machines to cooperate I’m going to try it 👍🏻💞💫