Turning a Thrifted Men's Shirt Into My New Favorite One Shoulder

Paola Gonzalez
by Paola Gonzalez
9 Materials
1 Hour

Today, we’re going to do a basic, beginner-friendly upcycle.

DIY a thrifted men’s shirt into what will become your new, favorite one-shoulder, sporty-athleisure top!

Tools and materials:

  • Long sleeve dri-fit men’s top
  • Safety pin
  • Rotary blade
  • Craft cutting mat
  • Overlock machine
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Elastic string

1. Plan

Try on the top, as-is. The plan is to add cinching and crop this top.

Mark with a safety pin where you want to crop it, keeping in mind that the cinching will also reduce the length. 

Marking top

Add a safety pin at one shoulder where you will cut off the sleeve. 

Marking top

2. Cut

Use a rotary cutter to cut a straight line at the pin for the cropped edge.

Work on a craft cutting mat. Save the tube of fabric that you remove for other elements. 

Cutting mat

Then cut off one sleeve at the shoulder under the pin.

Overlocking edges

3. Overlock the edges

Overlock the rough edges for a nice, polished look.

If you don’t have an overlock machine you can fold the hem and sew a straight stitch.


4. Prep for and create cinching

Make 2 channels for the cinching: one that is 2 x 5.5” and the longer one is 2 x 10”

Fabric strips

Overlock the edges and pin them to the side seam and shoulder seam.

Pinned fabric

Sew the perimeter and add a stitch in the middle. 

Progress shot

Attach a safety pin to an elastic string and feed it through the cinching channels. 

Adding safety pin

This is what the final garment looks like: 

DIY one-shoulder top

Here’s the awesome cinching detail:

DIY one-shoulder top

Turning a thrifted men's shirt into my new favorite one shoulder

I hope you enjoyed this one-shoulder men’s sport shirt upcycle! If so, leave a comment.

Next up, try this easy upcycle to elevate your basic, white button down.

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Suggested materials:
  • Long sleeve dri-fit men’s top
  • Safety pin
  • Rotary blade
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