How to Easily Make a DIY Open-Back Top Out of an Old T-Shirt

Kamille Alcantara
by Kamille Alcantara
7 Materials
2 Hours

Follow this tutorial to learn how to make a DIY open back top from an old t-shirt. This crop-top has self-tie straps at the bottom for extra style. The best part is you can make this open-backed crop-top without a sewing machine! Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Seam ripper
  • Loop turner
DIY open-back top sketch and measurements

1. Measure and cut your crop top

Take your body measurements including your preferred crop top length and tie strap length. You can use the measurements in the image above as a guide.

You may need to piece together strips of fabric to get the necessary strap length.

Cutting the new length of the crop top

Cut the new length of the crop top, including seam allowance.

Folding the t-shirt inside out

2. Make the V-shaped back

Turn your t-shirt inside out and fold it vertically along the center. 

Marking the center of the t-shirt with pins

Mark the center line with pins and unfold the t-shirt.

Marking the V-shape at the back of the shirt

Mark the V-shape on the back of your t-shirt with the top point of the V at the center line of your t-shirt.

Measuring the base of the triangle

Measure the base of the triangle at the bottom of the shirt. Mine was 6 inches. Then, draw a triangle up to the pinned centerline of the t-shirt.

Make sure you are only cutting the V out of the back of the t-shirt, not through both layers!

Cutting a snip at the top of the triangle

Cut a snip at the top of the triangle.

Folding over the edges, ready to sew

You can use the scrap fabric to make the straps later.

Then, fold the edges of the cut triangle and pin them.

Pinned edges of the DIY open-back top

Sewing the folded edges of the V-shape

Sew the folded edges of the V-shape from the tip of the V to the bottom on each side. Trim the excess fabric.

How to make an open-back top

Fold in each edge in twice and pin them in place to hold. Then, sew along the open edge of each side of the V, with a few stitches straight across the top of the V.

Hemming the DIY crop top

3. Hem the crop-top

Fold under the hem of your crop-top twice and then pin and sew it in place.

Making strap ties for the DIY crop top

4. Make the strap ties

Use the fabric scraps to measure the ties (see the pattern above for measurements).

With right sides facing, fold each tie in half, and sew the three open edges closed leaving a small opening in the middle of the long edge. 

Turning the fabric with a skewer

Snip the excess fabric from the corners of the ties, and then turn the ties right side out through the opening using a stick or safety pin. Sew the opening closed.

Attaching the straps to the crop top

5. Attach the strap ties

Pin one end of each tie to the inside bottom of one side of the V-shape in the back of the crop top and sew the ties in place.

DIY open-back top

DIY open-back top tutorial

Your DIY open-back crop-top is all done, and it’s so cute! This will be a great addition to your summer wardrobe and a great way of upstyling some old t-shirts.

Leave a comment to let me know how you liked this tutorial and how your DIY open-back crop top turned out.

Suggested materials:
  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
See all materials

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Sonya Sonya on Mar 25, 2022

    So you are going to hand sew all those stitches going up/down each side on the back and along the entire bottom- hoping you stay in a straight line? 🤔 it would take me years to do that