How to Make a DIY Strapless Tuxedo Top Out of an Old '80s Blazer

6 Materials
2 Hours

Hi friends, today we are doing a strapless top DIY. I'm excited to show you how to make a strapless tuxedo top out of a thrifted blazer.

I have been waiting to upcycle this amazing Neiman Marcus blazer for a while. I found this at the Goodwill and it’s very 80s with the whole structure of it. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Blazer with lapels
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Dress form (optional)
  • Clasp
80s blazer before the thrift flip

This is how the blazer looked originally. It actually fits my waist perfectly. There are two buttons, so I was thinking about chopping off the top and making it a strapless top, but keeping the lapel.

I wasn't quite sure how I would do it, so I figured it out as I went.  

Blazer lapel gold and bronze detail

I was so obsessed with this fabric that I just had to get it to upcycle it. It's so shiny and fun. I think that this DIY strapless top could be something really funky and cool, like a New Year's Eve outfit.

Cutting off the sleeves of the blazer

1. Cut off the sleeves

I hate cutting up clothes, especially a Neiman Marcus blazer, but the arms needed to be cut off.  

Trying on the blazer to gauge the fit

2. Gauge the fit

Next, I decided that since the lapel was just naturally going around and I liked that look, I would leave it as is, as well as the collar. That created basically a halter.

Cutting out the back of the blazer

3. Cut out the lapels at the back

I separated the lapel from the top of the blazer, so it was easier to play around with and trimmed the excess fabric.

I alternated putting the top on my dress form and on my body to see what worked.

Cutting the pale in half at the top

I also cut the lapel itself at the top.

Pinning the sides to take them in

4. Take in the sides

Next, I took in the side seams so I could see how much extra fabric I needed to remove.

Once everything was lined up, it was easier to see how I could fold over the lapels at the front.

Pinning the bodice

5. Cut the top of the bodice

Once the sides were taken in, I put on the top. I pinned where the bodice needed to start and trimmed off the excess fabric.

Adding a clasp to the front of the top

6. Add a clasp

I needed to hold the front in place a little better so added a clasp.  

Finishing the raw edges

7. Finish the edges

Then I finished off the raw edges.  

Folding the lapel over at the front

8. Sew the lapel in place

I kept playing with the lapel until I got it to lay in a way that I liked, then pinned and stitched it in place. The folds also hid the serging on the edges.

DIY strapless top from a blazer

DIY strapless top tutorial

What do you think? Personally, I am obsessed. I cannot believe that this turned out this good.  

How to make a tuxedo top out of a blazer

I'm honestly shocked! The moment that I saw this blazer at the thrift store, I envisioned this top, and now I've made it! Usually upcycling is so up in the air and you never know how it will turn out.

I think that it looks really cute. I hope you enjoyed this strapless top DIY. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Blazer with lapels
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
 1 comment