How to Repurpose a Button-Down Shirt to Make a DIY Tie-Back Crop Top

DIY by Ruffa
by DIY by Ruffa
8 Materials
3 Hours

Do you have a button-down shirt that could do with a little transformation? You can easily make a DIY tie-back crop top from it!

In this open-back crop top DIY tutorial, I’ll show you exactly how you can do this amazing upcycled transformation. Grab your materials, and let’s get the show on the road.

Tools and materials:

  • Old button-down shirt
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
Button-down shirt before the transformation

Marking measurements on the shirt

1. Make the pattern

So it’s pretty easy to make a pattern for a sleeveless tie-back crop top. Wear your shirt the opposite way and mark your neckline. Also, figure out how short you want to crop the shirt and mark the bottom accordingly. 

Cutting off the sleeves of the shirt

Now, cut out the sleeves.

Cutting off the bottom of the shirt

Cut the bottom too. 

Marking the new neckline

Add a 1-inch seam allowance before cutting the neckline. When you cut this part, make sure not to include the fabric at the back. 

Cropped tie back tank top DIY

For the back part, trim the fabric with a straight line going across from under the armhole. 

Open back crop top DIY

Fold the piece and cut along the existing line so that both sides are symmetrical. 

Cutting off the button panels

Mark 2 inches from the short ends of the shirt and cut. This is actually where the button panels are located. 

Bodice piece for the DIY crop top

Now you have an outline of the DIY tie-back crop top. Let’s get into the finer details. 

Hemming the raw edges of the crop top

2. Hem the raw edges

Double-fold the raw edges of the armhole by ½ cm (0.19 inches) and the bottom edge by 1cm (0.39 inches). 

Pinning the bodice ready to sew

Pin carefully and sew to secure.

Tip: Because the fold is super thin, take your time with this step. 

Creating a tie casing at the top

Fold the top seam by ½ an inch and make sure it’s wide enough for the tie to pass through it. 

Strips of fabric for the ties

Sewing straps for the tie-back crop top

3. Make the strips

Measure five equal fabric pieces from the remainder of the shirt and connect them at the short ends to make one long tie. I measured a total of 85 inches and divided it by 5 so that each strip measured 17 inches. The width of these strips is 1½ inches. 

Pinning the ties ready to sew

Fold the strip in half, right sides facing. Pin the edges and head on over to your sewing machine to stitch in place. 

Turning the fabric with a bobby pin

Turn this spaghetti tie inside out with the help of a bobby pin. Then press it to smooth out the fabric for an even finish. 

Inserting the tie into the casing

4. Insert the tie

Now your tie is ready insert through the top tunnel of your DIY open-back crop top. Pin a safety pin to one end of the tie to help feed it through the tunnel. Then, tie a knot on both ends of the tie. 

Making and attaching loops for the ties

5. Make and attach loops

Make four tie pieces measuring 2½ x 1½ inches. 

Securing loops for the crop top ties

Double fold the side seam of the top, fold the tie in half and sandwich it. Then, sew across the fold to secure the loops in place.  

Tip: Be sure to space out your loops evenly. 

Sewing over the tie loops

Turn the loops backward and sew over them. 

How to make a criss-cross back crop top

Feed the tie from the neckline to the loops, alternating between each side for a criss-cross effect. 

DIY tie back crop top

DIY tie back crop top from the back

DIY tie back crop top tutorial

Here’s the finished DIY tie-back crop top. I hope this guide gives you a good idea of how to make a criss-cross back crop top. You don’t even need new fabric for this project; you can totally repurpose fabric from an old shirt to get the job done. Thanks for tuning in. 

Suggested materials:
  • Old button-down shirt
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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