How to Cut a T-shirt Into a Cute Crop Top

by AssunDIY
11 Materials
45 Minutes

In this DIY, I’m going to show you how to cut a t-shirt into a crop top. By tweaking and altering it, we will be transforming an oversized shirt into something cute, feminine and stylish. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • XL t-shirt
  • Regular t-shirt
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Bias tape
  • Elastic
  • Clips
Marking the t-shirt

1. Mark the t-shirt

Measure 40 cm (15.7 inches) down from the very top of the t-shirt. Mark a point and then draw all the way across the t-shirt at this length.

Cutting the t-shirt

2. Cut 

Proceed to cut along this line.

Making the t-shirt

3. Mark the t-shirt

Fold the t-shirt in half and then take another t-shirt that fits you well and fold this in half too.

Place the smaller t-shirt on top of the larger one and mark the shoulder line as well as the shape of the armhole (not including the sleeve).

Continuing the line

4. Continue the line

Continue the line down to the bottom of the t-shirt.

Marking the sleeve

5. Mark the sleeve and cut the top

Mark a smaller sleeve on the large sleeve of the t-shirt with the measurements shown above.

Once done, cut the top along the marked lines. Then separate out the two sleeve pieces and open up the top. Keep the excess fabric for later.

Removing the collar

6. Remove the collar

Next, cut off the collar. Then open the top out fully and refold it so that the marked side is on the inside of the top.

Where to sew

7. Sew the top sleeves

Sew along the sides of the top and the sleeves with a zigzag stitch.

Gathering the sleeves

8. Gather the sleeves

Use a needle and thread to gather the open side of the sleeves. 

Pinned sleeve

9. Join the sleeves to the top

Turn the sleeves right side out and place them inside the top, so the gathered side of the sleeves is lined up with the armhole, good sides facing one another.

Pin the two pieces together and sew with a zigzag stitch. Do this with both sleeves.

Attaching bias tape

10. Attach bias tape

Pin bias tape all around the neckline and then sew it down.

Attaching bias tape

Then fold the bias tape over twice, pin it to the inside of the neckline and sew it down.


11. Sew the elastic

Cut two pieces of elastic that measure the circumference of the top of your arm + 5cm (2 inches).

Clip them into a circle and sew them together with a zigzag stitch.

Connecting sleeve to top

12. Connect to top

Pin the elastic to the inside of the sleeves, you will have to stretch it to get it to fit the length of the sleeves.

Sew it in place with a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the other sleeve.

Making a cut

13. Make a cut

Make a cut at the bottom of the t-shirt that is in line with the edge of the neckline.

Pinned fabric

14. Sew on material

Cut a strip out of the excess fabric from before. Then pin this onto the inside of the v-shape made by the snip. Sew it down.

Where to sew

15. Sew on material

As we did with the bias tape around the neckline, fold the fabric over twice, pin it to the outside of the v-shape and sew it down. Snip off any excess fabric.

Pinching the center

16. Sew in the center

Pinch the center of the fabric that you just sewed on and sew in the center as shown. Once done, gather the fabric all around the bottom of the t-shirt.

Creating a long strip

17. Create a long strip

Take the bottom of the t-shirt that you removed before, and cut the bottom hem off.

Then fold the remaining fabric in half lengthways and cut it along the bottom. You will then have two pieces.

Cut open one of the short sides of each piece, and you will have two long strips of fabric.

Join these together by sewing two of the short sides.

When done, cut the long piece so that it measures 160 cm (63 inches) in length.

Where to sew

18. Connect to top

Mark the middle of the strip and then draw marks at 34 cm (13.4 inches) on either side of it.

Line the center up with the side of the t-shirt and pin the strip to the top up until the marks you made at 34 cm. Then sew down.

Where to sew

19. Fold and sew

Open the fabric up, make a little fold at the bottom and then fold it up again to the bottom of the top.

Pin the fabric in place and sew all around. Also, fold the additional material in half, pin it together and sew down. (For a clean finish, fold the sides inwards slightly before you pin them together).

Finish off by folding the fabric into a bow.

Completed DIY crop top

How to cut a t-shirt into a crop top

Here is the finished top. I love the puffy sleeves and the cute bow at the bottom.

Completed DIY crop top

This is such an amazing transformation. What started out as a plain top now looks totally different and I’m very pleased with the finished result!

If you give this DIY crop top a go, let me know in the comments!

Suggested materials:
  • XL t-shirt
  • Regular t-shirt
  • Ruler
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Hoosierphilly Hoosierphilly on Aug 27, 2023

    Great idea for those awfully styled concert T shirts when the print is nice but the designs and fit are terrible for women.

  • Angi Angi on Aug 27, 2023

    What a great idea! Thank you for the detailed AND easy to follow tutorial, its one of the best I've seen! Definitely will try