Adorable Knot Shoulder Top Thrift Flip Tutorial

Regine Morales
by Regine Morales
10 Materials
2 Hours

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a knot shoulder top with a shirred bodice out of a men’s button-down shirt. I love how comfortable and light this shirt is, and how simple it was to make.

Tools and materials:

  • Thrifted men’s shirt
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Elastic thread
  • Needle and thread
  • Safety pin
  • Fabric chalk
  • Sewing machine
  • Clothing steamer or iron

Mark where to cut

Measure and mark where to cut

I measured and marked 12 inches in length for the bodice of my top. You can, of course, make it longer or shorter depending on your preference. 

Cut across the shirt

Cut the fabric

I cut across the shirt where I had marked it, leaving a little extra fabric for seam allowance. 

Fabric for the bodice

I cut the curved bottom edges off the shirt because it seemed like they’d be hard to work with. The fabric for the bodice of my shirt measured 12 inches by 47 inches. These measurements may differ for you depending on the size of the shirt you’re using, and how much length you prefer.

Double fold the edges

Fold and pin the edges

I double folded and pinned both the top and bottom raw edges.

Sew the hems

Then I sewed each hem down with a straight stitch.

Wind the elastic thread by hand

Prepare the elastic thread

I replaced the thread in the bobbin of my sewing machine with elastic thread. Elastic thread must be wound around the bobbin by hand, making sure not to stretch it as it is being wound.

Sew the shirring

Sew lines of shirring across the shirt

I began stitching the lines of shirring onto the shirt. I stitched across the length of the fabric, leaving out the plackets for the buttons and buttonholes. I chose to separate each line by about one centimeter (half an inch). 

The first line of shirring

This is how it looked after sewing one line of stitching with elastic thread.

Easy knot shoulder top

This is how it looked after I sewed a few more lines.

How to sew a knot shoulder top

I made sure to stretch the fabric flat as I was sewing.

Remove the buttons

Remove the buttons

Next, I removed the buttons and put them aside for later use.

Pin the plackets together

Pin and sew the plackets together

Once the buttons were out of the way, I placed the plackets of the shirt one on top of the other, pinned it closed, and sewed it down, making sure to keep the back of the shirt out of the way as I sewed.

Mark the placement for the buttons

Mark where to put the buttons

With fabric chalk, I marked where I wanted to sew on the buttons. 

Hand-stitch the buttons

Sew on the buttons

I hand-stitched the buttons onto the shirt with needle and thread, using the chalk marks as my guide for placement.

Use offcuts for the straps

Prepare the straps

I decided to use one of the sleeves to make my straps, but you can use any of the offcuts of the shirt. 

Prepare the straps

I measured out and marked four strips of fabric, each six centimeters (two and a half inches) wide, and cut them out.

Cut four straps

Fold and pin the straps

Pin and sew the straps

I folded each strip of fabric in half lengthwise and pinned the edges together.

Sew the edges of the straps

I sewed only the long edges of the straps, leaving the short edges open.

Pin one end of the strap

Turn the straps right side out

To turn the straps so the seams are inside, I attached a safety pin to one end of the fabric and inserted it into the opening on the end of the strap.

Turn the straps right side out

I worked the pin through the fabric by bunching the fabric over the pin and pulling it along inside the strap until it came out through the opening on the other side.

Fold the raw edges in

Stitch the ends of the straps closed

I tucked the raw edges of the straps inside the openings on either end and sewed each end closed.

Mark the placement for the straps

Mark where to place the straps

I measured eight centimeters (three inches) from the sides of the top edge and marked it with fabric chalk. I did this on both the front and the back, and both the left and right sides of the shirt.

Pin the straps onto the shirt

Pin the straps in place

I pinned the straps in place where I had marked the shirt. For an extra professional touch, I aligned the pattern on the straps with the pattern on the shirt.

Sew a knot shoulder top

Sew the straps on

I sewed all four straps into place. 

Steam or iron the shirt

Steam or iron the shirt

I steamed the shirt to get rid of any unwanted wrinkles and folds. 

Make a knot shoulder top

And my shirred knot shoulder top was complete!

Basic knot shoulder top

Front of the shirt

Back of the shirt

This is a fantastic summer shirt. I styled it with a pair of cut-off shorts and a layered gold necklace. How would you style this beautiful top?

Suggested materials:
  • Thrifted men's shirt
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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