T-Shirt to Tied Crop Top Upcycle

by Oaishe
8 Materials
30 Minutes

Hello, everyone! Today I’m going to be showing you how to turn an oversized t-shirt into a cute, easy, tied crop top. I will be making two different styles of crop top, but the process for both is essentially the same. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions for a tied crop top tutorial.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized t-shirt
  • Fitted t-shirt (to trace)
  • Fabric pen
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)
  • Embroidery thread (optional)
Make a tied crop top


To begin, I used a fitted shirt to trace out the side seams, length, and armholes on the oversized shirt. 

How to make a tied crop top


I also marked out the shape of the ties, which will be in the front of the shirt. 

Simple tied crop top


Then I cut the shirt along the marks I made. 

Basic tied crop top

I also cut the ties along the fold.

Easy tied crop top

Then I unfolded the shirt and cut the tie shapes off the back, and straightened out the back hem. 

tied crop top tutorial

I also carved out the front armhole a little more.


I used the sleeves I had cut off to create new sleeves by placing them under the shirt and tracing out the shape of the armhole, leaving a ½-inch seam allowance. I used the end of the sleeve, so I wouldn’t have to hem it. 


Then I cut out the sleeve and used it as a guide to cut out a second, symmetrical sleeve. 

Pin and sew

Then I pinned the sleeves in place and sewed them down. 

Once the sleeves were in place, I flipped the shirt inside out, and pinned and sewed the sides. 

Serge and sew

For the bottom edge, I serged the whole thing, and then turned the edges in once and topstitched. 

And that’s it for this top!


For the second shirt, I followed the same steps as I did for the first, but this time I made the ties on the side. 

Finish the bottom

I attached sleeves and sewed down the sides with the same method as I used previously. For the bottom edge, I left it as is, after I serged it. 

Add details

I decided to add some embroidery to this shirt, as well, to give it some interesting detailing. 

And here’s how it came out. I actually like this one a lot, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shirt quite like this.

I really enjoyed this upcycle project, and I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If you use this tutorial to make a tied crop top of your own, I would love to see your results. 

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized t-shirt
  • Fitted t-shirt
  • Fabric pen
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Lori Ward-Laatsch Lori Ward-Laatsch on Jun 29, 2021

    Embroidery on shirts always reminds me of a couple shirts I had in the early 80s they were T-shirts, sort of, but the pattern was sort of a quilted, in other words the picture was a little puffy but also embroidered. they also had a button up slit at the cleavage line. It's hard to explain it totally, but I loved those shirts for a long time, I don't recall ever seeing anyone else wear them, but I loved them. I kind of wish I had held on to them if nothing else my granddaughters might have liked to see them.

  • Pat Pat on Jul 29, 2021

    Great job your shirts turned out great and your embroidery skills are awesome!