Awesome T-shirt Upcycle Idea: How to Sew a Corset Top

Julia Rafael
by Julia Rafael
7 Materials
1 Hour

I’m going to show you one of my favorite upcycle t-shirt ideas. I love making corset tops and this project is so cool because I am using old t-shirts to create a corset.

This fabric with this style creates such an interesting and unique juxtaposition of styles.

Tools and materials: 

  • 2 old t-shirts
  • Paper for pattern
  • Scissors
  • Chalk or marker
  • Sewing machine
  • Shoelace or ribbon
  • Zip ties
Creating pattern

1. Create your pattern

To create the pattern, first measure how long you want your top to be.

In my case it was 28 centimeters (11 inches). Measure around the waist and divide it by four.

For me, that came out to 22 centimeters (8.5 inches). Measure across the top of your chest, where the corset will sit.

For me this was also 22 centimeters (8.5 inches).

Creating pattern

To create the pattern, mark half of that, in my case, 11 centimeters (4.3 inches).

Then, measure down 3 centimeters (1.2 inches). Draw a diagonal line from the top part to the second horizontal line.

For me, that was 10 centimeters (4 inches). I shortened the waistline to 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) because it seemed too wide.

Add 1 centimeters (.5 inches) seam allowance all around, except for the center of the top.

Creating pattern

For the back pattern, trace the front bodice without tracing the top part.

I ended up cutting off the top and bottom seam allowance because I realized I wouldn’t need them.

Creating pattern

Your pattern should look something like this, with your measurements.

Creating pattern

2. Trace, cut and sew

Trace the front part of your pattern on a fold.

Use one t-shirt for the lining and the other for the actual corset. 


Pin the pieces with right sides facing and sew everything together with a straight stitch.


Do the same for the lining.

Then, pin the lining to the outer piece with the right side facing together and sew them together all around with a straight stitch leaving the bottom open.


Cut off the corners and cut little slits for the seam allowance. Turn it right sides facing out and sew a top stitch on all three sewed sides.

Marking fabric

3. Create your channels

Next, draw the lines for the channels.

I made two in the middle, two diagonal ones on the sides and two on the back. Then sew the channels.

Creating channels

Take two strips of denim or some other strong fabric and sew them on the back panels to make the back sturdier for the holes and lacing.

Creating channels

You can use zip ties to insert boning into the channels.

Adding finishing touches

4. Finishing touches

Adding finishing touches

Make a bias tape that is 3.5 centimeters (1.4 inches) wide.

Sew it to the inside of the bottom edge. Then fold the bias once, and fold it again over the raw edge and sew it in place.

Adding finishing touches

Make 4 holes on each side of the back of the corset. Thread a ribbon or shoelace through, and you’re done.

Adding finishing touches
DIY corset top

DIY corset top

DIY corset top

I think this upcycled t-shirt corset is so cool. I love the idea of mixing a modern, casual fabric with a classic, elegant style.

What do you guys think? How did yours come out? Leave me a comment and let me know.

For more sewing content, check out my post on How to DIY a Cute Blue Puff Sleeve Top.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 old t-shirts
  • Paper for pattern
  • Scissors
See all materials

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