How to Easily Upcycle Tank Tops & T-Shirts to Make Cute DIY Crop Tops

Villamor Twins
by Villamor Twins
8 Materials
1 Hour

If you’ve been looking for a way to upcycle tank tops and t-shirts to make DIY crop tops, this is the tutorial for you! We'll show you two super-easy ways to make crop tops from old clothes with just a few tweaks. Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Tank top
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Marking chalk
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
Make a one-shoulder crop top from a t-shirt

One shoulder top

We both loved this trendy crop top with the tie at the bottom. It was a bit too expensive, so we made our own. You can too!

Measuring the shirt

1. Measure the shirt

You can use your own one-shoulder top as a pattern. If you don’t have one, see below for the measurements we used. We wear extra small clothes and this fits us perfectly. You will need to measure yourself and make adjustments in order for it to fit you just right!

Lay the t-shirt down on a flat surface. If using your own one-shoulder crop top, lay it on top and mark the outline with chalk. 

Measurements for a DIY one-shoulder crop top

If you don’t have a garment to trace, these are our measurements:

DIY crop top from t-shirt no sew

Transfer the measurements to the fabric using chalk and measuring tape. Pin the fabric so it doesn’t move when cutting it.

Cutting the t-shirt to make a DIY crop top

2. Cut the shirt

Cut the fabric away so you’re left with the marked t-shirt 

DIY crop top ideas

Cut along the side seam and then cut along the line for the bottom leaving a 1 inch or 2.5 cm connection at the end.

Since our fabric was too short to make the tie, we used the leftover fabric from the t-shirt we cut. We cut the piece to match the size perfectly and pin it together.

Sewing the DIY crop top

3. Sew the shirt

Turn the shirt inside out so the right sides are facing in. Sew the long side seam on the shoulder side, the top of the shoulder, and the tie on the bottom.

Finished DIY crop top

There’s no need to hem the crop top! We love the raw edges as they add so much to the overall style and look. 

Upcycling a t-shirt into a DIY crop top

Here's the finished product!

Make a one-shoulder crop top from a t-shirt

Side tie tank top

Although a regular tank top is fine, this adorable crop top tank top with side ties is super easy to do!

Measuring the tank top to upcycle

1. Measure the top

Lay the tank top on a flat surface. We measured 11 inches or 30 cm from the neckline down to crop the top. You can adjust the length to what looks best on you. 

Marking the new bottom of the DIY crop top

Mark the bottom with chalk.

Cutting the bottom off the tank top

2. Cut the top

First, cut the bottom off. 

Making a DIY crop tank top

Flip the tank top so the side seams are facing you. The straps should be lying one on top of the other.

How to make a DIY crop top

Mark 5 inches or 13 cm up the side seams from the bottom. Mark 2 ½ inches or 7 cm on either side of the side seams. Connect these 2 marks in a triangle shape. 

DIY crop tops from old clothes

Cut the fabric for both sides. 

Hemming the DIY crop top

3. Sew the top

Double hem the cut edges. This means you’ll fold the fabric at the edge, fold it over again, and pin it down. 

Sewing pinned areas with a straight stitch

Then sew the pinned areas using a straight stitch.

Making straps for the DIY crop tops

4. Make the straps

Use the leftover fabric to make the straps. Make 4 strips. Each one is 1 inch wide by 12 inches long or 2 ½ cm by 30 cm. 

Stretching the tank top fabric

Once they’re cut, stretch them gently to create a string-like look.

Strip straps made from pulling the fabric

5. Attach the straps

Keep the top inside out. 

Easy DIY crop top ideas

Mark from the bottom about 2 inches or 5 cm on the front side of the top and 3 inches or 7 cm at the back of the top. Pin the straps and straight stitch them. Knot the ends.

Side tie DIY crop top

Here's the finished crop top!

How to upcycle tank tops and t-shirts

How to upcycle tank tops and t-shirts tutorial

There you go! Two beautiful DIY crop tops from t-shirts and tank tops that are mostly no-sew! Let us know what you think and if there is anything else you’d like to see us recreate from the hottest trends!

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirt
  • Tank top
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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