This Cute DIY Tie-Front Top Used to Be an Old Men's T-Shirt

DIY by Ruffa
by DIY by Ruffa
6 Materials
3 Hours

This tutorial will show you how to transform a man’s shirt into a stylish front-knot puff-sleeved, tied crop top. Learn how to make a DIY tie-front top in just a few simple steps. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Man’s stretchy t-shirt
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
Shortening the men's t-shirt

1. Trim the t-shirt

Cut the sleeves off a man’s t-shirt and cut the shirt to the length you would like, allowing for the hemming. 

Tracing a top to make the pattern

2. Shape the crop top

Turn the t-shirt inside-out and fold in half widthwise. Lay a well-fitting shirt, also folded in half, on top of the t-shirt as a template, lining up the top of the shirts and the folded edges. Trace the outline of your shirt onto the t-shirt, adding a seam allowance.

Cutting out the fabric along the lines

Cut out the crop top shape along your lines.

Creating a square neckline for the top

3. Make a square neckline

Use a well-fitting sleeveless top as a template for your neckline. Fold both the crop top and sleeveless top in half widthwise, and lay the sleeveless top on the cut crop top, lining up the folded edges and the shoulders.

Trace the top and bottom points of the sleeveless top neckline onto the crop top.

How to make a square neckline

Use a ruler to draw a right angle connecting the neckline marks, then cut it out.

Pinning the side seams ready to sew

4. Sew the bodice

Unfold the crop top and sew the side seams.

Hemming the bottom of the top

Fold up the bottom of the crop top and sew the hem.

Marking the ties for the top

5. Make the tie

From the t-shirt fabric, with the t-shirt lying flat, mark a 10-centimeter (3.9-inch) wide band across one whole side of the t-shirt. 

Cutting out the tie strip

Open one of the t-shirt side seams, and then cut out the tie strip. 

Pressing the fabric to make the ties

Fold in and hem the short edges of the tie. Now, fold in the long edges of the tie and then fold the tie in half. Press flat with an iron.

Attaching the tie to the top

Attach the tie to the crop top by laying the top flat, inside out, with a side seam in the middle. Pin one folded edge of the tie to each side of the crop top, all the way around. Sew the tie in place. 

How to make puffed sleeves for the top

6. Make the sleeves puffy

First, seam rip both of the t-shirt sleeves, so you have flat pieces of sleeve fabric.

Making a top with puffed sleeves

Use your extra fabric to cut a rectangle that is at least the same height as the t-shirt sleeve. This will be the fabric that forms the puff. Fold each sleeve piece in half, with right sides facing. 

How to sew a tie front top

Shape one end of the puff fabric to match the armhole of the crop top where you will be attaching the sleeve by tracing the armhole line. Shape the other edge to match the t-shirt sleeve you will attach the puff to.

Cutting out the fabric for the puffs

Cut out the sleeve puffs from two layers of fabric, for two puffs.

Tracing the curved line and cutting it out

Continue to shape the other end of the sleeve. Fold the puff in half widthwise and trace the curve from one end on to the other end. Cut along the curved line.

Fabric for the puffed sleeves

Unfold and separate the fabric and you now have two puffs.

Pinning the sleeves to the top

Attach the puffs to the sleeves by pinning the puff to each end of the open sleeve to make one circular puffy sleeve. Sew to attach it.

Sewing the sleeves to the top

Straight stitch the armholes of the sleeves without backstitching, so you will be able to gather the puff.

Gathering the sleeves to make the puff effect

Gather the sleeve to fit the armhole and adjust gathering as necessary.

Inserting the sleeves into the armholes

Turn the sleeves right-side out and insert them in the armholes. Pin the sleeves in place and sew using a straight stitch, then a zigzag stitch.

Making bands for the sleeves

To make the sleeve bands, cut two 28 x 8 centimeter (11 x 3 inch) strips from the remaining t-shirt fabric.

Folding the strips in half to make the bands

Fold the strips in half widthwise and sew the side seam. Then, fold the sleeve band in half lengthwise.

Pinning the bands to the sleeves

Pin the band onto the sleeve, matching up the side seams, and sew in place.

Finished puff sleeve

Here is your finished puff sleeve.

Creating bias tape for the neckline

7. Finish the neckline

From the discarded neckline of the t-shirt, cut the neckband to make two strips for the new neckline bias tape. Pin one long edge of the bias top to the neckline of the crop top, with right sides facing, and sew in place. 

Pinning the bias tape to the neckline

Now, fold the bias tape and pin the other long edge to the inside of the neckline and sew it again. 

Clean neckline for the top

Now you have a nice clean neckline.

Making back cross straps for the top

8. Make the back cross straps

Cut two strips of t-shirt fabric measuring 30 x 2.5 centimeters each (11.8 x 1 inch). Fold the strips in half lengthwise and sew the open edge. Turn them right-side out and press flat. 

Sewing the straps to the top

Sew the straps into position at the back of the neckline.

DIY tie-front top

DIY tie-front top video tutorial

This DIY tie-front top is so cute and comfortable! Leave a comment to let me know how yours turned out.

Suggested materials:
  • Man’s stretchy t-shirt
  • Thread
  • Scissors
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