I’m entering DIY clothing territory with this post, eek! I’ve been obsessed with making my own clothes and revamping old ones these days (my room is a mess now). It’s just too fun and also helpful when you’re on a tight budget.
I also love the idea of giving new life to old/ ill-fitting pieces. And who wouldn’t love showing off clothes they made themselves. Haha.
This project is really simple and requires only basic sewing skills. I hand sewed mine since my sewing machine is out of order, and it still didn’t take me too long.
I’ve mentioned plain tee in the materials below but I’ve used one with some (ugly) graphic in the front since that’s what I had at hand. Luckily there was just enough plain fabric below the graphic to make my top with. Phew.
- Oversized plain jersey/ stretchy tee of your choice. Make sure it’s not so big that another you can fit into it too. It should maybe be 1 to 2 sizes bigger than your actual size. I’m a S/ XS size and I used a men’s M size for this project. But if all you have is a tee too big, you can always make it smaller (as shown in step 8)
- Chalk (or anything to mark on your tee with, which you’re sure can be washed off. Since I was working on a white tee and couldn’t use white chalk,—duh—I used a regular pencil and it worked just fine!)
- Tailor’s measuring tape
- Long solid ruler
- Thread, the same colour as your tee
ONE. Stand straight in front of a mirror and with a measuring tape, measure from your shoulder down to the length you want your crop top to be. I measured till my belly button.
TWO. Lay out your tee on a flat surface and smooth out all the folds. Starting from the bottom hem and going upwards with the measuring tape, mark the length you just measured on yourself.
You could mark this length a few more times across the breadth of the tee so that when you join the dots, you get a straight line parallel to the bottom hem. Cut along the straight line neatly. Just make sure both the front and back are aligned properly before cutting. You will only be using the bottom portion of the tee for this project.
THREE. For the armholes, you can use a top you own as a guide. Mark the length of the armhole and neatly cut the side folds/ seams up to the marks. You can cut and throw away the inside seam extra bit to make it neat.
FOUR. To create the neckline, you can either use a top with a high neckline as a guide, or do it manually by measuring and cutting (which I did. I measured 4 inches which gave me an 8 inch wide neck hole). Either way, you will first need to fold the fabric in half breadth wise, so the sides of the tee meet.
If you’re using a top as a guide, fold it in the same way (so the neckline is seen and not folded inwards), align it on top of your tee, and mark out the curve of the neckline.
Wait! Don’t start cutting yet. You need to take out the back part of the tee from the fold so that you don’t get a neckline at the back too (unless you want that). Keeping the front part folded, cut along your marked neckline.
FIVE. Cut out the back of the neck by folding the back in half again, but a little higher than the front.
SIX. Flip the fabric inside out and stitch the top two shoulder sections together. I folded the edges once before sewing to make them more secure, but you don’t have to.
SEVEN. Next, tug at the raw borders (neckline, arm holes) so it stretches and rolls over itself.
EIGHT. You can now try on your new top! Look in the mirror and see how you like the fit.
If you feel the neckline is too high, you can mark how much lower you want it to be and cut. Just remember that once it’s cut, you can’t go back. Also, I think this top in particular would look better when the neckline is a bit high since it would add to the “boxiness”.
Also, check and see if you like how the top falls on you from all angles. I found mine to be a little too wide that it flared out from the back a little too much for my taste. If you like the effect… then you’re done! You don’t have to read the next step.
NINE. For those who want to make the top a little more fitted, all you need to do is stitch the sides.
Pinch at the sides while wearing it to get an idea as to how much you want gone, attach a pin or mark with your marker and then remove your top. With the tee inside out, flatten it out, draw straight lines (yes, straight) that go through the mark you created, and sew. I used a long solid ruler which helped me get really straight lines. ‘Cause I’m a perfectionist like that.
I sewed about 1 inch in. Just make sure your line curves as it reaches your armpit section, as shown in the picture below. Once sewn, you can cut off the excess fabric.
I’m loving my new top and I’m happy with how it fits. It’s such a basic and simple crop top. You can see the result below.
Psst. The pictures below are ready for pinning on Pinterest if you want to (the Pinterest button is below this post).
If you decide to make this then please share pictures of yours on Instagram and tag me in them. Would love to see them! My Instagram icon is on the right sidebar of this page. Hope you liked this DIY guys!