DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

This DIY off the shoulder top project is perfect if you have an old button-down shirt hanging untouched in your closet. If you’d rather not give it away, this refashioning clothes idea will take care of it. Upcycle it and look chic, while the off-shoulder blouse is still a hot fashion trend. It’s also perfect for the warm summer season. Keep scrolling for an easy and stylish DIY off the shoulder top project tutorial from Anne Le’s!

Flattering DIY Off the Shoulder Top from an Old Shirt


You Will Need:

  • An old button-down dress shirt
  • A one-inch-wide elastic band
  • Some clothing pins
  • A sewing machine
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Step 1. Lay the Dress Shirt on the Table

Lay the Dress Shirt on the Table | DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

You don’t need an off the shoulder top sewing pattern for this project. Rummage through your closet or dresser for the perfect long-sleeved shirt to refashion. Having picked a shirt, lay it down flat on a table with the sleeves placed to the side.

Step 2. Determine Where to Cut

Find out where you would like your shoulders to be exposed. Usually, it is about four inches above the line of the shirt pocket. Mark this with pins, then continue doing this around the shirt.

Step 3. Cut the Long Sleeves Shirt Top Straight Across

Using a good pair of sharp fabric shears, cut across the marked line of the shirt. This will be the new neckline of your shirt. Now, turn the shirt inside out to start working on the stitches.

Step 4. Fold and Iron

Fold and Iron | DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

Hide the row edges by first folding a quarter of an inch of the fabric inwards toward the wrong side. Fold in another half an inch, pin, and press it down for a seamless look, which will also make it easier to run through the sewing machine. Continue around the shoulder line.

Step 5. Sew It

Once you’re done folding around the shoulder line, it’s now time to sew around the fold line. Leave about a one- to two-inch opening for the elastic band of your off the shoulder top.

Step 6. Measure the Elastic

Measure the Elastic | DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

Get your elastic band and measure it around the shoulder. Add an extra one inch then cut. Anchor one end of the elastic with a safety pin.

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Step 7. Insert the Elastic Band

Insert the elastic into the opening of the shirt. Pull it all the way through to the opposite side until the two ends meet. Overlap the two ends by one inch then sew them together. Cut any excess thread then tuck the elastic back. This will keep your top from falling down your shoulders.

Step 8. Seal the Opening

Seal the Opening | DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

Sew over the opening where the elastic meets with a backstitch. Congratulations! You can now show off your shoulders with confidence!


Let’s follow Ann Le’s step-by-step DIY off-the-shoulder top from an old shirt in this video:

Show off your glowing skin these sunshiney summer days with an off-the-shoulder top. This stylish look shows a hint of skin without baring it all, and it’s easy to DIY! Off-the-shoulder tops are fun to wear this season! Dress it up with accessories and flats for daytime or a cute statement clutch, leather pants, and high heels at night. There are so many possibilities with an off the shoulder top you can DIY!

Did you enjoy this latest sewing tutorial?  Do you already have your tools and materials ready for a DIY off-the-shoulder top sewing project? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: How To Sew Your Old Jeans Into Comfy And Stylish Denim Shorts

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 25, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

One thought on “DIY Off the Shoulder Top | How To Refashion An Old Shirt

  1. Becca says:

    What an easy and darling transformation! Thanks for sharing. My only question is how many sizes up do you want to go on your shirt? I heard you say that the blue shirt you used was a men’s large and you don’t appear to wear close to a men’s large size.

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