How to lengthen a short top (3 Easy ideas)

Practical and easy methods to Make a short top longer to achieve a more modest or flattering look. Alter your short tops to extend the length of your short top, without having to buy new ones.

Do you have that one top which you would gladly wear if it was just a little bit longer? Let this no longer be a problem. This post is about adding extra length to tops which are shorter than you want them to be.

Idea 1


To lengthen a top, add lace trims

An easy way to add length to short tops is to add a wide trim or a frill to the hem.

add trims to lengthen a top


An easy way to add lace trims with a false piping goes like this –

Keep the fabric edge and the raw edge of the lace together, rightsides to the inside.

( As you stitch, the raw edge will be to the outside but this will be turned into a beautiful piping like edge with bias tape.)

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inches. Use a bias binding tape to bind the raw edge

Keep lace and fabric edge right sides together and sew the bind the edge with bias tape

In the above picture, the lace and fabric edge are kept right sides together; bind the edge with bias tape.

This is how it will look when you open the fabric and straighten the edge.  You can top stitch everything in place.The binded edge looks like a trim.

lace trim added with a piping like binded edge

Idea 2


Add another top’s hem

Another sewing hack to add length is to cut off the bottom part of old shirts and add them to the hem of the top as in the picture below.

cut off the bottom hem of old shirts and add it to the hem of your top

Idea 3


Use an extender

Another method is to make an top extender; then you can add length to all and any short tops you have easily. Just use this extender under all the too-short tops you have. 

The idea is to make a small skirt like addition which can be sewn easily and slipped-on under the tops – the final result is an illusion that your top is long

Add length to a top

Step 1.

cut off the bottom edge of a loose top to make the extender for making a short top look longer

First cut off the bottom portion of an old loose t-shirt or an old top – it is better in a neutral color so that it will match with all the short tops that you have.

The length of this portion should be the length you want from your waist plus 1 1/2 inch for turning allowance. I took the length as 11 inches.

Step 2.

cut enough elastic to go over the waist

Cut enough 1/4 inch wide elastic to go over your waist plus 1 inch seam allowance

Step 3.

make a casing for the elastic and thread the elastic through this

Make a casing along the top edge of your t-shirt cut off. Thread elastic through the casing with a bodkin.

Secure with stitches.

This is your extender.

DIY length extender for your top

You will be wearing the extender first as you would a slip.

lengthen short tops with extender

If you wear it low, it can look like a peplum underneath your top.

I prefer just a small peek, enough to add the required length.


a top with added length because of the extender added inside


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

1 thought on “How to lengthen a short top (3 Easy ideas)”

  1. You can also extend the length of a too by cutting at the waist line and adding a band of similar or contrasting fabric. This will also add beauty to the existing design

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