3 ways to Make an OFF SHOULDER TOP – Free sewing tutorial

An off shoulder style looks casual and at the same time very glamorous. If you have good shoulders nothing like this top. This very easy to sew top can show off your lovely collar bones to perfection. A lovely bohemian look can be achieved by pairing this top with a long maxi skirt and some long  fabric necklaces.

off shoulder top

3 ways to make an off shoulder top

Table of Contents


    Method 1 Off shoulder top with long sleeves

    Note : if the top length is ending near hip you will have to take the hip width when marking B-D. Mine ends somewhere under the waist so I am using the same width for A-C & B-D

    Step 1

    Cut out the pattern pieces and the bias tape ( fabric strip cut crosswise would do)

    Sleeve pattern – cut 2.

    off shoulder top pattern

    Bodice pattern – cut 2

    I joined two pieces of fabrics together

    how to make an off shoulder top


    Step 2

    Join the armholes of the sleeves and bodice.

    free pattern to sew off shoulder top

    The sleeve will be joined by the slash we have made on the sleeves to the slashed cut on the top corners of the bodices

    Measure the top edge. Cut out fabric strip to this measure plus 1″ overlap( for elastic casing).

    Then join the sides together. You can start from the hem and continue stitching in one line till the sleeve hem. Do the same for both sides. You will get a bodice which looks like the picture below

    Step 3

    Join the binding on the top edge . If you want a contrast edge  join the fabric strip from the inside of the garment to the front of the garment so that the binding is visible outside.

    You can take it to the back as well – for that join from the face of the fabric ( fabric strip and bodice rightsides together) and take to the back.

    off shoulder top sewing pattern 

    Start binding from the back so that the joint is not visible in the front. If you want to know more about bias binding checkout the tutorial.  

    Do leave a 1″ opening in the back of the bodice on the binding stitching so that you can insert the elastic. Use a safety pin to insert elastic through the casing . Securely close stitch the elastic with two or three stitching of zig zag stitch. Sew the opening closed. 

    off shoulder top stitching


    Step 4

    Hem the bodice and sleeves with a turned under hem. You can give a different hemline for the front and back as in the picture below . 

    The sides will look like this 

    off shoulder top sewing pattern

    One another option is to shirr the top edge  of the bodice. Checkout the tutorial to do shirring – sewing with elastic thread for more details on how to do this.  This is a very easy technique to do if you have thin elastic thread with you. The elastic thread is used in the bobbin. You will have to do atleast 4-5 close rows of shirring -The resultant gathers look very pretty. Remember to finish the top edge before doing the shirring.


    Method 2 Off shoulder top with extended yoke

    This method is for a top with an extra extended yoke piece – You can use a lace fabric or embroidered fabric as this yoke or even a contrasting coloured fabric.

    This is a customisable pattern , very easy to sew with just 4 pieces of rectangular fabric pieces joined together with some easy seams and some elastic . I made the top for my young daughter and I can vouch that this top can be made in less than an hour ( even including the embroidery around the edges). 

    off the shoulder top pattern

    Off the shoulder top pattern.

    A-B = Measure top of bust from middle of armhole to other side. Divide this by 4

    C-D = Bust round /4 + 1.5″

    G-H = waist round/4 + 1.5″

    E-F = Hip round /4 + 1.5″

    off shoulder top pattern

    Step 1.

    Cut out the pattern pieces.

    off the shoulder pattern.

    Step 2

    Join the fabric pieces if you have not got a long strip. It is better to make a french seam, because you will get a clean fabric edge this way. To make this seam stitch the seams first wrong sides together, them trim the seam allowance and stitch the seam enclosed from the wrong side.Checkout the post on sewing seams for more details and other options. 

    Join the strips together to make a tube as well.

    off shoulder top diy.

    Step 3

    Fold the top edge of the fabric tube some 1 inch

    off the shoulder top sewing pattern

    Stitch along the edge. Leave a 1 -2 ” opening for inserting elastic

    off shoulder top pattern

    Step 4

    Finish the bottom edge of the tube with  rolled edge or a simple turnde under finish with your sewing machine.

    off shoulder top diy tutorial

    Step 5

    I finished the fabric tube bottom edge with a graded blanket stitch. I have a post on 11 variations of the blanket stitch. If you are interested check it out.

    off the shoulder top offshouldertop


    Step 6

    Sew the side edges of the bodice together. Finish the top and bottom edges by turning under 1/4 inch twice.

     Step 7

    Press the center fold in the fabric tube . 


    Step 8.

    Keep the bodice inside the fabric tube the top edges together. Align the center fold of the tube with the center of the bodice for the front as well as the back. Adjust the top edges so that the bodice top edge is down some 3/4  inch down ( Elastic casing is extended out )

    off shoulder top

    Pin and top stitch in place from the front along the elastic casing seam line ( so that there would not be two stitching lines) 

    Step 9

    Insert the elastic ( 1/2 inch) in the casing with a safety pin and join the edges of the elastic with 4-5 back stitches. Close the opening with sewing machine or hand stitches. The top is finished

    Method 3 – Off shoulder top from a tshirt.

    You need a slightly oversized tshirt with a crew neckline ( neckline very close to the neck) to make this one.
    Cut off the crew neck band very close. Donot cut too low and regret later. Turn under the top cut edge and sew a casing for elastic . Use 1/4 inch elastic threaded through this casing and you have a very easy 10-minute-sew off shoulder top

    If you have a smaller tshirt you can get away without sewing  the elastic on top edge but you have to be very very careful that you donot cut too much from the neck. Very close to the neck band is the right way to cut. Try it and cut again if you want to. In this case you will have a very casual cut edge but as tshirt material donot fray this casual look is super cool

    Related post

     Cold shouldered top sewing pattern

    cold shoulder top pattern

    top with shoulder slits 

    Another option is  this offshoulder cape diy. Checkout the tutorial to make this in the post on 8 types of ways to make a cape here

    cold shouldered cape

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