Strapless Top : Sewing tutorial

This is a sewing tutorial to sew two types of easy-to-sew strapless tops.

how to sew strapless tops

Method 1

To sew this strapless top you need to cut out 2 bodice pieces and cut 2 fabric strips for the top band. 

Step 1 Measure the body

You need to measure around the body under the arms above bust . This is A. You also need the measure around the bust.

Step 2 Cut the fabric

The fabric strips are cut on the bias. To cut the band strips take A as the length measure. Take 4 inches as width. 

Cut the bodice pieces with the following dimension:

Width – 1/2 of the bust round * 1.5

Height – Your desired length ( minus the band width and plus 1/2 inch seam allowance and 1″ hem allowance)

Step 3 Sew bodice

Keep the bodice pieces right sides together and sew along the side edges joining them together. This creates a tube for you.

strapless top

Step 4 Prepare the band

Join the fabric strips by the short edges, forming a tube. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Try it on the body. Is this staying snugly on the body under the arms. 

Fold by the middle and press in place.

You may want to add elastic to the casing. But it stays put even without the elastic.

Step 5 Gather the bodice and stitch to band

Gather the top edge of the bodice tube to match the band you have. You can make a loose stitch along the edge and then gather. For more details check out this post on gathering here.

Now pin or baste stitch the band and the bodice.

Pin the seams first and then make sure that everything is distributed equally and evenly.

Sew the band like you would attach binding. Keep the band right side down on the bodice edge and stitch.

Turn to the back and stitch in place.

Method 2 Shirred tube top

shirred tube top - strapless top

To sew this top you just need to Cut out 2 bodice pieces. You also need the thin elastic thread with which you can sew the shirring.

Measure around the bust. 

Step 1 Prepare the bodice 

Cut out the 2 bodice pieces. The width of each of them should be 1/2 of bust round multiplied by 1.5. Length can be the measure from just above your bust to waist or hip. Add 1 inch as hem allowance.

Keep them right sides together and Join them by the side seams. You get a tube.

Hem the top and bottom edges of this tube. 

shirred tube top - strapless top

Step 2 Start shirring

Wind your bobbin with the elastic thread. 

how to do shirring with elastic thread

If you have a metal bobbin (not the drop in kind) you can loosen the screw to make the elastic thread feed easily.

Loosen the tension slightly on your sewing machine. Insert the bobbin to the bobbin case.


You can mark lines on your top, to make your stitching even and level. I have the striped lines so I used that.

shirred tube top - strapless top sewing pattern and tutorial

Start shirring. Read this post for more details on shirring –  How to shirr with elastic thread

When you reach the end, cut the elastic a little longer. You can tie the ends when you reach where you started.

You can choose whether you want to sew the shirring all the way to the bottom edge or just under the bust.

shirred tube top - strapless top

After you have finished the shirring wet the fabric and press with a medium hot iron.

shirred tube top - strapless top

You can use a steam iron to this. This will shrink the shirring in an attractive way.

Related post : Different types of tops.


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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.

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