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Finding easy clothes to make when you’re just getting started can be so difficult!

But you’re in luck! You’ve just found a great starter piece for your #MeMade closet.

This off-the-shoulder top is:

  • Flattering for most body types
  • Super stylish – I mean, I see these everywhere, don’t you?
  • Made using only straight lines of stitches – no need to sew around curves
  • Doesn’t need a pattern!

So are you ready to make your very own? Then keep reading!



Step 1: Supplies


  • 1-2 yards of fabric
    For beginners, non-stretch fabric (also called woven) is usually easiest to work with.

    For more specific details on how much fabric you’ll need, check out Step 2: Body Measurements below!
  • Matching Thread
  • 1/2″ Wide Elastic
    You’ll need enough elastic to go around your upper body and both arms
  • Safety Pin (Optional)
    You can do this without a safety pin, but with one is MUCH easier!
  • Standard Sewing Supplies
    These are the sewing tools you’ll need for every project (ie sewing machine, iron, scissors).

    Not sure you have the Standard Sewing Supplies? No worries! Just check out my 10 Must-Have Sewing Tools List.

Step 2: Body Measurements


For this project we’re going to need (5) Measurements!

  • Full Bust Measurement
  • Around Arm Measurement
  • Neckline to Armpit Measurement
  • Desired Shirt Length
  • Desired Sleeve Length

To make sure you know exactly how to take these measurements correctly, check out this short video!

DIY Off The Shoulder Top – Measurements

Don’t Have Your Body Measurements Yet?
Body measurements are the foundation for creating custom-fit clothing.
That’s why I put together a quick how-to workshop to help you master your measurements.



Step 3: Trace and Cut Your Fabric!


Easy Clothes To Sew For Beginners - DIY Off The Shoulder Top Front and Back Dimensions

For the Front and Back of Your Shirt:

Measure out a rectangle that is 1.5 x Full Bust Measurement wide (see Blue Arrow)

And as long as the Shirt Length + 1.5″ (4cm) + Width of Elastic (see Yellow Arrow)


Easy Clothes to Sew For Beginners - Cut in Half


Then cut this rectangle in half (as shown) to create the front and back of your shirt.


Easy Clothes to Sew For Beginners - Off the Shoulder Top Sleeve Dimensions

For the Sleeves of Your Shirt:

Measure out (2) rectangles.

Both rectangles should be 2 x Upper Arm Measurement wide (see Green Arrow)

And as long as the Sleeve Length + 1.5″ (4cm) + Width of Elastic (see Red Arrow)


Now you should have 4 rectangles of fabric.

(2) large ones for the Front and Back of your shirt.

And (2) small ones for the sleeves.


Step 4: Construct Your Shirt



Step-by-Step Guide with Photos and Text


Construction 1: Line Up First Sleeve to Front of Shirt

Lay the FRONT of your shirt RIGHT SIDE FACING UP.
(Right side is the pretty side of your fabric!)

Lay one SLEEVE on top, RIGHT SIDE FACING DOWN.

(See photo)

Remember, you have two different sides to your rectangles.
Around Measurements: Full Bust and Around Arm
Length Measurements: Shirt and Sleeve Length

Make sure you line up the Around Measurements (yellow arrow) along the top of your shirt.

And line up your Length Measurements along the side of your shirt.

If this is confusing, just watch the video!


Construction 2: Pin First Sleeve in Place and Sew

Pin sleeve in place.

From the top of the shirt, measure down the Neckline to Armpit Measurement

Sew from the top of shirt to the Neckline to Armpit Measurement using a 1/2″ Seam Allowance.

***Seam Allowance is the distance from the edge of fabric to the stitch line***


Construction 3: Repeat to Attach First Sleeve to Back of Shirt

Lay your FIRST SLEEVE RIGHT SIDE FACING UP.
My finger is pointing at my First Sleeve.

Then lay the BACK of your shirt RIGHT SIDE FACING DOWN.


Pin in place.

Measure Neckline to Armpit Distance.

Sew from the top of shirt to the Neckline to Armpit Measurement using a 1/2″ Seam Allowance.


Now you should have this!

Your first sleeve is now attached to both the front and back of your shirt!


Construction 4: Repeat for Second Sleeve

Repeat Steps 1-3 for the second sleeve.

Once both sleeves are attached, your project should start looking like a shirt!

A BIG shirt, but a shirt :p


Step 5: Elastic Casing for the Neckline


Looking for an Elastic Casing How-To Guide?

Check out my How To Sew An Elastic Casing Post with step-by-step photos and text!


Step 6: Hem the Bottom of the Shirt and Sleeves


Looking for a How-To Guide for Hems?

Check out my How To Easily Sew Hems post with step-by-step photos and text!


Examples of Finished Off The Shoulder Tops!

Here are some examples of other amazing tops made by home designers just like you.

Got questions?

Wanna show off your new #MeMade shirt?

Then head to the DIY Designer FB group!

Hi Designers!

Hi! Welcome to DIY Fashion Rebel! My name’s Abbie and I’m super excited for you to be here!

Sewing can be challenging, but having great resources and a community really make all the difference.

So look around, join my group using the buttons below, and let me know if you have any questions!

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And grab my best resources for your current level – FREE!

DIY Tank Top Project Template Preview

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