Introduction: Upcycling T-shirts: Twisted Crop Top

This is a simple tutorial on how to redesign a boring, old t-shirt into a twisted crop top...a design inspired by trends in Urban Outfitters and Pacific Sunwear.


1 T-shirt (slightly oversized) can be cotton, or cotton-polyester blend

Sewing Machine




Step 1: Cutting Up the T-Shirt✂️

First, make sure to cut off or seam rip any extra details found on the t-shirt. For this particular piece, I had to seam rip the criss-cross detailing at the neckline.

Next, cut all the way up the front center of the shirt. Be sure to also cut up the sides of the shirt until you hit the seam of the sleeves. The front of the t-shirt should be composed of two movable panels by the end of this step.

Step 2: Measure Out the Twist

Using a ruler, mark where you want the twist to occur by measuring 4 inches out from the center. Do this on both sides of the shirt.

Then, using a pair of scissors, cut horizontally from the shirt's edge to the marking. By the end of this step, both front panels should have a 4 inch slit at the side.

Step 3: Creating the Twist

First, layer the two panels overtop each other so that both slits fit into each other. Then, twist the panels a second time so that both panels are on their original sides.

Pin the seams at a diagonal from the center of the twist to the bottom of the sleeves. The greater the angle, the more pronounced the twist will seem.

Sew the seams closed using a zigzag stitch.

Step 4: Adding Dimension (Optional)

To create more movement in the shirt and make the twist more distinct, pleat the bottom half of the shirt. Then, pin and sew using a zigzag stitch.

Step 5: Hemming the Bottom, Sewing the Sides

Cut off any excess fabric from the back half of the shirt, making sure to leave atleast an inch of fabric for hemming purposes. Pin the rough edges, and hem using a straight stitch.

Using a zigzag stitch, sew the sides closed.

Step 6: Final Touches (Hemming the Neckline)

Tuck in any rough edges near the twist. Hem the rough edges of the neckline

Step 7: The Final Look

A super cute look for the summer months. The second picture is of another twisted crop top I made using this same design. The shirt was 100% cotton instead of a cotton-polyester blend.