Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Translation missing: en.general.icons.vimeo Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video
DIY cropped flannel shirt

Here at By Hand HQ our love of all tops cropped doesn't seem to be showing any signs of waning. Worn with a waist cinching circle skirt or a pair of high waisted jeans, that little flash of midriff is just so sexy. It may look daring, but in fact, those couple of inches below your bust and above your belly button are probably the most flawless couple of inches on your body. The least likely place to be affected by cellulite, stretch marks or pimples; showing off your upper midriff is the safest way to expose a bit of skin!

Today I will show you how to crop an old flannel shirt and create a pretty ruched ruffle at the back to give an otherwise boxy top a more fitted, feminine finish.

You will need:

  • an old flannel shirt
  • fabric scissors
  • strong elastic 1-2" wide and about 8" long.
  • sewing machine
  • matching thread

Step 1

Always start with a clean, ironed shirt. Creases will only make your life harder. Lay your shirt out on the floor.

Step 2

Cut the sleeves off, leaving 1/4" from the shoulder seam.

Step 3

Try shirt on and mark where you want to crop it. Checked shirts are perfect as you can use the pattern as a guide when cutting! Lay it back on the floor and crop, but don't cut off the button plackets - we're going to keep these for tying the shirt up. Leave all cut edges raw to fray naturally.

Step 4

Open up the shirt and place your piece of elastic on the inside of the back of the shirt, about 2" from the bottom.  Stretch it at far as it will go and mark on the shirt where the ends of the elastic reach.

Step 5

Now stitch one end down securely (I stitched 2 rows of straight stitches). Change to a wide zigzag stitch, and stretching the elastic as you go, sew along one length of the elastic until it reaches the marked point on the other side. Secure end in place, and repeat the zigzag stitches, stretching as you go, along the other length back to the end you started at. This will gather the excess fabric at the back into a pretty little ruffle that will cling to your body as opposed to flapping around messily. Not so cute.

How to wear it

Put your cropped shirt on, and cross the button plackets you didn't chop off across your body and button in back, or if they don't reach, tie up in front.

(how I wore it: Del Forte high waisted jeans; red espadrille wedges; hula hoop)

x Elisalex

Comments on this post (10)

  • May 11, 2020

    Hi this is so cute and easy one question though if the flannel has buttons what should I do?

    — Annalisa

  • Jul 12, 2012

    Thank! Ha- yeah I know what you mean on the old curtain front! To be honest, we try to repurpose as much as we can – stuff we have at home, find in thrift stores, car boots and eBay is always great for vintage fabric! There are loads of amazing online fabric retailers too, just google around and I’m sure you’ll be spoilt for choice! x

    — byhandlondon

  • Jul 19, 2012

    that’s nice and easy to make. Thank u

    — virginia112

  • Jul 20, 2012

    Hi Virginia112,

    Glad you like and thanks for stopping by!


    — byhandlondon

  • Jun 24, 2012

    SO COOL!

    — Georgia

  • Jun 29, 2012

    Love it! So simple and so much fun! :) Love the way you wore it too!

    — Gabby

  • Jun 29, 2012

    Thank you!! :D

    — byhandlondon

  • Jul 12, 2012

    I love all of your projects! Question-where do you buy fabric? I live in the States, but do you order yours online? I’m stuck with using old curtain fabric mostly, haha!

    — Olivia

  • Jun 22, 2012

    This is gorgeous and perfect for summer! I love it! <3

    — Maranda

  • Jun 23, 2012

    Thanks! :)

    — byhandlondon

Leave a comment