DIY Zipper Top from a T-Shirt

Upcycled T-shirt projects come in handy those days when I look in my closet and think, I have nothing to wear! Sound familiar? Laura, from Trash to Couture, came up with this pretty DIY Zipper Top and has a real knack for turning something old into something new. She’s also transformed T-shirts into a Women’s Dolman Top and the Butterfly Twist Tee that is great for summer.

While you’re at it, sew up the Hot Mess T-shirt Dress, or put your zippers to use with the Zipper and Bow Clutch.

Check out the DIY Zipper T-Shirt tutorial after the jump…

DIY Zipper T-Shirt

-Zipper 22 inches or so…
-Old T-shirt or 1 yard fabric.

I am all about casual style, but usually like something to separate my tee from everyone elses. This started in middle school when I took my first sewing class and from their I was refashioning the family’s “giveaway pile.”

Here is one I designed back then that I recreated for a tutorial. I wanted to share it because it’s quite easy, yet still looks amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it…enjoy!

For this zipper: I know they have double zippers, but they go the other way so you will have to make it like i did. I had a 22 inch one (you can get these at any fabric store). I needed another side so I pried the little stoppers off the end and pulled another zip through…so now it’s double sided. All I had was a black zipper, but they have some cool colors (neon pink, mint, corals, etc).

You can use an old tshirt, it doesn’t matter what size. Cut the neck ribbing and shoulder/sleeve seams as shown here. You will probably have to cut the sleeves to fit with the length of the zipper or adjust the zipper length if you don’t want to finish the sleeves again. You can also cut sleeves off of mens tshirt and it usually fits about right…

If you use fabric: I used a light jersey cotton with a nice drape. I cut 2 pieces of fabric at 22 inches wide (as wide as the zipper). If you want to finish the edges add a 1/4 inch seam allowance. It is 40 inches long to add a cinched waist.

If the fabric is light, I would suggest ironing interfacing to the edges so it wont wave from the zipper.
Sew (front and back) right sides together starting at either end.

Sew the side seams if you used your own fabric. Then cinch the waist like I did here. This will give the shirt some shape.




none of these pictures are yours. this tutorial isn’t even yours, much less the wording.

Sherrie M

As concerned as you are with the wording Norma, you’d think you saw in the first paragraph where she gave the initial blog credit. It says right there… Laura, from Trash to Couture came up with this DIY.


Just to clarify, I need 2 zippers, right? Just wanted to make sure I picked up all of the right materials. What a fun take on a basic tee!


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