DIY // Off the shoulder jersey top

I’m loving the look of off the shoulder tops right now. It’s a little difficult to get on board with this trend during Winter, but it helps to keep the sleeves long and by adding a little leather.

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I modified an existing long sleeve top pattern to make this top. It was a very easy pattern modification as you can see from the diagram below (excuse my dodgy freehand sleeve cap!).

All I did was draw a line across the front and back bodice at the point I wanted my off the shoulder neckline to reach (red dotted line). I cut the pattern pieces off at this line, including the sleeve cap. Finally, I attached a band (the exact size of the top neckline) which I used to encase elastic to hold the top up securely.

off shoulder top

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I’m so pleased with how this top worked out that I’ve already cut out a second, shorter sleeve version. I used a one-way-stretch, pure cotton jersey for this version, which is why my top isn’t as clingy on the arms and body as it could be. A knit fabric with two-way-stretch would work even more beautifully. It all depends on how well the unmodified top pattern fit you in the first place.

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9 thoughts on “DIY // Off the shoulder jersey top

  1. I love this and you look great. I am a beginner and would like to try this. Can you tell us the order of construction? Since the sleeves have no cap to shoulder connection?

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Iris. Usually, when I sew a knit top, my preferred method of construction is to sew the shoulder seams first and then sew in the sleeve cap, followed by the side seam which would extend all the way up to join the sleeve together too. You are right, that this would not work in this case. So step 1 is to sew the side seams. Then you need to sew the sleeve seam. Remember, you’ve cut off the sleeve cap so you’ll have a straight line where the rounded edge would be and sharp corners. Line up the side seam with the sleeve seam and pin the bottom half of the sleeve in place. Be sure to get the front and back of the sleeve around the right way. And then you’re pretty much done – just fold over the neckline band and stitch in place.

      1. Whoo Hoo! Thank you so much for this. I love it. When my lady Bernina gets finished with her Dr. visit, I will try this with Tilly’s t-shirt pattern.

  2. Very cool! Especially with those leather pants. I am loving this trend at the moment too. Although it is a bit easier for me being summer. I have just finished my second top which I will hopefully snag photos of tomorrow.

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  4. Terrific! Is the band applied the same as, say, a waistband on yoga pants? I am going to make one, two …maybe three . Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Yes – and thank you. It’s just a long strip joined to form a circle (like a waistband), folded lengthways (wrong sides facing) and then stitched onto the top to form a casing for the elastic.

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