+ Criss Cross Back Top Tutorial

 I LOVE this top…whether it is for maternity or for non-maternity I love it. It can be a casual or dressy top with a party in the back! Oh the surprise in the back is the best. You can wear this to the pool with just your cute back and swimsuit peeking out or layer it with something fun underneath. 

1-2 yards of anything from stiff to flowy fabric
sewing machine
fabric marker
optional – paint, stencils, and brush
1. Lay and trace a shirt that you like the fit of in the shoulders and arms area on top of your fabric, make sure the shirt is made up of the same material as your fabric. Make sure to trace the armholes and the sleeves as accurately as you can. After tracing just the front of the shirt, taper slightly from the bottom of the armhole down to the bottom of the shirt (make it whatever length you want), like the picture. Cut out the sleeves and front of the shirt. Measure the armholes and make sure they are the same length before you cut. When cutting out the back, take the newly cut front piece and trace it onto the fabric. Add a slight curve from the neckline to the bottom of the shirt, like the middle picture below, make two. 
2. Pin and sew the front and back pieces together at the side seams and the shoulder seams, right sides together.
3. Hem the shirt a quarter of an inch, starting at the top of one of the curved pieces, down and around to the front and back up to the other curved piece.
4. Baste stitch the top neckline of the two back pieces together, then hem the entire neckline a quarter inch.
5. Sew the sleeve’s seams closed, making two tubes. Then hem the bottoms of the sleeves an quarter of an inch to an inch.
6. Attach the curved openings of the sleeves to the armholes, pinning right sides together. Sew.
*Optional: Stencil a print…click here for tutorial.


  1. Super cute! I’ve been wanting to try one of these shirts, love the little sailboats!

  2. you’re so good! love the stenciled sail boats. awesome.

  3. This is so cute!!! I love the grown up version of an all time kiddo favorite! I hope you will consider uploading a photo of this into SewSet, a new on-line sewing pattern and tutorial search engine so others can find it in the future!

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    – Jess, SewSet.com

  4. This is amazing :) I like your DIY :)

  5. I was waiting for this one! Great!

  6. Great tutorial, love the detail in the back.Print is nice too.

    DC2NYConfessions Blog
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  7. Yay finally! Happy you got this up. Gunna make one tonight!!

  8. I really like this top. A must try. :) Thanks for sharing! :)How is your new baby and the family? Take care!

  9. I just found your blog… you are adorable and have the best DIY’s. I can definitely tell I’m going to love it!! :)


  10. This top is so cute! I really like the back–a must try before the summer ends!

  11. This is amazing, I have to make this :)


  12. This is absolutely SO CUTE!

  13. Lovely!

  14. thank you so much! I’ve been looking out for this since you posted it last May. Hope you and you’re baby are doing great.

  15. Hi, my name is Eli and I’m a fashion designer, I love your blog and I think you make things simple,which is great for learning, so thank you for that! I did notice that this top’s back part should go crossed from right to left, I mean the right side should be over the left one, as women’s clothes are crossed from right to left and men’s from left to right, in everything from buttonholes in shirts and things like this! I know this is silly but just wanted to tell you c:

  16. YAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!! When you first posted this shirt and said a tutorial would be coming, I was soooo excited, and now it’s here!!! Happy happy happy happy!!!! Thank you Liz!!!

  17. Great tutorial!!!

  18. Great job.

  19. Can I do this with tiny polka dots? What way is easiest if I’m doing them small? Email me if you can please I have a a question I know you can answer.thank you have a nice day
    Email: mireyanarvaez94@Gmail.com

  20. I love that top!!!

    (Check out the giveaway this week!!)

  21. I love this! I really love that you painted the boat pattern on yourself.

  22. I LOVE this! I just made it. It is so flattering. I’m so excited to be wearing this for the rest of the summer and early fall while it is still warm. Thank you :)

  23. I love this! :)

  24. how did you close the backside? with little buttons or with snappers?
    LOVE this, gonna make this for my RWANDA trip in october!

  25. Its really very good creative idea,i must pinned it.Your t shirt design also nice and comfortable.great job

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  26. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is extremely good.

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  1. Joggers Blog says:

    Off The Shoulder Top With Crisscross Back

    […] the neckline to the bottom of the shirt, like the middle picture below, make two […]