DIY Trapeze Cross Back Top

cross back top 1

It has been a good summer this year in Norway so my breezy clothing has been used to full capacity while travelling back and forth from Malaysia.

My off duty wardrobe for the last 2 years have pretty much consisted of bare backed tops of sorts, but oddlyI don’t have a cross back one. I have been playing around with the prospect of making more tops since all my recent projects have been skirts and bracelets.

I came across this shape while inspecting a dress I recently purchased and I wanted to recreate the neck line with some adjustments. After playing around a little I came up with this little project 🙂

What you need:

  • 1 meter of fabric
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • measuring tape


This tutorial has two parts, the first is the general construction of the top and the second tells you how to make the straps that goes with it.

Instruction - cross back top

1. Start off with a piece of fabric 1m x 1m in size

2. With the right side facing up, fold along the diagonal with right sides facing each other.

3. Measure 50 cm from the point towards the fold. Pin along the radius to make a quarter circle.

This could be longer or shorter depending on the length you require. It appears longer in the pictures, but this is because I cut more off after I’d taken the pciture.

4. Cut along the pins.

5. While still folded with rights sides facing each other, sew along the edges as indicated by the diagram above

6. Make sure this fits on you, adjust the seams accordingly.

7. Pin down all the edges of the garment. If you feel like, you can hem the bottom edge as well, but I left it raw.

8. Sew down all the edges.

the next two steps involve having the straps already made, have a look further below for the strap tutorial

9. Unfold it and pin the straps where you want to have them. Keep trying on the garment to make sure it sits well.

10. Sew the straps in place.

Instruction - cross back top straps

Get a piece of fabric that is your approximate desired length, longer would be preferable. I made my straps about 1 m to give me plenty of room to play with.

1. fold it to the desired width, I folded over slightly more than 1 cm so that the strap would be 1cm wide. Sew along.

2. Cut off the excess fabric.

3. Attach a safety pin to one end of the strap (I masking taped it as well to avoid having the pin unhook while inside the tube)

4. pull the safety pin through the tube and invert the strap. Press.

(optional step 5.) you can sew along the strap to help hold it’s shape

Steps 3 and 4 can be altered if you have the device that helps you achieve the desired outcome without a safety pin

cross back top 3

cross back top 2

cross back top 4

I know there looks like there are a lot of steps, but there really isn’t. I swear!

This is quite a simple top to create and when you use the right fabric, it can have a lovely drape. I liked how it turned out, but I wished I had used a fabric with a softer drape.

I have a few ideas on creating some other summer tops that don’t require specific patterns, so there will be more experimenting in the future 🙂

Love <3



25 Replies to “DIY Trapeze Cross Back Top”

  1. That’s exactly what I was looking for hours now….Perfect!
    Thanks for describing the process in such detail. I will let you now how mine turned out! 🙂

  2. In the instructins you say to go 50cm towards the fold and describe an exact quarter circle yet in the picture it looks like its going all the way to the fold (which would be more than 50cm with these measurements) and it also doesnt look like an exact circle but a bit dilated. Which one is correct?

    1. Hi Frannie, It looks like it’s going all the way to the fold because when I took the picture I had over estimated and pinned it, I had later cut more off it so that it was 50cm.
      The method I am using is also not exact, since I am using a measure tape as if it were a giant compass some distortion might have occured in the process. But essentially it should be a quarter circle. If you are referring to the back of the top though, that is because I sewed the back in a little so it won’t look like a circle from the back.

  3. Hi. I just made this top but longer than you suggest, as a tunic. It’s in a silky and flowy fabric. It’s great for Angentine tango!! I’d like to show youa photo.

    1. Hi Renata! Ooo that sounds lovely, could you maybe send me a photo via e-mail? at
      Otherwise, you could post it on other platforms such as my FB page or link me via Instagram 🙂 I’m excited to see how it turned out!

  4. Hello,
    I love this tutorial. The construction of this shirt is so beautiful. I am really imagining it here in a hot summer evening. Though I am not a complete novice at sewing I am not great at guessing sizing. Could you give me an idea of the equivalent size (sm, md, lg,) this would fit so I would have a bit better idea of what adjustments, if any I’d need to make my size?

    Thanks so much for a great tutorial

    1. Hi Emylie, sure thing!
      This would probably make a small to a medium so if you need it a little larger, then just adjust accordingly.
      I’m not the neatest sewer ever, so I tend to make things a little bigger and sew with a larger stitch because I almost always over estimate how much fabric I need.

      I hope this helps 🙂

    1. Hi Merav, sorry I just have the pictures.
      Give it a go, if you have any questions just send them my way 🙂

  5. Hello, i am loving this top. I was wondering what i would need to do to make it longer and into a dress though? Should i just cut the arch larger?

    1. Hi,

      Yes just make the length from the point to the arch longer while keeping the arch shape. So this should lengthen the top to a dress length and increase the arch size so it will have a swishier effect. I hope that helps. Let me know how it turns out!


  6. Hello! I’ve been wanting to make this top and finally attempted to tonight. I’ve cut the circle but I do not understand which way the fabric is folded in the 4th picture, and if you are sewing thru all of the layers in the next pictures. I’m expierence at sewing and creating my own patterns but for some reason this has me stumped. Can you please explain these steps in more detail? Are you cutting into the circle to create the v neck line? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I love that you’re trying out one of my patterns!

      So in picture 4, you cutting out the pieces to get sewn together, essentially cutting out two quarter circle pieces. This fold and pin method is just a way to get two equally sized pieces. Think of the two pieces as the left and right side and the edges as the centre of the front and back.

      In picture 5, it tells you where to sew on the edges. The long stitch on the left indicates the centre of the top. So the short bit left that isn’t sewn will be the V-neck front. You can adjust this when you try on the top before adding the straps. The short stitch on the right is the centre of the back.

      In picture 6, I’ve unfolded it a little so you can see where I’ve sewn. The right side being the front of the top and the left side as the back. If you lift up the top at this stage with the two ‘peaks’ of fabric it should make a little more sense.

      I hope this helps! If you need any more help just send me another comment 🙂


  7. Great tutorial. I made a dress from the full width of my material. So easy once you grasp the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Hi there, I’ve had this pinned for ages but haven’t tried it yet. Do you think this would work with t-shirt material? It looks like it would make a super cute yoga top out of some of my x-l mens shirts from my hubby. Thanks!

    1. Hi! yea I think it would work, but the look would be quite different. I reckon it would give it a slouchier look… which would be perfect for a yoga top! Let me know how it turns out 😉

  9. Hi girl!
    Yesterday I had a date, but as a normal woman, i looked in my closet and thought “I have nothing to wear” so, I remembered this post I saw once at Pinterest, I searched for it and made it, but the fabric I used was from another project I did, so it wasn’t enough follow all your instructions, so I took the freedom to modify the pattern and the final piece adding it straps that cross between them . It worked soo well!

    Of course my date was fantastic.
    Thank you soo much for sharing it you saved my night!

    Mich from Mexico!

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