How to Make a High Low Shirt

Three Parts:Picking a ShirtCutting the FabricHemming the High-Low Shirt


The high-low fashion trend is everywhere on runways and in retail stores. The high hem in front and low hem in back is popular on shirts, skirts, dresses and coats. You can easily make a high low shirt from a thrift store purchase, just measure and modify to fit your body.

Part 1
Picking a Shirt

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    Find an old t-shirt or button down shirt in your closet. You can also purchase old shirts at a thrift store if you don’t have any that need to be refashioned. The more worn the fabric is, the better it will work.[1]
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    Choose a shirt that is loose. High-low shirts tend to be drapey and hang loosely over the stomach and hips. They can even be layered over tank tops.
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    Opt for a shirt that has a flap in front and back. Baseball shirts or those with a similar hem are even easier to convert.

Part 2
Cutting the Fabric

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    Try on the shirt. Decide how high you want it to be in front. Draw a dot on the center front of the shirt where you want the front hem to hang with a fabric pen or washable marker.
    • If you are going to hem the shirt, make sure you include a one half to one inch (1.3 to 2.5cm) allowance for the hem.
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    • If you have a high-low shirt that you want to emulate, put the new shirt on over this shirt to ensure a good approximation of its length in front and back.
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    • Some front seams crop around the belly button. More conservative high-low shirts stop fall just below the belt line.
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    Pinch a point in the back center of the shirt where you want your low hem to fall. Attach a safety pin into the pinched fabric. Take off the shirt and mark the center with your fabric pen.
    • Some back hems on high low shirts drop below the butt, while others float around the middle of the back pockets on your jeans.
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    Lay the shirt on your craft table. Imagine a line from the center dot to the top of the collar. Fold it along this line and along the center of the back.
    • Smooth it out on your table.
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    • The side seam should now be in the center, between the folds. Straighten it out so the fabric on the left and right sides of the shirt are perfectly mirrored.
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    Draw a downward arc with your fabric pen from the front dot to the back dot. Although you are only drawing it on a single side, you will cut through both layers of fabric.
    • Ensure you account for seam allowances across the arc if you plan to sew the shirt.
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    Cut along the arc with very sharp fabric scissors. Take your time to make even, smooth cuts through both layers of fabric.[2]
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    Turn your scissors horizontally on the bottom of the back (low) hem to make a flat edge. Repeat on the front edge to ensure the center of the hems don’t result in a point.
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    Try on your shirt. If you don’t want to hem the shirt, it is finished and ready to wear.

Part 3
Hemming the High-Low Shirt

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    Turn your shirt inside out if you want to hem it at the bottom.
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    Plug in your iron and set it upright on your ironing board to heat up.
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    Flip the bottom edge of the fabric up approximately one-half inch (1.3cm) and iron it in place. Follow suit along the entire bottom edge of the high-low shirt.
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    Fold it a second time if you want a t-shirt-like hem. It will also protect the cloth from fraying. Pin it in place if it is difficult to iron evenly.
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    Set up your sewing machine. Use a spool of matching thread to disguise the hem.
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    Sew a close stitch along the inside edge of the hem. Use a double needle for a double-folded, t-shirt hem.[3]

Tips

  • For a peplum high-low top, cut the back panel between the side seams at the same level as the high front hem. Turn the shirt inside out and gather the panel into pleats as you reattach it. Make sure the t-shirt is oversized to begin with. Sew the pleats into the shirt, hem the sides and flip it inside out. Hem the bottom as desired.[4]

Things You'll Need

  • Oversized t-shirt/button-up shirt
  • Fabric pen/washable pen
  • Safety pin
  • Fabric scissors
  • Craft table
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Sewing Clothes