How to Make a Shirt With a Low Cut Back

by Sarah Vrba

Converting a T-shirt or blouse to a top with a low cut back creates a warm-weather look.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Low cut backs on blouses and T-shirts add a touch of summer style to any outfit. These flirtatious tops can be made in a variety of styles from formal wear to beachwear. Patterns for blouses, casual tops and dresses can be altered to create a low cut look in back. T-shirts can be transformed with a pair of scissors. With a few measurements and some careful planning, you can whip up a sexy shirt.

Items you will need

  • Shirt or blouse pattern
  • T-shirt
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

Alter a Blouse Pattern

Step 1

Measure from the top of your neck, just below your hairline, to the low point on your back where you would like the scoop of the blouse to land. Subtract an inch from this measurement to allow for seams and finishing.

Step 2

Sketch an even scoop onto the blouse pattern reflecting the final neck-to-back measurement from Step 1.

Step 3

Sew the blouse following the pattern directions, allowing for the alteration. Be careful to create a scoop that will allow the shirt to remain firmly on your shoulders. A shirt with loose-fitting sleeves and structure will require a scoop that only extends down to the shoulder blades. A shirt that fits close to the body and has some structure can sustain a scoop that hits the lower back.

Alter a T-Shirt

Step 1

Cut off the collar of the T-shirt you would like to alter. Cut just below the seam that connects the collar to the rest of the shirt. Stretch this neck slightly.

Step 2

Measure from the back of your neck to the place on your back where you would like the open area of the T-shirt to hit. You do not have to subtract an inch in this style.

Step 3

Cut either a V or a scooped back into the T-shirt reflecting the measurement from Step 2, cutting a clean line. T-shirt material requires no sewing or hemming because it does not tend to fray.

Step 4

Create a tie for the top of the back of the T-shirt for security. Use some of the excess fabric from the T-shirt to make a 12" by 1/2” string.

Step 5

Cut two very small holes on each side of the top of the V or scoop, near the top of the area that would hit your shoulder blades. Feed the tie through these holes and tie to secure the top of the T-shirt.


  • Always start by cutting less from both the T-shirt and the pattern to avoid cutting too much out of the back.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.