High Low Shirt Tutorial and Pattern

Hi Lo Top tutorial with free pattern by Melly SewsToday I’m going to share a high low shirt tutorial and share the free pattern. This is a really easy shirt to sew (I will be making more) as long as you take a few things into consideration.

A few caveats:

  • Pattern is drafted for a size small (34″ bust). The darts will have to be adjusted for a fuller bust – luckily you can find a great tutorial here on how to do a bust adjustment. If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
  • I have rounded shoulders. You can see them very clearly below. If you do not have rounded shoulders, you will want to add about 1/2″ to the front shoulder edge. How do you know if you have rounded or straight shoulders? Stand with your back against the wall. If the backs of your arms touch the wall too, you have straight shoulders. If not, you have rounded shoulders. This is a skeletal thing, not necessarily a posture thing.
  • The finished shirt measurements are about 35″ bust, 40.5″ hips and 26″ from neck to finished edge in the back.
  • I DO NOT recommend using quilting cotton for this shirt – it won’t flow. I used a polyester blend woven fabric. Make sure whatever you use has some drape to it. You could probably also make this out of knit if you wanted to.
  • Finally, because of the things listed above I highly recommend you make a muslin with the front, back, and at least one sleeve before cutting into the good fabric.

High Low Top Pattern by Melly Sews

So, are we good? Ok. To make this you’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 yd of 58/60″ wide fabric.
  • To download the pattern, subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!

Please note that all my patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this without a limited production license) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.

(PS – if you have trouble finding either your confirmation email or the email with the pattern link, try checking your spam, trash, junk, bulk, social and/or promotional email tabs or folders. Free pattern links are also included in every weekly newsletter; these go out on Friday afternoons. Due to the number of subscribers I can’t email pattern links to individuals.)


1. Print and assemble pattern according to the instructions on the first page. Cut out your fabric according to the directions on the pattern pieces. IN ADDITION TO THE PIECES ON THE PATTERN, YOU WILL NEED 24 INCHES OF DOUBLE FOLD BIAS TAPE TO FINISH THE NECKLINE. You can make this out of the same fabric as the shirt as I did.

Use a 1/2″ seam allowance for all seams.

2. Sew the bust darts.

high low shirt tutorial

3. Sew the shirt front to the shirt back at the shoulders, right sides together.

high low shirt tutorial

4. Sew in the sleeves.

5. Sew the underarm seam and the side seams all in one seam.

6. With the shirt inside out, unfold and pin the bias tape around the neckline. You will fold the raw short edge of the bias tape under when you begin, and overlap the tape at the end. The edge of the bias tape should be even with the edge of the neckline. Stitch in the fold closest to the neck edge on the bias tape.

high low shirt tutorial

7. Turn the shirt right side out. Fold the bias tape to the outside of the neck and pin, covering your seamline from step 6. Topstitch in place, close to the edge  of the tape. The folded short edge should cover any raw edges, and you will want to stitch this piece down as well.

high-lowtutorial05 high-lowtutorial06 high-lowtutorial07

8. Hem the sleeves and bottom edge of the shirt.

Wear your new shirt!

High Low Top Pattern by Melly Sews


High Low Top Pattern

If you enjoyed this post or have any questions, I’d love a comment to let me know. And if you have any friends you think might like to make their own, please use the buttons below to share! And if you make one, I’d love to see it – please consider adding it to my Flickr pool


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  1. Carol says

    Is this for knit fabric. I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere, but assume if the fabric is 60″ wide, it must be. Thanks. What an adorable top! Nice job.

    • Danietta Lucas says

      Hi! I just wanted to post to your comment- She mentions it above: I DO NOT recommend using quilting cotton for this shirt – it won’t flow. I used a polyester blend woven fabric. Make sure whatever you use has some drape to it. You could probably also make this out of knit if you wanted to.

  2. says

    I love this top! So great.
    Quick question for you… I stood against the wall and for sure I have rounded shoulders too. In general with other patterns, especially fitted ones, would adjusting the shoulder seam help the back neckline not gape? Or maybe that is another adjustment!

  3. Debbie says

    I know I’m the only one here that doesn’t know how to convert the pattern to adobe reader..can someone help me..

  4. kirsten larsen says

    hi – just printed and ready to start. does anyone know if I need to add a seam allowance like with the burda patterns or do I just cut?

  5. says

    Melissa –

    This is one of the most adorable, yet functional tops I’ve seen in a long time. I love the fabric choice and it’s easy to assemble. Also looks like it would be perfect with short sleeves or no sleeves at all! Keep up the good work.

  6. Amanda says

    I used this pattern with a client and it fit her great! She is a size 2 and very busty. it was the perfect beginner pattern!

  7. Amy B. says

    Hi. I love this top. I need to enlarge the pattern, especially the length, and I am not sure where to slash and spread in order to keep the lovely lines of the top. Any chance of a tutorial for this project?


  8. Penny says

    I made tyour High Low top, it does fit but just a tad small, will it be available in different sizes soon? It is a great top! I love to look!

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