Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dress Shirt goes Fashion! (With step-by-step)

Hello everybody! I hope you are having a great summer!

Well I am finally back, after lots of work and some vacation, and I got around to doing another refashion for refashion co-op.

I got this old - but good-quality - dress shirt from my husband, really too good to throw away, and I needed some short-sleeve tops for myself anyway. But of course I thought what probably most of you are thinking: another men's dress shirt refashion, just cutting off sleeves and collar and turning it into a women's short-sleeve blouse? Yawn! 

A bit of brainstorming later I came up with this so-simple twist. One thing I learned: Less is more, most of the time. So I went for ONE eye-catcher on this one:

It sports a cute "cut-in" shape sleeve (as opposed to "cut-outs"....). The "sleeve" being just the yoke from the men's shirt, left entirely "intact", in front as well as in the back:

What is great about this re-fashion is that it gets rid of the parts that usually are worn down most in men's shirts: Collar, cuffs, and even the arm-pits will be cut away if you are using a shirt that is way too big on you...

It was almost too simple to give a step-by-step, but here goes:

Cut off sleeves along the yoke, take off the collar, and - if necessary, the pocket (mine would have been in the way for the new side-seam)

Put on the "remaining" shirt and decide on the new width, giving it some shape around the waist and determining where the seam will stop and the slit will start... (where my safety-pin is). Note that the new arm-pit has to be up fairly high!

Cut off the excess on one side, leaving in an extra-large seam allowance:

Lay it onto the other side and use as template; this way the shirt will come out symmetrical:

Sew the new side seam, not forgetting to stop where you decided the slit will start...:

Iron apart the (extra-large) seam allowance and fold the seam allowance under itself, ironing it down:

 Now you can sew down the seam allowances from top of the seam (at the armpit) down to the hem, and you have a nice slit (sorry, no extra picture).

Determine how far in you want the triangular cut-in at the "sleeve" to go. I decided to make mine so that I can still wear a normal bra and not have the strap seen. Cut in along the yoke up to that point (in front and back):

Fold under from armpit to that point and cut away excess (no seam allowance necessary):

Bind with bias tape (folding under the beginning and end of the tape), pin, sew:

Prepare the collar, cutting it as you want it, and also bind with bias tape.

I did some extra steps here, first cutting in and ironing down a seam allowance:

...then I bound it with a cute bias tape on the inside:

....and sewed it down. While I love the inside of it:

...I didn't like what it looked like on the right side. So I just bound it with white tape... The whole extra-steps procedure gives it a very nice, crisp, stable edge though...

Oooh, and I forgot; I added a dart at the front "sleeve-line", as you can see well in this picture (it was gaping a lot without it):

What do you think?
I like it, because it has that special touch that makes you look, but isn't overworked...

It can be combined in a million ways. Here I am sporting a more business-style look with the shirt tucked in:

...pairing it up with a refashioned skirt I made with a men's tie...:

Or it can be more casual with the skirt worn out

 I love how I can even put my hand in a pocket, thanks to the slit:

And just for fun I am sporting a fully me-made look, with a knitted skirt, a necklace made from a tie (tutorial!), and my London shoes, yes, made by me!

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous summer! 

Take care -


  1. This is so creative and unique! Thanks for the inspiration! I have lots of men's shirts waiting to be refashioned too. I also like how you have styled your shirt.

  2. Good idea! Might try this myself. Love the shoes!

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