Projects

How to Upcycle a Men's Dress Shirt

Created By:

Jacquline Terry

Skill Level: Intermediate

Who loves a good panic sew? NOTHING like finishing your outfit right before it’s time to leave! There’s no other adrenaline rush like it… am I right?

 

Here’s my latest adrenaline rush sewing project…..the perfect summer BBQ top that I upcycled from a men’s button-down! The best part about this is you can really make it whatever you want! Sleeves no sleeves… V-neck, scoop neck, crop top, tube top… you name it you can do it with this project. This one is kind of more like an inspiration project!

Here’s how mine went…..

Fabric and Notions Required

What I used on my project

  • Shirt to upcycle
  • Tank top that I like the fit of
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • Safety pins for fitting
  • Scissors,
  • French curve
Instructions

Let’s start by finding a shirt to Upcycle. You can choose one shirt or even two very different prints to mix it up.

I have chosen this dress shirt!

 

Steps

First, lay out your shirt nice and flat and iron it flat if you need to (if it's super wrinkly). Start with shaping the neck…. Do you want a V-neck or a scooped neck? I have this tank top that I like the fit of the neckline so I’m going to use that as a guide. I’ve laid down my tank top for reference. Don’t forget to leave yourself Seam allowance when you cut!!

I am going to determine how wide I want the shoulders to be and where to cover the bra straps. 

Next, determine how deep you want your underarm opening to be. Again, I’m going to start with where the tank top lines up and line it up to the underarm of the actual shirt. From here you can re-shape the armhole area. Generally, the front will need more of a scooped shape and the back will be curved and then more straight up. You can use a French curve or armscye curve for this. Just leave yourself seam allowance!!

PRO TIP…. Use the width of your measuring tape to make sure you have enough seam allowance from the sew line.

Next, let’s look at some general fitting issues…

After I have sewn or pinned the shoulders and under arms it’s time to try it on and see where everything is. Differences between a men’s shirt and women’s usually is length of shoulder to bust area is going to be too long especially if you started with a shirt that was on the bigger side. The other main point here will be that you may or may not need to add a bust dart depending on your chest measurements. You can do this in fitting. Drape it on and see where the fabric lands.

One main change I decided to make in the fitting stage was to adjust the neckline. I originally thought I wanted a basic rounded neckline, but it looked like an apron, so I decided to change that a little.

After you have the fit you want. You need to figure out how you want to finish the garment off.

 

Facings vs Bindings

Because of the new shape I chose for the neckline, I need to make facings for the front neckline. If you have a regular scoop or rounded neckline you can do a facing to give a clean finish or you can do bias bindings!

Finally, the hem! Will this be a crop top or shirt length? Do you want to keep the original hem line with the curve or cut it straight off and turn it up? I chose to keep the original hem because it was quicker ANNDDD because I knew I would be tucking It in!

 

What I would do differently next time

Plan ahead and make or use a pattern and not wing it so much ;)

I wish I would have planned out the shape a little better and taken more time on some of the finishings but that can be a project for another day!

 

Happy Sewing :) <3 Jackie

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Reviews


Tako
Beautiful
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

cpindzola
Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Txmaid
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MargieARK
Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
MickelSews
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
rvstan
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
pjmnana
PJMNana
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
KLWash
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
SewSueMe2002
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Jillfmischo
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!

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