I love making new from old.
Upcycling something from a $2 mens thrift linen-cotton shirt… into mine.
( I did get a little sloppy on the rolled hem at the neckline ~ I was rather in a hurry. )
I love simple utilitarian clothing, pleats, and especially lovely buttons. I have a jar of these natural shell buttons which have accumulated from years of thrift shop shirts, and I keep them just for this sort of occasion.
Only a few simple steps to transform from men’s button-up shirt to a rather casual boxy throw-over shirt, which I love in linen, because after several washings, the boxiness begins to drape and all the sloppy bits will blend in with the original shirt’s crinkled old hems.
This is how I do it: First I cut off the neck under the collar stand, the cuffs, and button bands, and as much length as you don’t need. From the cut-off length in body and sleeves, you can make middle insert in place of button band, cuffs, or other details such as a collar. This time I cut down a little from the stand in front so the neckline in front of the new shirt rests a little lower.
Note: How many extra bits you are able to make all depends on how long the shirt is and how much you can cut off length in body and sleeves after trying on and marking the length you would like it to be, plus hem allowance.
My thing lately is to take a strip off cut-off length (the length grain will have to be inserted cross-grain fashion, which is a nice contrast, and sew it on to cut front pieces raw edge, using French seams.
I made a collar and lined with some other cotton/linen I had handy, but ended up hating it, so ripped it off.
Finishes: The neck was way too gaping as the front insert was rather wide, as were the sleeves, so I pleated those loose areas after it was all finished, and sewed shell buttons on purely for aesthetic, not really doing anything, as you can see also on front pocket.
Over all it is a really fast way to upcycle and make a really nice shirt for myself in less than an hour. The best discovery I found in this make-over shirt is how buttons on pockets are really a lovely accent just sewn on, or to cover the opening of a pleat. I just love shell buttons & linen!
Edit in, per request : Link to all projects “New From Old”
This is just fab! The whole up-cycling idea – which I love – and a wonderful outcome. I would happily wear a shirt like this. Well done, Jen.
Lizzi, well that puts us back in our sewing mojo, doesn’t it? 🙂 xx
That’s so cute! Kudos for inventiveness. Love the panel with the stripes running horizontally in the front. What a great before-and-after!
Thanks Laine. My favorite clothing brand is FLAX, for the linen, of course, but the simplicity and ease of the designs~~ that is what I try to accomplish in my upcycles. 🙂
Adorbs! I just love this kind of thing. I really need some smock/tunic types of things to wear over leggings in the fall. Might run into you at the 2HS ! 🙂
Hi there ~ its so fun to just take scissors to a big men’s shirt and see how you can make it special. Where & what is the “2HS” ?
2HS=second hand store
Oh right! lol. 🙂 xx
Lovely, lovely transformation. Great designing and I bet it is SO comfortable. xo
Yes, and now I’m attacking the pile I’ve squirreled away for months! 🙂 xx
How very savvy and resourceful Jen. You know I am not that great with sewing, but I do have a few old men’s shirts in the closet I might try this on.
Maybe for gifts if not for yourself?
A sensible approach to an old shirt, and a good way to recycle big brother’s outgrown shirts into tops for little sisters.
That’s a great idea, upcycling outgrown shirts between the kids in the house, making original from big sister/brother to little sister/brother!
I love your refashioned top. Next time I am in a second hand shop I will check out the men’s shirt section. 🙂
Now there’s a fun shopping trip ahead! xx
What a good idea! And it looks really nice! Same plan as in comment above… I think I will have another look at old men skirts ;-).
Yes, you must see the personal shirt for you inside those boxy big pieces! Good luck with it. 🙂