Picture of Upcycle a Men's Shirt into a Retro Summer Blouse

Don't have a lot of cash? Or time? Get one of your boyfriend's or father's old shirts, make sure it's not one of his favorites (or do if it belongs to your ex-boyfriend or annoying brother) and make it into a nice top for summer. Only takes a hour or so. This tutorial is perfect for a beginner needing a challenge. Basic draping skills are explained as well as DIY bias tape. All you need is a body, a large roll of paper, measuring tape, scissors, pins, and of course, thread and a sewing machine! (Optional: dressform and cutting mat)

There are 35 steps, it's not very long, I just like taking a lot of pictures!

Visit my sewing blog Vintage Bobbin !

Step 1: Getting your draping pattern ready

Picture of Getting your draping pattern ready
You need a large piece of paper, wider than your shoulders.
TamS11 month ago

Good job. It looks so easy when you do it ! ;-)

jane.branum7 months ago

Best instructions ever. Can't wait to make this. Do more, please.

poyma1 year ago
More like this please!
grannyjones3 years ago
Wow! so many steps.
Thank you for breaking it down this way.
So much easier to follow than a video.
katvanlew3 years ago
I really like the peter pan collar, it makes it feminine. great job.
Lindie4 years ago
Very nice. What a great idea! Cute, too!
Momghoti4 years ago
You can also use 2 pins as a bias folder thingy: Pin a long pin in the ironing board cover under-over-under so the middle of the pin on top is whatever width bias you want . About an inch away, put another pin in the same way. Fold the end of the bias strip edges-to-the-middle and thread it under the two pins. Pull it slowly through the pins, under the iron. The edges should turn under neatly as you pull. It takes a bit of practice(and a few scorched fingers), but TBH I think this works better than the automagic ones.
vintagebobbin (author)  Momghoti4 years ago
I haven't heard of this technique before. Thank you for such a great idea, I'll have to try this next time! Thank you for your comment.
What a great tip! I hadn't heard of this before.
Momghoti4 years ago
Gah! Meant to say I love this instructable--the top is very cute and the instructions are very clear. I've been sewing for..er....a long time, but I think even a beginner could do this. A great idea for a nightgown for my daughter!
mirvana4 years ago
This is a great tutorial! I like how it demonstrates many basic shirt-making techniques.
really cute. could you also just use the existing collar? or use the existing and round it just a bit? really cute
Sorry if you're getting two replies. You can totally use the existing collar but make sure the neckline is not to large for it. I decided to make a peter pan collar since my neckline was larger and I didn't have the time to restyle the collar, it was easier and quicker to do a new one.
HollyHarken4 years ago
I love your technique for a rolled hem! That would have come in so handy for me last week when I had to put a new hem on a premade chiffon dress.

Most collar patterns that I have call for an interfacing to help stiffen up the collar. Light to heavy interfacing will give it a more professional look.

Very nice job and I appreciate all of the pictures!
vintagebobbin (author)  HollyHarken4 years ago
Rolled hems are definitely quick and easy and perfect for chiffon. I do it all the time at work. For the collar you can certainly use interfacing, I often recommend it. I happened to have none in the house when I made my tutorial. However, I think the collar ended up fine with out it. Thanks for your comment!
super cute! love it
foobear4 years ago
understated, cute and cool. like it!