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

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You need a large piece of paper, wider than your shoulders.

Step 2: Finding your center

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In order to drape you need to find your center of the paper. Fold in half and mark.

Step 3: Ease!

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In order to drape the paper you need to add some ease. Cut 4-5 tabs about one inch deep and wide starting at the center.

Step 4: Begin to drape!

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Take the paper to your dressform (or body!) and pin. Mark where the neckline is. Doesn't have to be perfect but try to stay close to above the collarbone.

Step 5: Shoulders

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Do the same for the shoulders, simply pin and mark.

Step 6: Cut

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Fold your center again. Using your marks, cut.

Step 7: Finding your design

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We're making a yoke for the blouse, the top piece. For this, we're giving a specific measurement to the top. Don't worry, it's easy. We're just marking halfway down the shoulder, for me, that's 3 inches. Mark it.

Step 8: Finding your design, part 2

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Using our measurement from part one, mark straight across. Cut as marked. There you go, you have a pattern for your yoke.

Step 9: Versability

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Now, amazingly, as you can see we are using the pattern piece of our front yoke as our back yoke.

Step 10: Remember to add your sewing essentials

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Retrace your pattern on another sheet and add 5/8 seam allowence to the shoulders and sides.

Step 11: Take apart your shirt

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Basically, take apart your shirt. Cut off the sleeve and sides. Don't worry about ripping the seams, you have enough to be fabric just to cut.
 
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poyma11 months ago
More like this please!
grannyjones2 years ago
Wow! so many steps.
Thank you for breaking it down this way.
So much easier to follow than a video.
katvanlew2 years ago
I really like the peter pan collar, it makes it feminine. great job.
Lindie3 years ago
Very nice. What a great idea! Cute, too!
Momghoti3 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)  Momghoti3 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.
Momghoti3 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!
mirvana3 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.
HollyHarken3 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)  HollyHarken3 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
foobear3 years ago
understated, cute and cool. like it!