Introduction: Upcycled Man's Shirt to Ladies Suntop
Hi my name is Jo and I'd like to share my upcycling project with you. I used a man's shirt for this project but you can use any cotton fabric offcuts, you'd need approximately 3/4 metre for a UK size 12, bust size 36". You can line this top for a better finish, I also used iron on lightweight interfacing and 27" of pompom trim
Step 1: Choosing a Design
I had a large mens hawaian shirt I wanted to upcycle, but these steps can be followed with approx metrage of fabric for your size also.
First I had to decide what to do with it, so I looked through my pattern stash to find something suitable. I used a dress pattern which had a halterneck bustier top.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces
Once I selected my pattern, I had to cut out the pieces, I cut the front panel out from the back of the shirt, as this was the largest piece to be able to cut on the fold (the centre front is placed on the fold of fabric so there is no seam). The other pieces I cut from the rest of the body of the shirt. This pattern includes seam allowance so I could cut around the pattern as it is, but if seam allowance isn't included then it needs to be cut 1" from the edge. As this shirt was large I didn't need to cut the sleeves, so I put them aside for a handbag project, which I'll upload separately.
Step 3: Join the Pieces
Next, I placed my pieces next to each other to check I had the complete pattern. Once pinned together (printed 'right' sides together), I sewed the seams on my sewing machine, using a basic stitch and universal needle size 90. The seam allowance on the pattern was 1.5". I then pressed the finish seams towards the centre back of the top.
Step 4: Adding the Frill
As I wanted a frill on this top I had to make a pattern for it, I did this by tracing the neckline of the front and front side panels, measuring down 3" along the neckline. I needed a top and a bottom side so cut 2 pieces of the front and 4 pieces of the front side ( 1 pair for the left side and 1 pair for the right side). I added iron on interfacing to one set of the frill. The seams were then sewn together resulting in 2 frill pieces.
Step 5: Adding Trims
I wanted to use a pompom trim, but other trims such as lace would also work. If you don't want any trims you can just join your frill pieces together.
I pinned my pompoms along the bottom edge of my frill, with the pompoms facing upwards to the top, this is so they don't get hidden in the seam! Next I placed my other frill piece on top, replacing the pins, and sewed it all together along the bottom edge and the sides.
Once sewn I trimmed the corners and turned it out. Now I have a complete frill to add to my top. I then pressed this to flatten it.
Step 6: Making Straps
I had cut out the neck strap pieces from remaining material, but these could be cut from contrasting fabric or ribbon. These were sewn and turned out to make 2 tie straps, and pressed to flatten.
Step 7: Join the Frill and Straps, Adding a Zipper
I pinned the frill to my bodice, then added the straps 1" either side of the bust join. As I'm lining this bodice I sewed along this join 1/4" from the edge of the neckline. Finally I added a zip to the centre back panels.
Step 8: Lining the Top
I repeated steps 2 and 3 to make another bodice out of lining fabric. I then pinned the lining bodice to the main bodice, right sides together, and sewed along the neckline 1" to attach at the frill. Ensure that the neck straps are out of the way before sewing.
Once sewn I turned it out so that the lining is inside the bodice. I then hemmed the bodice and hand sewed the lining to the zip for a neat finish.
Step 9: All Finished!
I loved my top so much I made another one, as pictured here! Also here's the handbag I made to match the top.
I hope you enjoy this project. Stay safe, Jo