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Gift presents for women: Refashion tutorial

Green crafts, Repair work, Sewing  |  September 12th 2011  |  0 Comment

Sewing patterns

Refashion a Man’s Shirt to a Woman’s Shirt Tutorial

Some may recognize the following tutorial from the archives of this blog, but it has never really been “posted” here because I imported it from my personal blog last year before the Home Sweet Homebodies blog became public.  Also, it was shared as a web album, and I thought this was a better way to share at this point.  So here it is again!

This is what my finished shirt looked like- kind of a tunic style shirt.  This shirt can be made without using any pattern- just use a favorite shirt as a guide.

Here is the starting point: a man’s long sleeved collared shirt bought from a second hand store.  Going patternless really allows you to give license to all your creativity, and if you are refashioning an item of clothing that is not being used or would end up being discarded, you have nothing to loose!  This was one of my first refashion projects, so it is definitely not professional looking, but I had so much fun doing it, and it turned out to be very wearable.  So get out your fabric scissors and don’t be afraid to start cutting that poor unloved shirt (for the moment) up!

The first step is to make the new neckline.  I used a pencil to freehand draw the line I would cut on.  I suggest making the neck fairly wide because you are going to eventually gather it, which of course makes it smaller.  If you are worried about making it too large, go ahead and start with a higher neckline, and you can always trim it down.

Cut along the line you just made until you cut the whole collar off.  Now even up the neckline so it is round and symmetrical.

It is really helpful to use another shirt as a guide.   Choose one that you like the fit of, both in the neckline and the waist.  You will use it again later!
Measure the length of sleeve you want, mark it out, and then cut off the excess sleeves on both sides.
Cut off the rounded bottom of the shirt so that it is straight.  You can leave it fairly long, like I did, if you want more of a tunic- style shirt, or cut it shorter based on your shirt length preference.
Grab that shirt you were using and lay it over the shirt you are working on, so you have a guide when making the new side shape.  Be careful not to cut into your guide- shirt!  This step not only makes the shirt less baggy (remember, it was a man’s shirt!) but gives it a more contoured shape instead of a straight edge.  The part you cut out will be used for another part of the shirt, so don’t throw it away!
An easy way to make your shirt symmetrical is to simply fold the shirt in half and make the same cut on the other side.  You may want to trim the sleeves a bit as well to make them a tiny bit narrower (however, these will be gathered as well, which will make them smaller, so it is entirely a matter of preference).

Take the strip of fabric you just cut from the side of the shirt and cut up both sides of the seam, until you get a long strip shaped like this.  This will be used to make a belt loop.  Depending on what is going to be used for the belt, the loops could be short or much longer.  This one is short.

Putting the belt loops in is kind of hard to show, but it is really easy to do, so I will do my best to explain.  Turn the side seam on the shirt inside out.  With right sides together, sandwich the belt loop with the end poking out.  Pin in place.  Pull the other end of the belt loop out so that just the end is sticking out, and pin that in place too.  Sew the whole side seam from the bottom up to the sleeve (and sew the sleeve together too if you ended up trimming it to be more narrow).  Using this side as a guide, mark where you are going to sew the belt loop on the other side of the shirt, so it doesn’t end up uneven.  You may have to experiment to figure out where you want the belt to be on the shirt- whether high on your waist or lower.

The next step is sewing a casing around the neckline.  Zig-zag or serge the edge first to help reduce fraying.  Thread your elastic through the casing and sew in place on each edge.  Do the same thing for each of the sleeves, but before you cut the elastic make sure it feels comfortable around your arm and not too tight.

This is where I secured the elastic.  You don’t want this area where the buttons and button holes are to gather, so I sewed right through the elastic without stretching it, so it wouldn’t bunch up.
Use scraps from the sleeves to make a ruffle.  You may need to cut a few strips and sew them together to make it long enough.  Unbutton the shirt and spread the fabric wide at the bottom to measure- you want the ruffle piece to be at least 1 1/3 x the length of the shirt.  When you have a long enough piece, press it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  Then do a baste stitch along the raw edges.  Pull one of the strings and gather the material.

With the right side of the shirt facing out, pin the ruffle upside down onto the shirt, with the raw edges together.  Adjust the amount of gather on your ruffle so that it becomes the same length as the shirt bottom.  You will want to remember to finish the short ends too; folding them back would probably be the easiest way.  Now sew the ruffle to the shirt bottom, with your seam above the basting so that it won’t show once you flip it down.  You can either serge the seam, or zig-zag and trim the excess material.  Now, flip the ruffle down!  Top stitch it in place.

For the belt: I decided to use a contrasting ribbon as the belt.  You could also use any extra scraps depending on how big the shirt was and make a drawstring- style belt.

And there you go!
Source: homesweethomebodies.blogspot.com