October 1, 2013

Right after I had my baby my friend gave me a couple of button up shirts for those days when you are constantly breastfeeding and don’t fit into your normal clothes yet.  This is one of those shirts, and although it no longer fits me I always loved the fabric.  So I thought this would be a perfect excuse for another up-cycle for my daughter.

This tutorial will work with almost any women’s shirt – not just button-ups, but the fabric should have a bit of drape to it.  My daughter wears a 4T usually in ready to wear sizes so the measurements are for that size, although you could easily size it up or down for your needs.  Because of the elastic neckline the sizing and measurements are pretty forgiving.

Here are the approximate measurements that I used:




First, finish the long edge of the sleeves with a 1/4″ hem. (for most of my seams I am simply serging and folding, although feel free to do any seam finish that works for you).

With right sides together, stitch front and back together at side seams at 1/4″.

With right sides together, sew the sides of the sleeves to the top of the back and front at 1/4″.

Turn under the seam allowance of the remaining armhole and stitch at 1/4″.

Fold the neckline to the inside at 1/2″.  Stitch at 3/8″ leaving an opening for the elastic (but stitching the button-closure closed).

Thread a 20″ piece of 1/4″ elastic through casing.  Now adjust the elastic to the desired length, trim, sew ends together, and then sew up opening in casing.

Clip threads, iron, and you are done!

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  • Reply Phronimos October 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Too cute! I love this series, very inspirational.

  • Reply Elena Rosa Brown October 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Love the ruffled sleeves. Makes such a great contrast with the masculine fabric. Gets me itching to revamp something in my closet!


  • Reply Jano October 1, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Thanks for this. I have a shirt waiting in my sewing pile to do something with for my daughter, this is perfect.

  • Reply Laura October 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Super cute! I love a good upcycle. 😉 The ruffles are a nice touch.

    • Reply Judy May 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      ruffles make it so so cute

  • Reply velosewer October 2, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    THis is so clever.

  • Reply Lisa October 2, 2013 at 5:51 AM


  • Reply Cirque Du Bebe October 2, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    So cute, that’s great fabric and a nice adult shirt but makes a much nicer little girl one.

    • Reply Judy May 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      it is so cute for the little girl–I love it so much

  • Reply Rae October 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Love it. I’m such a fan of the large-scale ginghams!!

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee October 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Oh this is SO cute!! This almost makes me want to have babies just so I have a reason to copy this!! Almost….

  • Reply Lucinda Poel October 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    this is too cute! Love the contrast double stitching along the placket and the way you sewed the buttons on with a “x”. Great details!

  • Reply gingermakes October 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    That is adorable! I love it!!!!!

  • Reply Judy May 24, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I can’t believe how cute this is for a little girl–you are so brilliant to think of this–I too love the print for a little one–very summery–my granddaughter will be two in two weeks–think I’ll cut up a few old shirts and try doing this

  • Reply Judy May 24, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    this is such a brilliant transformation–how utterly adorable is the result–you sure made a great little shirt. My granddaughter will be two in two weeks and I’m going to try to make one for her from her MeeMee–
    How did you think of this??

  • Reply DIY Toddler Clothes Refashion December 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    […]  A Week of Upcycles : Day 2 {via True x […]

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