Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Men's Button-Up Refashion... into Ladies Tank!

A few years ago, when the hubby and I lived in Florida (this was pre-kids, so make that 5-ish years...) I bought him a button-up shirt for his work.  The deal was that he had to wear blue or white button-ups, so I thought, "Why not both at the same time?"  And I got him this:

It used to have a pocket...
Apparently when he wore it to work, his boss told him he looked like a picnic basket, aaand the shirt was retired to the closet.  Well, I don't care if I look like a picnic basket, so I decided to turn it into a tank top for myself!

It was actually really easy to do... let me try once again to tell you how I used a sewing machine... eh....

First things first, I chopped the sleeves off.

Then I slipped the shirt on and pinned in the sides so that it fit.

I took off the shirt, flipped it inside out and sewed up the sides where my pins were, trimmed off the excess, flipped it rightside out again, and tried it on to make sure it fit.  It did, much to my amazement!  I was actually proud of myself at that moment- it gave me a little boost in my sewing confidence.

Then I pinned the armholes the way I wanted them... carefully...

Looks a lot like a vest at this point...
...and sewed them.  Not one of my favorite things to sew, those armholes.  Once the arms were taken care of, it was on to the neck.  I pinned the neck down- I went down about two buttons, which actually ended up to be a little to far down, so I had to sew it closed again.  Anyway, I pinned, sewed, and trimmed...

Then I cut a piece of thick white ribbon, gathered one side/sleeve/armhole-front up kind of like a fan, and wrapped the ribbon around it.

To secure it in place, I attached a button (cut from the excess shirt) with a needle and white thread.  Then I did the same thing to the other side.

At this point I tried the shirt on and decided I wanted more of a fitted look to the waist area, so I made some ties for the back.  For the tie fabric, I used one of the sleeves I cut off the shirt.  I trimmed the cuff off of the sleeve, and cut alongside the seam to open the shirt.  Then I cut a rectangle from the longest piece, making sure it was wide enough for two ties.  (Sorry, I didn't measure... )

I cut the fabric in half lengthwise (hot dog style!), folded the pieces in half the same way, and stitched the long side and one short side.  Then I flipped them right-side out (I used a super long wooden skewer to push the corners out- a smore's stick!).

I found the spot on the shirt where I wanted my ties to be, folded the rough edge under and pinned the ties in place.  Then I used my sewing machine to attach them on, doing that pretty x-in-a-box thing (technical term?  not sure.)

That's it!  Sorry I'm not more descriptive when it comes to my sewing things, hopefully I'll get better at that as time goes on, but I hope you kind of get the general idea of how I made my shirt!

And sorry for the somewhat moody facial expressions, it was super hot and humid out, and after a gazillion pictures, I was getting slightly uncomfortable! I got more pictures that I liked than I first thought, though...


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24 crazy awesome comments:

Sarah @ Hippie Mommie said...

HOW CREATIVE OF YOU! It turned out so cute!!! I wish I were that good of a seamstress, because hubby has so many button-up shirts he no longer wears and I have next to no summer clothes! :)

Victoria said...

Actually, that is very cute! My boyfriend never gets rid of ANYTHING, but if I can ever pinch an old shirt, I'll have to give this a try. :)

Neccie's Creations said...

Wow such a cute girlie top. I can't sew at all. Hand sewing is what I do and I am still bad at that. I really like this top you can sew very well.

Van said...

This is genius I tell you! I have some men's button-up I bought for crafting and I will use your treatment on them for sure! What a lovely, universally flattering yet simply top! I'll be a new follower for sure, thanks for sharing this craft :)

Melissa said...

Super-duper did a great job.

Andrea @ said...

This is great! I hope you'll link up to Make It Wear It today at!

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Well, isn't this just the cutest redo! Love how that came out. You did a good job and stuck with it. I'll have to try this. Years ago I made a halter top out of a man's shirt...hmmmm, gotta try that one again. Hope this builds your confidence in your sewing, you did great!

ZeidmanZoo said...

love it! thanks for sharing!

Rose :: said...

great tutorial
come link it up at our TUTORIAL FESTIVAL:

Amie said...

That's super cute!

Chappell of Love said...

That is one of the cutest shirts ever! I would buy it if I saw it in a store, great job!

Heather said...

I love this! I've sifted through my hubs old shirts and have a "get rid of pile" this will be perfect!

Casey said...

very nice!

Michelle L. said...

I love the ribbon-and-button detail especially! Cutest picnic basket remodel ever!

Yolanda said...

I LOVE it! I put it on 'my to do list'. I have a closet full of my hubby's shirt that I have been waiting to transform. I love your idea!

Wen said...


Sew Many Ways... said...

This is husband's closet isn't safe anymore!!

406 Olivia said...

LOVE! I posted about refashioning a man's shirt today.

Check it out if you like:
406olivia said...

really cute! you did an awesome job. I detest sewing. I'd rather be operating my table saw. :)

Throckmorton Jones said...

This is adorable and kind of retro-feeling. I love it! Going to find a button down shirt and make this for myself soon. :)

Amanda said...

How creative! It looks really cute too! I think I would have cut it just above the forth button to make it shorter, but even long it is super cute!

Janelle fairlamb said...

I seen an apron like this from a mens shirt with the heart top across the boobs but i couldn't find a tutorial for it. Thanks for this, it is absolutely adorable! I am going to make mine an apron tho and might add some lace along the trim of the heart top and the bottom hem. I can't wait to look so cute in my "hubby apron" during Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. as I am always the hostess, lol

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