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Fun Button Down Shirt Refashion

February 13, 2012

Let me start this off by saying that I’m not the best seamstress and that I won’t have specific dimensions posted today for those of you who need that kind of thing. I’m the cook that just throws stuff in and the seamstress who cuts and sews without measuring (which is why quilting never works out for me). But if you are willing to take a little bit of a chance, you can have a fun new shirt idea to add to your collection!

I decided to take on this project because, well, I’m fat and my arms don’t fit in traditional button up shirts. Even when I was normal sized, I always had bigger arms (although originally this was due to muscles from spinning rifles and flags) that hated button ups. And, let’s face it, button ups by themselves are pretty unflattering on just about every woman that has some sort of curves or they are just too plain to wear without some sort of cardigan.

We have a few higher-end consignment shops in the area so I found a great deal at Strut on a shirt that I thought I could live with while only spending just over $5 (because, hey, I’m cheap!). It’s a tailored three quarter length with ruffles on either side of the buttons.

The cardigan I had in mind was my new favorite yellow that you see popping up everywhere. I scored the cardigan off the clearance rack at Dress Barn with a gift card just after Christmas but only had one shirt that I really thought would go with it. When I found the button up in question, I loved the little pops of yellow but I also loved that it was complementary instead of matchy-matchy since the predominant color is pink.

To start off, I decided to add some off-white ribbon behind the ruffles. I made it so that you can barely see the ribbon, but when I move, it helps define that there is some kind of detail on the front of the shirt.

To attach the ribbon, I just pinned underneath, lifted the pleated ruffles, and sewed. Super easy and I didn’t have to be careful with the stitching since no one can see it :)

Yes, I am that pasty. No, I can never tan despite how hard I try. Next, I took the sleeves off my shirt. Now, I could’ve cut the sleeves right off, but I HATE hemming so I decided to rip the stitches and surging out. Yes, this took a little while, but it was totally worth it later.

I flayed open one of the sleeves after I removed them (for you skinny folk, you might need both sleeves here but I had plenty of fabric with one). I cut a rectangle approximately 10 x 9…

… and then cut it in half (to leave two 5 x 9 rectangles).

Next, I folded the fabric hotdog style and ironed so the seam would be sharp. Then, I slowly pleated my fabric and ironed each pleat as I went.

Finally, I pinned the pleats on the top of the sleeve hole as kind of a cap sleeve. I didn’t really need this as it served no purpose, but I liked the more finished look it brought (to make it not look like a summer tank top) and the carryover of the pleating from the ruffles on the front. I sewed all the way around the sleeve for the hem (which was easy to do because of the way I ripped the stitches instead of cutting) and everything was finished!

Not too bad for my first try ever, eh?

Oh, and I had my hair recolored and a new cut done! Love it, wish pictures did it justice :)

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 8:51 pm

    Omg what an adorable blouse! I need to learn how to sew so i.can make crafty clothes too. And it goes so well with your cardigan. Of course, i couldn’t help but notice your chic haircut. Fun and flirty! The color looks nice bit Im sure it’s more amazing in person.

    • February 13, 2012 8:52 pm

      Thanks, Ash! It’s got more lowlights and highlights in person and it’s a bit fuller, but I really love it (at least for now – what to see what I say tomorrow morning when I try to fix it myself, haha).

  2. February 13, 2012 9:32 pm

    Very cute end product! I also like your hair a lot!

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