The Button Up Refashion Swap

button up refashion swap The Button Up Refashion Swap

I’m so jazzed (hands and all) to tell you about this rad project I’m a part of! The Refashion Swap is a very cool collaboration of sewing, refashioning, men’s dress shirts, and talented sewing bloggers. There is some serious talent in this group, and I was thrilled to be asked to join in the fun.  The swap works like this: myself and 9 other bloggers have all paired up with a partner–each one of us sewing for another in the group.  We all began with the same blank canvas that is your very basic yet versatile men’s dress shirt. We then worked our individual refashion-sauce on it,  and then sent it on over to our partner. Today we’re all posting the shirts we sewed, along with a tutorial so you can make your own version of our dress shirt refashion, and then next week we’re doing a blog hop wherein a couple of us will post each day a picture of ourselves modeling the shirt that was sewn for us (see below for schedule).  This is just some classic F-U-N fun, and I’m just as excited as you to see what everyone came up with. Here’s a list of the bloggers participating; make sure to check out each of their blogs today to see their refashions!

Jennifer of Grainline Studio
Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Liz of Cotton & Curls
Megan of Megan Nielsen Designs
Melissa of I Still Love You
Miranda of One Little Minute
Kate of See Kate Sew
Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking

The Swap Hop schedule (where we model what was sewn for us!)will go as follows next week: (Liz sewed for me, and I love it!)

Monday, May 21st: Lizzie of Cotton & Curls, Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Tuesday, May 22nd: Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch, Kate of See Kate Sew
Wednesday, May 23rd: Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking, Miranda of  One Little Minute
Thursday, May 24th: Me, Melissa of  I Still Love You
Friday, May 25th: Megan of Megan Nielsen Design, Jennifer of Grainline Studio

I got to sew for the lovely and so talented Megan Nielsen, who many of you know from one of her rad blogs Design Diary and  DIY Maternity,  or maybe for her amazing clothing collections and patterns. Megan is beautiful and talented, and such a peach to work with. You may remember I did  the Turn About The Room maternity dress tutorial for her last year when I was with (child).  And here, folks, is what I came up with for her! Along with her measurements, I knew that Megan likes pretty and feminine (and that she has an itty bitty waist!) I wanted to play up all those lovely features, so I decided to work a peplum into the design.    The pleated sleeve detail you may recall from this shirt, which has incidentally appeared several times in my sewing projects, due to its very flattering fit.  The pleat detail down the front was just me not being able to resist a bit of subtle embellishment.  I did not use a specific pattern, but based it on something I had so that you can do the same should you feel so inclined to attempt your own version.  I really really love the way this turned out, and can’t wait to see Megan model it.

madmim refashion swap dress shirt beforetitle The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap final front angle 2title1 The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap hanging front title The Button Up Refashion Swap

 

madmim refashion swap hanging back The Button Up Refashion Swap

2012 05 24 1 470x704 The Button Up Refashion SwapThe Coquette Peplum Blouse

Rangle up:

-a men’s white dress shirt–the larger the better I always say. I thrifted this XL one for 3 bucks.

-your sewing gear i.e. sewing machine, thread, seam ripper, seam guage, measuring tape, etc. Do I still need to list this stuff? I’m assuming you guys know by now.

-fabric dye and matching  buttons should you choose to change the color.

-a basic bodice pattern. This could be any shirt (preferably not knit) or dress that fits,but is not fitted.  In desperation you could use a t shirt, just make sure it’s not super fitted, and give yourself a generous seam allowance as your dress shirt will not have stretch. To give you an idea, I used the bodice from this dress. You of course could use any pattern that you have that fits the bill too. However you jive, honey.

*I think it’s always a good idea to make things a little bigger than you think you’ll need, because you can always take in.

Cut it all up: remove the collar, sleeves down the seamline, and cut along  the sides. Press out any pleats.

madmim refashion swap cut arms sides and collar The Button Up Refashion Swap

Measure from the nape of your neck down to your waistline, or where you want your peplum to begin, + a seam allowance.  Mine was 14  and a 1/4″. Measure down from top of buttoned piece to this measurement, mark, and cut a straight line across.

madmim refashion swap measure from top edge and cut The Button Up Refashion Swap

Working again with  just with the buttoned piece, carefully arrange your pattern (or shirt/dress whatever) over it as close to the top as possible, and following the seam lines of your pattern, cut your shoulder, armhole and side. BE SURE TO ADD A SEAM ALLOWANCE! I serged mine, so I added a quarter inch or so.

madmim refashion swap cut bodice back from pattern The Button Up Refashion Swap

Fold all the way down the center and cut other side using your first side as a guide.

madmim refashion swap fold bodice in half to cut semetrically The Button Up Refashion Swap

To your satisfaction, cut your back neckline.

madmim refashion swap cut neckline deeper The Button Up Refashion Swap

Now place your buttoned bodice piece (now the back) to the front and copy your pattern, cutting all the way around it.

madmim refashion swap cut front bodice same as back The Button Up Refashion Swap

Find top edge center piece of front (no buttons), and mark. Measure out 2 1/4″ to the right and left and mark. Repeat on bottom edge. Using a quilting ruler, remove this middle section.

madmim refashion swap measure out from center top and bottom The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap cut center panel out The Button Up Refashion Swap

Using this panel as your pattern, place it on the top edge of the bottom half of the front (no buttons–you just cut the bodice from it), and cut a strip the same width, but the length of the entire shirt’s width (no pic).   This will now be your center panel. The remaining bottom piece of front is your peplum. Arrange the front peplum to the back remaining bottom half and cut to the same size.

madmim refashion swap trim peplums to eachother1 The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap trim peplum to eachother The Button Up Refashion Swap

Before cutting the sleeves, measure around the fullest part of your upper arm. You want your sleeve to measure 1.5 inches + seam allowance more than that. With that measurement  in mind, use your pattern to cut a sleeve pattern, following the seam line, and again, don’t forget a generous seam allowance (you can always cut more off later! Cut to be fairly rectangular with only the slightest taper. Cute the length however long you want your sleeve to be–mine was about 13″.

madmim refashion swap cut sleeve from pattern The Button Up Refashion Swap

Measuring down 2″ from the top of your center panel, and mark. Now alternate marking first 1/2″ down, then 1 1/2″ down, repeating all the entire panel (sorry you can barely see the marks).

madmim refashion swap mark center panel for pleats The Button Up Refashion Swap

Now create the pleats by pressing first back on the first line, and then forward on the second, repeating all the way down.

madmim refashion swap iron pleats The Button Up Refashion Swap

Topstitch on top edge of each pleat to secure, and then baste down both sides.If you’re not in the mood for pleats, you can embellish or fold this center panel any way you want.

madmim refashion swap baste center pleat panel down sides The Button Up Refashion Swap

Sew shoulder seams of bodice front to bodice back, RST, and then pin the pleated center panel, RST, to bodice front right and left side. At this point try it on yourself or your dress form inside out, and adjust the fit but taking in and pinning the side seams or front bodice sides to get a fit your happy with.  Sew, and then trim any excess of bottom.  Cut your front neckline deeper to your satisfaction.  Topstitch along panel sides, catching the seam allowance and sewing towards the sides.

madmim refashion swap fit bodice The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap topstitch center front The Button Up Refashion Swap

Try on once more inside out, and pinch mid sleeve opening to create a dart (if needed for a nice fit).  This isn’t a very scientific way of creating a dart (don’t judge me!) but it worked fine. I measured down from the shoulder on the first side, and then matched that to the other side, taking care to mimic the angle down. Pin and sew. The key to a nice dart is to take the angle in gently (not sharply) into the side.  Instead of back stitching, tie of your threads by hand.  Press dart seam allowance down.  *Note: this is a super ghetto way of putting in a dart, and I’m kind of embarrassed about it. The dart isn’t necessary, but if you, like me, try it on and find that it could use one to improve the fit, then don’t be afraid to throw one in. It isn’t hard, and it did a lot to ensure a nice fit.

madmim refashion swap create a dart The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap sew dart The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap iron dart down The Button Up Refashion Swap

Finish and hem ends of sleeves.

madmim refashion swap hem sleeves1 The Button Up Refashion Swap

From the center point of your open sleeve, measure one inch from bottom edge, draw a three inch line, and then move up 3/4″ and draw another parallel 3″ line. Repeat once more.

madmim refashion swap mark tucks for sleeve The Button Up Refashion Swap

RST, fold along each line, and with a  scant 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the length of your marked fold (3″).  Repeat with each marked line.

madmim refashion swap sew sleeve tucks The Button Up Refashion Swap

Repeat on other side.

madmim refashion swap sleeve pleats The Button Up Refashion Swap

Sew two rows of basting near the top curve of the sleeve, making sure one row of basting is exactly on your planned seamline.

madmim refashion swap double baste sleeve edge The Button Up Refashion Swap

Sew underarm seam.

madmim refashion swap sew underarm sleeve The Button Up Refashion Swap

Set your sleeve in your armhole, matching your underarm seam allowance, and the center sleeve point to the shoulder seam.  Adjust gathers to add ease, but not puckers.

madmim refashion swap finished sleeve The Button Up Refashion Swap

Finish neckline by pinning 1″ bias tape along neck edge, sewing in the 1/4″ crease, folding over and pinning again, and then sewing again very close to folded edge. Fold the ends under so you get nice folded, finished edges on the button opening.

madmim refashion swap pin bias tape to neckline The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap sew bias to neck The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap pin bias to neck The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap finished neckline The Button Up Refashion Swap

Sew peplum back to front at sides, and then double baste the top edge, again making sure that one row of basting is exactly in your planned seam allowance.

madmim refashion swap sew peplum sides The Button Up Refashion Swap

Pin bodice to peplum, RST, matching side seams and back opening.  Pull basting threads to fit, make sure you get a nicely distributed gather.  I always pull threads the amount needed, and then secure threads at side seams with a figure  eight around pin, so that I can evenly distribute the gathers with out pulling them out any.

madmim refashion swap peplum to bodice The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap secure thread The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap pin gathered peplum The Button Up Refashion Swap

Sew and then topstitch near seam, securing the seam allowance up.

madmim refashion swap peplum The Button Up Refashion Swap

add a button hole at bottom edge (or anywhere else) if needed.

madmim refashion swap add button hole to bottom The Button Up Refashion Swap

You’re done, and isn’t it pretty?

madmim refashion swap finished front The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap finished back The Button Up Refashion Swap

Now, if you want, which you probably do, dye according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used Dharma fiber reative dye in Seafoam green.  Supposedly (and in my experience so far), this dye doesn’t fade at all, and is completely permanent.

refashionswap dye The Button Up Refashion Swap

refashionswap dyeslurry The Button Up Refashion Swap

refashionswap dye bath The Button Up Refashion Swap

The finished result and color was perfectly minty.

madmim refashion swap final front The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap final back2 The Button Up Refashion Swap

I added matching buttons down the back,

madmim refashion swap buttons The Button Up Refashion Swap

as well as a hidden snap to secure the very top.

madmim refashion swap top snap The Button Up Refashion Swap

madmim refashion swap sleeve The Button Up Refashion Swap

If you followed along with me, then great! Hope it turned out! Let me know, like always, if you have any questions! If not, then may the world of white men’s dress shirts be your canvas!

Don’t miss the Refashion Swap Hop schedule (when we each get to model what was sewn for us! See the top of the post for the schedule!)

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24 Comments

  1. Posted May 17, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    What a transformation! It’s absolutely darling! I’m definitely bookmarking this.

  2. Posted May 17, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Oh, that’s lovely! Love the center front pleats and the peplum. And the mint color!

  3. Posted May 17, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    this is incredible!! i can’t believe that was from an old men’s shirt, i just love all the little details to it! i am so excited to follow all your fabulous sewing goodness now :]

    • Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Thanks Michael Ann! I just took a looksy at your blog, and I love it!

  4. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    iiiiincredible, Miriam!!!!

  5. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I love this refashion! I can’t wait to see it on Megan!

    And the color: perfection.

  6. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    This is really so sweet! I love the color of the shirt – what an awesome minty shade! Amazing dye job! I adore those sweet little pin tucks down the middle and the pleating at the sleeves. Marvelous job!
    xoxo, Sunni

  7. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    such a cute little top! I have never tried that dye before, I’m intrigued!

    • Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I met a girl a couple years ago who had dyed her cloth diapers, and I was amazed at the vibrant colors, I hadn’t seen anything like that with all my adventures with RIT. She told me about it, Dharmatradingco.com I think, and I ordered a bunch have been thrilled with the results.

  8. Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I definitely never would have guessed this started out as a regular button down if I didn’t know better. So cute on it’s own but then you had to go dye it and make it beyond cute! Megan is going to look adorable in this!!

  9. Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Love this! What a creative idea!

  10. Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    This one is easily my favorite of the lot! What an amazingly creative refashion!! It was all I could do to stop myself from running to the thirft store when I saw this earlier today!

  11. Posted May 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Love love love it Mim! It looks just like Megan, but has your signatures all over it. I keep meaning to copy your awesome sleeves, and haven’t yet. Don’t worry, I’ll flatter you with an imitation sometime soon:) Your details are darling, darling!

  12. Posted May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh goodness this top is adorable! Amazing work Miriam! I can’t wait to see it on. And I love the color!

  13. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Coolest refashion top ever….blew mine out of the water!! AMAZING! Makes me wish I had a waist.

  14. Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    …well, it’s an amazing collective project and what about your leads? Perfect! Many thanks for this step-by-step how-to.

  15. Posted May 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    this is seriously so amazing i’m in disbelief.

  16. JoAnn
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I’m here from Meg’s blog where she posed with her new blouse – this is absolutely the cutest top I have ever seen from a man’s shirt — I have bookmarked your website and will do more exploring later (when I’m not at work :) )….
    JoAnn

  17. Posted May 25, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    This is so, so cute! I can’t believe it’s a refashion! Great job! Megan looks so sweet in it!

  18. Meredith
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    It turned out great! Did you start over from when I saw it last?

  19. Monica M.
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    WOW!!! This shirt refashion it pretty amazing. Great Job!

  20. Alexandra S.
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    OMG!!! This is so so great! I love it :X and the color is delicious ! You are amaizing! I wanna try this refashion idea :) Kisses from Romania:*

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Alexandra!! If you do try it, I would love to see how it turns out!

  21. Sarah Ford
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Oh soooooo lovely, can’t wait to have the time to make it, thanks

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