Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Button up ruffle shirt - Men's shirt refashion tutorial

I have a number of men’s dress shirts that my grandparent’s gave me when cleaning out their closet. They are all made with beautiful fabric, and I’ve been trying to find something to do with them. So, the men’s XL dress shirt refashion was born!The larger shirt that you use, the more fabric for the ruffles and flowers you’ll have.
Here’s a before picture of the shirt I used:

What you need:
- one large men’s dress shirt (the bigger the better!)
- elastic thread (for smocking)

Step 1: cut the sleeves of off the shirt, following the seam closely- the seam should wind up on the sleeve portion, not the main torso. Trim the sides of the shirt to fit you

Step 2: cut the collar off the shirt, then trim the neckline so it matches the shape and depth you want. Cut the sleeves into strips (for the ruffles). You’ll want to measure the length of the neckline, from the front around the back to the front again. Cut the strips to double this length-you will probably need to sew multiple ones together to achieve this length-with whatever width you want your ruffles to be.

Step 3: fold the ruffles in half (width wise), the press and stitch along the top of the raw edges with a gathering stitch. Finish the two edges (turn them in and stitch). Gather. Turn the shirt inside out, then pin the ruffles around the neckline, gathering to fit. The ruffle should be against the wrong side of the shirt.
Step 4: sew the ruffle to the neckline, raw edge to raw edge. Then flip the ruffle over to the right side of the shirt. Now, the raw edges should be hidden between the ruffle and the shirt. Stitch around the neckline to hold the ruffle down, about ¼ of an inch away from the neckline. Pin the edges of the shirt, then stitch them together.

Step 5: Trim the bottom of the shirt to the desired length. There are two things you need to make with the remaining fabric from the sleeves and the bottoms and sides of the shirt: A belt, and the yoyo flowers (four of them). The belt needs to be long enough to reach around your waist and then tie in a bow in front. If you don’t know how to make yoyos refer to my yoyo flower belt tutorial. Cut out the pieces for each of these, and make the yoyos. For the belt, sew the raw edges together width wise, then turn it inside out and finish the ends. Note: I also added a second ruffle just in front of the shirt, because i had extra fabric. I just sewed the fabric together as you did the belt, then ruffled it and stitched it on under the first ruffle.

Step 6: Smock the waistline of the shirt. I did four rows of smocking, but you can do however many you want. If you don’t know how to smock, check out my smocking tutorial.

Step 7: Hem the bottom and armpits of the shirt, then attach the yoyos down the front of the shirt by hand, around/in between the buttons. If necessary, tack the ruffle down in certain areas (if it stands up too much). Now, you’re finished!


  1. This is really cute, I'll have to try it!

  2. I bought a dress from target that looks very similar to this shirt



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