Creative articles about sewing

Upcycling a men’s shirt into a summer top

How to Up-cycle a Men’s shirt into a summer top

Sewing for me is a way of getting creative, being useful and trying to be eco-conscious on my fashion choices. One of the things that sewing offers is up-cycling! have you ever up-cycled any garment?

Last Saturday, we were doing some Winter cleaning in our wardrobe and I looked at the Men’s shirt stash that my partner had put aside because they were too used to be worn at the office. 

Make a new a summer top

I had in mind to make a new a summer top and I thought it would be a great idea to use one of those shirts by just up-cycling it. Also, I wanted that summer top to be a “quick sewing project” and transforming this men’s shirt into a summer top is a quick thing to make. Yes, this year I decided to prepare my warmer days wardrobe soon, just in case sun comes early this year! šŸ™‚

For that, I took a black shirt so I could easily add a flashy trim to make it more <em>girlie</em>.

While up-cycling this shirt I thought I could take some pictures to I could write a tutorial for you, in case you want to make something similar.

This is a perfect project for sewing beginners too

If you want to make this summer top from a shirt, just follow these simple steps. 

Fold your shirt by half. Then trace a line from underneath your sleeve’s bottom to the height you want your summer top to have. Once you’ve traced those lines, simply cut your shirt (make sure both sides are nicely folded)


Cut off the 2 sleeves, at the top level and cut off the cuffs a well.

Open the sleeves so they lie flat. Trace a rectangle as wide and long as you can.

You should then obtain 2 rectangles and your bodice.

Cut the rectangles in 2, lengthwise, so that you obtain 4 thinner rectangles. Sew the seams together.

On your bodice, zig zag your armholes and do a simple hem or finish it with a bias tape. After stitching your armholes, you can do a hem at the top of your bodice by folding twice the edges. Be careful on those corners, fold in the fabric nicely so it is all nicely tuck in.

Top stitch at 2 mm from the lower fold to keep everything in place.

Then, make a thin channel at the top of your strap, leaving a gap so that you can insert an elastic band later on.

I added a flashy trim at the bottom of my strap. If you don’t want to, just make a short hem.

Then, top stitch your strap on top of the bodice top edge. Your strap should be much longer than the bodice since we are going to insert the elastic band to reduce it and create the gathered shoulders straps/sleeves.

Once you’ve inserted the elastic band on the top strap, close the gap with an invisible hand stitch you left at the beginning and then voilah! your summer top is ready! Wasn’t it super easy and quick?

Do you like it? I love combining it with a pair of jeans for that perfect easy going look.


Free sewing instructions: Upcycling a menā€™s shirt into a summer top

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