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03 August 2010

Shirt Refashion

I bought this top a couple summers ago at J.Crew to wear after my daughter was born. It was a great transition piece for those early post-pregnancy weeks, but recently I'd been feeling that it was a bit too tent-like and unflattering in it's original form. I spent an evening with my sewing machine, and this little number has wiggled it's way into my summer favorites once again!

Here's the before pic:

To refashion your own shirt, you'll need:
  • a shirt (one that's fuller around the bottom would work best for this project)
  • coordinating thread
  • fabric to match the shirt (This fabric was linen, and it's washed and worn beautifully so far.)

1. Use a seam-ripper to take out the stitching on one side of your top. I tore our 3 inches of the seam. If your top is longer, you could do more. If it's shorter, you might want to do less. I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't need to wear a tank under the shirt, so I only ripped up to the point where the shirt hung over my jeans. (Does that make sense? Feel free to email me with questions!)

2. Pin the fabric under on both sides of the ripped out seam. I only used one set of pins to catch both sides. (I found that pinning both sides separately was too cumbersome with all those pins.)

3. Next, sew around both sides, being sure to add a bit of extra support at the top. I back-stitched over the top of the 2 seams about 5 times. You could use any technique to be sure this seam is secured.

4. Cut the fabric for the sash. I cut 2 pieces that were 6 in. wide and 50 in. long. (To determine how long your sash should be, measure around your hips, and then add extra to account for the fullness of the bow you'd prefer. I wanted a full bow, so I made the sash quite long.)

5. Sew the 2 long pieces together to make an even longer piece, and press the seam open.

6. With right-sides of the fabric together, pin the sash along the entire length.

7. Sew along the rough edge of the sash. I wanted my ends to come to a gradual point, so I started by sewing on an angle. Leave the other end open and turn the sash right-side-out.

8. Trim the unfinished end to match the finished end, and turn the raw edge inside. Pin and stitch along the entire length of the sash. (You can see what the finished stitching will look like if you look at the picture in step 9)

9. Line up the middle of the sash on the side of the shirt without the torn-out-seam. Put a pin in the sash where you want the sash to line up with the edge of the torn-out-seam. (Example: When I measured around my hips where the shirt would hit, taking into account the thickness of jeans, I figured that I wanted the shirt to be 42 inches around when it was all tied. SO, each side where the sash and shirt were sewn together needed to be 21 inches.)

You can see here where I've pinned the middle of the sash to the left side of the shirt. My finger is pointing to the pin marking where I want the sash to attach to the right side of the shirt. (Am I still writing in English? I feel like this is sounding complicated. Sorry! It's really quite simple.)

10. Line up the right side of the shirt to the place on the sash you'd marked, and gather the rest of the shirt along the sash, pinning as you go. Sew around the top edge of the sash where it meets the shirt, being sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end.

11. Step back and admire your new shirt...much more unique and Anthropologie-esque.

I'll be linking up to these fine blogs:

Visit thecsiproject.com
Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!UndertheTableandDreaminggiveaways
The DIY Show Off


  1. This is such a cute way to add length to a shirt. Great tutorial!

  2. I LOVE that sash! The fabric is perfect:) I linked up a refashion this week too!! Visiting from justsewsassy.com
    PS I'm having a fun giveaway going on now at my blog, come by and see:)

  3. Great way to recycle (or upcycle as I like to call it.) I love it and would love to see you post this at my linky party Upcycled Awesome!

  4. Hi again!! Thanks for stopping by my lil ol blog today, and thanks so much for your vote:)

  5. Way to take something old and make it new again! :) Thanks for joining us!


  6. hello!
    I love your reborn t-shirt!
    It's so good to make things :o)
    I'd love to link up with you.
    I am a fashion & Decor designer.


    Hope you visit me :o)

    Best wishes,

  7. Very pretty redo, and clever. BTW, LOVE your blog name, very witty. It made me smile.

  8. What a wonderful idea! Much better than giving it away! Cute, cute shirt!

  9. I love the fabric accent tie! The pattern is so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Super cute! I love the fabric you used for the bottom. The pattern is just adorable!

    I'm hosting a t-shirt linky party next Friday. Hope you'll link this up!


  11. hello!!!
    nice to meet you as well.

    i love the fabric you chose for the bottom part of your new refashion shirt!

    good luck with your little one's bday party coming up. yes, it all goes by so fast. even though bday parties are alot of work - i always look at it as an end of year celebration. so hard to say goodbye to that last year - tho. sniff sniff.

    happy weekend!

  12. I have a shirt just like this and have worn it once. I will have to do this. Thanks for sharing.
    I am sooo following you now!!! yay