Whiptips: refashioning the button-down shirt

by Admin on 14/07/2006

in Green Crafting, News+Letters

Whiptips is an advice column for readers to ask questions or offer advice by leaving your comments. View the Whiptips archive here. You can submit questions, to whiptips@gmail.com. Please include photos with your questions!

A Whipup reader, Terry, wrote in to ask about how to remake her shirt wardrobe and bring it up to date. There seem to be alot of t-shirt makeovers posted online. These great ideas and patterns take advantage of the parts of the shirt and seams already there, and make it into something new.
But what about regular button-up shirts? As she said, “How can something look so “right” one time and so wrong a couple years later?”

“Years ago I thought I looked great in oversized shirts. I was wrong. I have a large investment in beautiful cotton, linen, velvet, etc. shirts that are too broad in the shoulders, too big in the armscye, too wide in the body, often too long as well…what to do? I want to keep the shirts as shirts: I do not want to make sleeveless tops or button-front skirts. I want to make new shirts from old. And I want them too look good. Any help in coming up with a method to redo my shirt wardrobe would be greatly appreciated.”

I know Terry mentioned no skirts with buttons up the front… but this skirt by Three Cat Night shows one using 2 men’s shirts. However, it looks like a great skirt that could be made from any fabric, rather than taking advantage of the parts and seams already existing in the shirt. I think that’s what makes the t-shirt surgery ideas so appealing. Hopefully there might be some ‘quick’ tricks for button down shirts out there?

In highschool, my friends and I used to raid the second hand shops for men’s shirts. On nice thing you can do is cut the collar off first. Then make an empire-waist with a ribbon-belt. The bagginess in the sleeves is nice then- albeit a bit more whimsical than you may be looking for. Come to think of it… it was the late 80’s early 90’s when we were doing that!

Refashion mens shirt

Has anyone seen any good tutorials on how to make flattering, fitted and stylish shirts out of the baggy mess that was the 90’s?

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