How to Convert a Old Men's Party Shirt Into a Feminine DIY Blouse

8 Materials
2 Hours

Today, I'm showing you how I made a DIY blouse out of my dad's old shirt. This is a fun way of turning a men’s shirt into a more feminine top. This was my dad's party shirt, so it's a fun mesh fabric. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Men’s party shirt
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing pins
  • Thin sewing elastic
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine with zigzag foot
Marking the armholes

1. Mark the armholes in the old shirt

Put on the old shirt with a tank top underneath it. Now use chalk to draw the tank top straps onto the shirt. That marks where the armholes on the shirt will be.

Marking a straight neckline

Now mark a straight neckline at about the position of the second button on the shirt.

Tracing the shirt's armhole

Trace the shirt’s existing armhole and upper arm on a sheet of paper.

Placing the armhole pattern on the shirt

Cut out the tracing and place it on the shirt at the new armhole markings you made. Now trace that new armhole onto the shirt.

Cutting out the new armhole

Add a 1-inch seam allowance and cut out the new armhole.

Tip: when you are working with slippery fabrics, a rotary cutter is much easier to cut with.

Opening the back yoke seam

2. Cut the back piece

Open the back yoke seam with a seam ripper and save the top part of the back for later use.

Cutting out the new neckline

3. Cut the back piece

Cut off the second button at the top of the front piece and then cut off the top of the front piece at the new neckline marking you made.

Drawing lines along the side of the shirt

Draw lines along the side of the shirt front to connect the bottom of the armhole marking to the bottom corner of the shirt.

Sewing the back to the front piece

4. Sew the back to the front

With right sides together, pin and sew the side seams at your markings. Cut of the excess fabric from the side seam allowances.

Hemming the back and front

5. Hem the back and front

Hem the front and back necklines by folding the fabric in twice and pinning it down, then sewing with a straight stitch.

Sewing the armpit seam

Sew the armpit seam.

Attaching the sleeves to the armhole

6. Attach the sleeves

With right sides together, pin the sleeves into the armholes.

Sewing the sleeves

Sew the sleeves in with a 1-inch seam allowance.

Make your own blouse

Here’s what you should have so far.

Sewing elastic onto the shoulders

The sleeves will be a bit loose at the top, so cut some narrow sewing elastic and sew it into the top inside of each sleeve. Use a zigzag stitch and pull on the elastic as you go.

Then fold the fabric over once and sew again with a straight stitch. With the elastic inside, you will again need to pull on the fabric as you sew.

How to sew a blouse

Now the sleeves are secure around the shoulder.

Hemming the bottom of the sleeves

7. Make bell sleeves

Remove the cuffs of the sleeves with a seam ripper and then hem the bottom of the sleeves by folding them in twice, pinning, and sewing.

Cutting off the collar of the shirt

8. Make a belt

Cut off the collar of the shirt, or any other strip from the leftover fabric. 

Cutting strips to make abelt

Cut 1-inch-wide strips until you have enough strips for the length of belt you need.

DIY belt strip

Sew all the strips together to make one long strip. My final belt strip was about 65 inches long.

Pressing the belt strip with an iron

Fold the belt in half lengthwise and iron it flat. Then fold both long edges into the center and iron it again. Finally, fold it all in half lengthwise one more time and iron flat.

Sew the belt along the open long edge with a straight stitch

Now you have a nice thin belt.

Belt and sleeve loops

9. Make belt and sleeve loops

Cut a 1-inch-wide strip of leftover fabric for belt loops.

Cut two more 1-inch-wide strips of fabric and use the same method as you did for the belt to make 8-inch-long sleeve loops, connecting the two ends of each sleeve loop.

Placing the sleeve loops

Place the sleeve loops on your sleeves, 2½ inches from the sleeve hem. 

Sewing the sleeve loop

Sew the sleeve loop to the sleeve where the inner sleeve seam is. Go back and forth multiple times to secure it.

Cutting out belt loops

Cut your belt loop strip into two 2-inch lengths.

Pinning and sewing the belt loops

Pin and sew one end of the belt loop to the side of the top. 

Topstitching the belt loops

Now fold down the belt loop, fold in the other raw edge, and topstitch both ends of the belt loop in place.

Hemming the DIY blouse

10. Hem the back of the blouse

Trim the bottom of the back so it’s ½ inch longer than the front.

Turn up and sew the back hem of the back with a straight stitch so it matches the front hem. 

DIY blouse

DIY blouse tutorial

Here’s the final transformation! I think this DIY blouse is very pretty! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to convert a men's shirt into a women's blouse. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Men’s party shirt
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Ruler
See all materials

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