Old to New Shirt Transformation

8 Materials
$5
2 Hours
Easy

It’s out with the old and in with the new! Take a look at how I took an outdated button down shirt and totally changed it to create an on-trend shirt to add to my wardrobe. This DIY is a real trash to treasure upcycle!


Tools and materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Button down shirt
Button down shirt refashion

Sew a channel 

To begin this shirt upcycle, I grabbed a tape measure and measured 37cm (15 inches) from the top of the shirt. I marked this point and drew a line across the shirt. I then drew a second line about 4cm (2 inches) down from the first. I turned the shirt over and made the same markings on the back. 

Fold the fabric


I folded the shirt along the top line I had drawn and pinned the fold. 

Easy button down shirt refashion


I took the shirt to the sewing machine and sewed along the second line. I made sure to also topstitch along the line. This would become the channel for the drawstring. 

Mark the new bottom

Crop the shirt 

I then marked 50cm (20 inches) from the top of the shirt and drew another line across. 

DIY button down shirt refashion


I picked up my pair of scissors and cut across the shirt, just above the last button. 

Refashion a button down shirt

Hem the shirt 

I double folded the bottom of the shirt up to the last line I had drawn and pinned. I sewed the hem to give the shirt a clean finish. 

Sew a strip

Make a drawstring 

I used the fabric I had cut off to make a long strip. I folded each end toward the center and then folded the strip in half. I pinned the fold to make the strip of fabric a little bit easier to sew. 

How to refashion a button down shirt


I then marked on either side of the center as a guide for cutting slits in the channel I had sewed earlier. I used my scissors to make the incisions. 

Add the drawstring


I then used a safety pin to help me thread the drawstring through the channel. I added an extra button to the shirt to complete the look.  

Adjust the sleeves

Adjust the sleeves 

I also moved the button on each sleeve to make them tighter and create more of a cuffed style. 

Simple button down shirt refashion


This upstyled shirt is a piece I just can’t get enough of! Let me know in the comments how you would have refashioned the original shirt! 

Suggested materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Ruler
See all materials

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