Men's Shirt Refashion Tutorial: How to DIY a Cute Ruffle Blouse

6 Materials
2 Hours

Ruffles are always fun to work with and today I'm showing you a men's shirt refashion into a women's cold shoulder blouse.

It's quick and easy to do and a great way to upcycle a men's dress shirt.

Make sure you're using a lightweight shirt with long sleeves for the best result!

Tools and materials:

  • Long sleeved, lightweight men's shirt
  • 1/4 inch wide ribbon
  • Seam ripper
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Deconstructing the shirt

1. Deconstruct the shirt

Use a seam ripper to remove the pocket and sleeves. Try to avoid cutting the sleeves off if at all possible.

An easy way to remove them is to seam rip the first few stitches and then pull the thread until the stitches unravel.

Open the sleeve seam in the same way and remove the cuffs.

Cutting and joining ruffles

2. Cut and join the ruffles

Press the sleeves.

Fold the sleeve along its length until it's touching the sleeve placket.

Cut off the points of the sleeve head to keep the edge as straight as possible.

Cutting and joining ruffles

Cut along the fold to separate the two pieces and continue to cut as many strips from the sleeves as you can.

Cutting and joining ruffles

Join the strips together to make two strips of equal length.

Aim to keep the top edge straight by pinning the strips together along the straight line before sewing, then cutting away any extra at the bottom.


Press the seams flat. Finish the edges of all four sides by folding them under twice by 1/4 inch and sewing.

Finish the edges of the armholes in the same way.

Fabric strips

Double check that the width of the two strips at the front are about the same and you have a left and a right strip.

Gathering ruffles

3. Gather the ruffles

Stitch two rows of basting stitches along the top of the strips. Gather the fabric to form the ruffle.

Attaching ruffles

4. Attach the ruffles

Pin the ruffles to the front of the shirt.

Pin the short end of the ruffle along the button placket outside the button.

At the armhole, use a seam as a marker to match both sides.

At the side, measure the remainder of the ruffle and make a note of it for the other side.

Attaching ruffles

Pin the end of the ruffle under the yoke at the back, with half an inch of the ruffle hanging over the armhole.

Pin, following the armhole, until the ruffles are aligned with the front.

Button the front of the shirt and review and adjust accordingly.

Once you're happy, knot the ends of the threads to secure the ruffles.

Attach them with a straight stitch between the two rows of basting stitches.

Attaching ruffles

Sew along the edge stitch line of the button placket to attach the short straight edge of the ruffle.

At the armhole, turn the corner and sew half an inch down the seam. Attach the ruffles to the back in the same way.

Finishing ruffles

5. Finish the off-shoulder ruffles

Measure the unattached ruffles and cut two strips of ribbon to that measurement plus 1 inch.

Turn under a half inch at one end of the ribbon and pin it to one side of the armhole.

Finishing ruffles

Continue pinning the ribbon between the basting threads along the length of the off-shoulder ruffle on the wrong side.

Finishing ruffles

Sew in place along the center of the ribbon with a straight stitch. The ribbon will provide support to the unattached ruffles.

Remove the basting threads.

Men’s shirt refashion: DIY ruffle blouse

Men’s shirt refashion: DIY ruffle blouse

Men’s shirt refashion: DIY ruffle blouse

You can vary this design in several ways, such as making the shirt cropped or adding slits to the side. You could even make the ruffles from a toning or contrasting fabric from another shirt.

Don't be afraid to experiment and please do let me know how you get on or if you have any questions, in the comments below.

Next, check out this Easy Pants Hair Tie Hack or my post on How to Upcycle Cute Ruffle Pants.

Suggested materials:
  • Long sleeved, lightweight men's shirt
  • 1/4 inch wide ribbon
  • Seam ripper
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