Refashion a Button Up Shirt To Some Shorts/Capris

by Koetiquemade
6 Materials
2 Hours

My husband has a closet full of button up shirts that never see the light of day. It's such a shame. Many of them are in perfect condition and made out of nice, cool fabric. So I asked him If I could take a few and use them for some refashion projects. He was more than happy to purge his closet of all those unworn shirts. So I grabbed a nice gray one I had been eyeing and got to work on making me some long, funky shorts. I'll show you how.

The Pattern

I used the Blank Slate Patters Oceanside Pants in a size medium for this refashion. For reference, my husbands shirt was a 3X tall. I like this pattern because the front and the back are all one piece. It's the same pattern I used in this post here. I also like the pockets. I think they are original and cute. This is a super easy pants pattern that can be made in just a coupe of hours. I'm sure there are similar commercial patterns like this. I don't know of any, but if you have one on hand feel free to use that instead. Or tag one in the comments so others will know.

Pattern Placement and Design Details

I wanted to use the button placket on the front as a design detail down my right leg. I just needed to account for this pleat and the yoke that most button front shirts have in the back. I eneded up using my seam ripper across the back where the pleat and yoke are. Then I smoothed the fabric flat so I could cut it out.

I wanted to utilize the curved hem of the shirt for another design detail. To do that, I made sure that the front and back hems of the shirt were evenly lined up. You can use pins to keep it all in place if needed. Just remember where they are so that you don't accidentally use your fabric scissors on them and ruin them.

I folded the pattern in half to crease it. Then I made sure that crease was lined up with the button placket. That way it would go straight down the side of my leg. If I used the grainline arrow on the pattern, the placket wouldn't have gone straight down the side of my leg. I also made sure to place the pattern on the shirt below the area I had used the seam ripper on. Once I was satisfied, I pinned the pattern on the shirt so that it wouldn't shift when I cut it out.

More Details

Since I used most of the body of the shirt for the shorts, I used the shirt sleeves to make these pockets and a small drawstring that are included with this pants pattern. Then I sewed it all together per the directions. I used two of the sleeve buttons on the pockets.

The shirt I'm wearing above is also from Blank Slate. It's the Rivage Raglan.

Unique Placket and Curved Hem

This is what the button placket looked like on my right leg. I love the look of the cute placket detail! I did end up sewing down the placket to prevent any "wardrobe malfunctions." There's no chance of a button opening now.

The polka dot shirt I'm wearing with these shorts is the Blanc tee which is a free pattern you get with any pattern purchased from Blank Slate Patterns.

Using the origonal shirt hem worked out really nice too. I always groan when it's time to hem my garment. Not only did this save me time because I didn't have to hem, but I liked the way the curved hemline looked. Of course you don't have to do this. You could absolutely cut these off to a shorter length. I just happen to really like the longer length.

So there you have it. Some shorts made out of my husbands button up shirt. I want to say it took a little over 1 hour to complete. It was such a fast and fun make. My husband loved that I used his shirt to do this. Every time I wear these I always have someone say they love my shorts and ask me where I got them. It's super fun to say, "Thanks, I made them."

Thank you for reading!

The Oceanside Pants

I am and affiliate for Blanks Slate Patterns. The links in this post do not cost extra to use, they just help me earn a small percentage to help with creative costs.

The Oceanside Pants or Shorts are an easy drawstring pant that can go from beachcomber casual to even be used as pajamas. Sew them in linen for a classic summer look or soft cotton for lounging around the house. With only 3 pattern pieces, you can whip these up in no time at all. 


  • Suitable for woven fabric
  • Pants or shorts length
  • Drawstring waist with elastic
  • Patch Pockets


Women's XXS-3X (hips 33-55")


  • 13 pages of instructions with illustrations and fitting tips
  • 29 pages of printable pattern pieces (17 for shorts, 29 for pants) and a copy shop file with pages formatted for 36" wide or A0 size

Instant Download This is a PDF Sewing pattern - you will only receive links to download the pattern to print at home. Nothing will be mailed to you unless you choose to add a large format print, in which case a 36 inch wide sheet with the pattern pieces printed on it will be shipped to you; you will still need to refer to the PDF for the instructions. 

All Blank Slate Patterns print on both US and A4 paper and include standard and metric measurements.

Suggested materials:
  • Pants panttern   (
  • BIG button front shirt   (Thrift store or your closet)
  • Scissors
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
3 of 18 comments
  • Janice Janice on Apr 15, 2022

    So cute! Thanks for sharing!

  • Paul Selk Paul Selk on May 08, 2022

    I love how your shorts turned out. Could you tell me what size you were able to make the shorts using a 3X men's shirt? Is that the largest size possible to create from a 3X? Thanks :)