Have you seen the various ways people are recycling/upcycling men’s dress shirts these days? I can’t take the credit for this idea, but I thought I would show you how I went about using this idea to make some boys shirts for my grandsons and nephews. Probably the best thing about doing these shirts is reincorporating the labels from the original shirts. You can make your boy a Tommy Hilfiger, or a Pinpoint Oxford shirt for spare change if you check out the thrift stores for these gems.
The original tutorial is great (see previous link), so I won’t go too deeply into the sewing details. These are just so fun to do (I’ve made 5 so far) that I wanted to share the ones I have made with you and how I went about it.
Here are three of the shirts before they have been downsized.
I start the process by taking apart the shirts at the seams. Many of them can be seam ripped quite easily. I have only had one that was practically impossible to dissect. That one I had to cut apart. Depending on the size of boy’s shirt you are making, you can cut the shirts apart at the seams, but if you are making a large boy’s shirt, you will probably need all the fabric you can to work with and so, therefore, I seam ripped.
I used the pattern below, as a loose guide only, and cut the pieces out of the existing shirt pieces. This is the best part, because you can incorporate all the “pre-made” button holes and some buttons into the finished pattern pieces. Another thing I did was to slope up the sides of the pattern so that the shirt would be worn, like the original, tucked in.
If the original men’s shirt has a pocket on it, you will need to seam rip the pocket off, downsize it, then reposition it over the new pattern piece. (see above) Also, make sure that any “finished” edges you incorporate into the new shirt are accounted for in the pattern cutting stage. Don’t line the edge of the pattern up on the finished edge. Since the edge is finished (see the button band above) you will need to move the pattern piece over to where the seam allowance portion of that pattern piece is hanging over the finished edge.
Here are the finished results. If you have any questions, drop me a line or leave me a comment.