Hello, my dear sewing soul mates! In this DIY Vintage Shirt Refashion tutorial, I will show you how to quickly and easily transform an old shirt into a cute, peplum blouse.
I am very excited to finally make an upcycle/refashion project. Here in Norway, people are very aware of the importance of recycling and I see initiatives to recycle clothes popping up all around me, so why not recycle something from my own closet?
Upcycling your old clothes or second-hand clothes is not just an excellent way to save money. It also contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and energy needed for manufacturing and transport. The list goes on. You get me. 🙂
This project is also quite personal for me. I wanted to learn how to sew for a VERY long time now. I didn’t even realize how long I dreamt about it until I opened my old closet in my mom’s house and saw a blouse which was laying there for almost 10 years now. When I was a student, I used to buy most of my clothes in second-hand stores to save my money. Sometimes, I would come across amazing items which, unfortunately, wouldn’t fit me. Instead of giving them up, I bought some of them and stored them away in hope that one day I’d learn how to sew and make them fit me.
This blouse is one such item. I looooved the material and the vintage look it had. The fit – horrid.
I am so glad that I finally went for it and bought my first sewing machine last summer. The whole project, from start to finish, took me approximately 2 hours to complete and the blouse is one of my favorite things to wear now.
If you have an oversized shirt sitting somewhere in your closet, this is the time to take it out and fix it. You don’t have to wait for 10 years the way I did.
Step 1 – Check the fit
Put on your shirt on the left side. This will make it easy to mark the desired changes.
I wanted to make a peplum shirt, so I first marked my natural waist on the side seam.
Then, I took pins and pinned the excess fabric on both sides.
The material of my blouse was quite stretchy, so I could easily mark two darts at the back and bust darts at the front.
The sleeves were too big. I marked the point where I wanted my armpit seam to be.
Step 2 – Draw the marks carefully
Put chalk marks in place of our pins, but keep in mind the need to add 1,5 cm seam allowance.
For example, draw the line 1,5 cm below where you marked your natural waist. This way, when you attach the peplum to the bodice, it will sit perfectly on your waistline.
Make sure that your front darts and back darts are the same hight and that they are equal distance apart from center back and center front.
Draw new side seam and armpit seam.
Step 3 – Cut
First, cut off the bottom part of the shirt and put it aside. This will later become the peplum part.
Next, cut off the sleeves and remove the old seam.
Lastly, cut off the excess fabric from the side seams.
Step 4 – The bodice
First, sew the front and back darts. Press them away from the center.
Next, pin the front and back bodice right sides together. Sew it together at the side seams.
Step 5 – Gathering
Run a row of gathering stitch across the top edge of the bottom bodice you cut off in step 3.
Do the same on the top edge of each sleeve. This will help you ease it into the smaller armholes and create a little puff at the top.
Step 6 – Attaching the peplum
Pin the bottom and top bodice right sides together at the center. Slightly gather the bottom part to fit make it the same length as the top bodice. Distribute the gathers as evenly as possible. I didn’t have so much material to play with unfortunately and my peplum came out a bit too… modest. For that reason, instead of gathering it evenly I chose to focus my gathers at the back and the center of each front bodice half. I didn’t put many gathers on the side of the blouse.
Step 7 – Attaching the sleeves
Turn your blouse inside out and your sleeve right side out. Pull on the gathering stitches slightly to gather the sleeve. Insert the sleeve into the armhole and adjust the size of the sleeve. Pin in place and sew the sleeves to the armholes.
There! You’re done! 🙂
Did you like this tutorial? Did you find it useful? I would love to hear from you!
Let me know in the comments below if you would like me to show you more upcycle projects.