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From Business to Bardot

Posted by Hannah Elliman fashion blogger

11th Aug 2015

Lately I have been loving all things Bardot on the high-street. There are so many beautiful off the shoulder tops and dresses. In order to bring a little of the Bardot into my wardrobe, I decided to do a little 'make-do-and-mend' with a men's shirt I bought from Oxfam.


- A slightly oversized shirt*



- Elastic thread

- Sewing Machine

*For this tutorial it is important that the shirt isn't too big on you. If the shirt is far too big then it will be very hard to gather it enough so it sits nicely off your shoulders. The shirt I purchased was only very slightly oversized. 

Step 1


Cut the top section off the shirt.

Step 2


Fold the top of the shirt over twice to conceal the raw edge. I snipped into the fold at both sides (shown in Picture 5) to make it easier to fold the raw edges under the whole way round the top of the shirt.

Step 3

Now it's time for the sewing machine! Wind the elastic thread onto the bobbin by hand. Don't stretch the elastic too much as you wind. Thread the machine with the normal (non-elastic) thread at the top and the elastic thread in the bobbin. Sew over the stitching line you have previously sewn when neatening the raw edges.

Sew with the right side facing up and you will end up with the non-elasticated thread showing on the right side of the fabric. The elastic thread on the inside of your shirt will gather slightly. This effect is known as shirring.

Step 4

Once you have completed one row of stitching move 1cm down and complete another row (still with the elastic thread in the bobbin and the non-elastic thread for the top of the stitch).

Repeat this process 3 more times (so you will have 5 rows of gathered stitching in total). You can unpick buttons if they obstruct a line of stitching.


I then decided to role up the sleeves and shorten the hem of the shirt but if you're happy with the length of you shirt/sleeves then they can be left.

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop


Blog post written by Hannah Elliman

fashion blogger

More by Hannah Elliman