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DIY: Sleeveless Shirt

Posted by Rose Jollands fashion blogger

29th Jul 2016

Upcycling extends the life of clothes, could be virtually free and adds a style unique to you - so why not give it a try?


  • a favourite summer shirt
  • some scraps of fabric

The stitching can be done by hand if you don't have a sewing machine. Decorating a garment can be as neat or as quick as you like, so rustle something up for tonight's party or embellish a treasured vintage item.

We start with a typical cotton summer shirt/blouse that isn't stretch fit so you can decorate it without altering how it's worn.

Cut the sleeves off - if you leave the seams it gives some structure….

Choose some scraps of fabric that you like with the top, pieces off other garments are often useful here too. Some fabrics fray more than others. Cottons are very easy to sew whereas some knits and fabrics with elastane content can be tricky to sew on a machine so hand sewing may be a better option with these.

Cut the fabrics into strips and decide where you want them. Here contrast threads and a zig-zag stitch add decoration. The first line of sewing is down the centre and secures it, further lines can be added as shown.

The strips can be any width and quite small pieces can be used  overlaid. 

If you want to make the collar bigger, cut an extra wide piece, fold in two and apply under the collar, sew down avoiding the often thick edge seam on the garment.

Fold at corner… for a neat look, tack into place by hand first.

Here's how this one came out and some others we made earlier for our Oxfam shop.

Good luck!

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Blog post written by Rose Jollands

fashion blogger

More by Rose Jollands