DIY Don’t: Upcycled Mens Shirt Top

I have a dream.

An insane dream to one day be able to upcycle (read: converting useless/old material into something cool & fresh) old clothes into awesome trendy pieces…and yet, EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to enact this plan, I fail miserably and comically.

This isn’t an exaggeration. I may be good at some DIY projects, but my sewing machine hates my guts.  If my life were an animated movie, it would be the bad guy & would probably have an ominous smoker’s voice.

Like this, but evil.

Like this, but evil.

But alas, I am a fool.

I’m obsessed with the idea of denim button up/oxford shirts that are literally EVERYWHERE and look fantastic in a variety of outfits. While perusing my local Goodwill, I found an old denim men’s shirt, which I thought would be PERFECT in fulfilling my desire for denim and my upcycling DIY dream.

Not too shabby! I'm imagining that it belonged to an old construction worker.

Not too shabby! I’m imagining that it belonged to an old construction worker.

The sleeves were too baggy and the shirt was a tad too large in general to just wear normally, so the Mens Shirt –> to Sleeveless Top transformation began! I feel optimistic, like the fairy godmother of bad clothes!


(If you squint, you can kind of see a slight ombre effect to the shirt–another upcycle that failed miserably)

You’ll need: scissors, pins, a sewing machine, an oversized shirt (duh), and a sleeveless top that fits you well, a better attitude than I had


Line up the top with the mens shirt and trace a new outline, being sure to cut seam allowances–something I ignored. Foolishly.

So then just sew it up! You’ll be fine. Also make sure to size it correctly…another cough mistake cough.

This is where my issue came. Once it had been sewed and finished, I realized that there was just something weird about the sleeves that made the entire shirt look like something out of a very butch lesbian’s closet.

No comment.

No comment.

Maybe sleeveless button downs are just not a good idea. Maybe they resemble denim Mom vests too much. Maybe I should stop fooling myself about upcycle projects.

With normal clothes, my new shirt isn’t too horrible, but I highly doubt it’s wearable “on the outside.” Sigh. Anyone want a free, moderately well-tailored shirt with…interesting sleeves?

Catchphrase #743: Red lipstick fixes everything!

Catchphrase #743: Red lipstick fixes everything!

But really.