How to create a DIY Shirred Top From A Man's Shirt
Express your personal style by learning how to upcycle a man's shirt and turn it into a DIY shirred top
With a few simple upcycling techniques, you can transform old pieces of clothing into bespoke items that breathe new life into your wardrobe. It’s a simple and affordable way not only to reinvent a piece from years gone by but, in doing so, express your personal style by creating something that’s unique to you.
Elisalex is the founder of By Hand London (@byhandlondon), an independent sewing label that celebrates individual style. In her online course, she guides you through the process of how to create made-to-measure garments from scratch. If you’re new to the world of craft, this tutorial is a great place to start as she teaches you how to use an existing garment to make a new one in just a few simple steps.
1. Lay out your shirt and cut off the fabric underneath the collar
Start by laying out your shirt and cutting the fabric underneath the collar. To do so, follow the yoke seam—the part at the back where the upper section of the shirt meets the rest of the body. Elisalex recommends using a pair of sharp fabric scissors and keeping the collar once you’re finished for a future project.
2. Neaten the edge with a zigzag stitch or overlocker
To neaten the raw edge of your fabric, you can either use an overlocker like Elisalex or a zigzag stitch on a regular sewing machine to stop fraying. If you opt for a sewing machine, make sure your zigzag overcasts the raw edge to keep it secure.
3. Hem the neckline
Step three is to hem the neckline. Using an iron on the appropriate setting according to your fabric, press the overlocked or zigzagged edge to the inside, ready to be stitched down. Secure it in place using a basic straight stitch, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end.
4. Sew in several rows of shirring elastic
Sew a few rows of shirring elastic all the way around the neckline. Start by loading your bobbin full of shirring elastic and adjusting the settings on your sewing machine before creating the first row. Next, align the edge of your sewing machine foot with the first line of stitching so that you create parallel straight rows of shirring.
Stretch your fabric gently as you sew to avoid your stitches bunching up, and stitch at least three rows of shirring so that your elastic is nice and strong.
Last but not least, trim any loose threads and your garment is finished!
Did you like this tutorial? Check out Elisalex’s course, Dressmaking: Draft and Sew a Shirred Dress, and learn to put your newfound skills into practice to create more clothing items.
You might also be interested in:
1. Learn an alternative method for upcycling your clothing in this course: Upcycling with Crochet for Beginners.
2. Make your own garments and accessories from scratch alongside leading experts in fashion with these 9 Beginner-Friendly Fashion Courses for Making Your Own Clothing.
3. Explore the art of crochet upcycling with these tips, ideas, and examples for beginners.
4. See all of Domestika's pattern and dressmaking courses.
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