A new blouse from an old men’s shirt

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I'm on a clothing repurposing kick at the moment and finally made something for myself. Here's a new shirt for me from a lightweight button-down men's shirt. I found the tutorial here at Jezze via whip up. Basically you cut off the collar and the sleeves, make a big pleat in the back and some little ones in the front to gather in the material to fit your frame, and add elastic at the sleeves.


I may make some more for this summer of the growing belly –Â there's plenty of room in these large men's shirts and they're better for protecting my skin than the tank tops I usually wear all summer. Also, IÂ love how they look — kind of old fashioned — and can wear them after the pregnancy.


I followed Jesse's instructions for the most part but used six pleats in the front instead of four, making the pleats shorter because of the pocket. And in the back I sewed the back pleat down the entire way, rather than just at the very bottom. Also I squared off the bottom of the shirt because I like that look better than the tails in the front and back.

Other things I've been doing lately — eating yummy chocolate some friends sent me, making carrot cake cookies, trying to eat healthy despite the above two items, and gardening in short spurts (I'm getting tired much quicker than I usually do).

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  1. says

    It looks fantastic! I was skeptical when I read the title, but it is so sweet! I love the pleats in the front and the way you took the back pleat all the way down. It will be a very flattering maternity shirt.
    And I don’t remember seeing a picture of you on here before – you are very pretty!

  2. Amanda says

    thanks for sharing Jean! You look great! I think I’m going to have to try this as I will soon have a postpartum tummy to hide this summer!

  3. says

    Man, I wish I could sew! That is adorable. And how perfect that you’re cutting off the collar of the men’s shirts–that’s the part that always gets stained or refuses to lay flat after awhile. Nice job. And you look great in it too!

  4. Kathie says

    Love it. I have some old shirts I have been gathering thinking there must be something else I can do with them. What a great idea.

  5. says

    Perfect timing! I have one of my husband’s work shirts up on my dress form right now that needs to be turned into a dress in the next few weeks – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. says

    This is brilliant and looks fabulous on you! Wish I’d found these instructions before I was past my due date, LOL. I may make some non-maternity ones though… nice for that time post baby when nothing seems to fit right.

  7. says

    You did such a nice job with this. I am not usually a fan of men’s shirts repurposed as women’s clothing, but you have changed my mind. Thanks!