Re-Fashioning: Men’s Shirt to Women’s

I found this the other day op-shopping-  $8.50 for a new men’s shirt.   It still has threads at the edges of the cuffs, which would have disappeared with wear.   I shop for thrifted shirts with my fingertips first, searching out the nicest cotton, then I find a pleasing pattern as well as a shirt with plenty of buttons.  This one has very nice cuffs.

I need some help on the shirt front. (har)  Since the sun came out in force, I like to throw on one of my Husband’s long-sleeved shirts for sun cover.  Heavenly.  He gets cranky about that, both me wearing his nice shirts and also the aesthetic of me in a man shirt with trousers.  Apparently I’m a little more androgynous-vintage lately than intended.

The goal: re-fashion some men’s shirts (thrifted, not stolen from my Husband) into shirts I can comfortably (and stylishly) wear out and about.  I must insist on long sleeves, having discovered how much better I feel covered up from the sun.


JezzePrints in South Africa
I found a series of shirts re-fashioned as well as discovering the Wardrobe Refashion site.  I found a cap-sleeve shirt from a men’s shirt, and a great re-fashion tutorial.  When searching for a WW2 era re-fashion, I revisited Susannah’s frustrating experience with Simplicity.
I even found a re-fashion into a pencil skirt:
(Burdastyle– I’m sure it looks fantastic if you’re a pencil shape, I dare not dream.)

And the icing on the Men’s Shirt Re-fashioning cake:

(Ma Chemise d’Homme, you want to check this out.  This is the tip of the iceberg.)
Plenty of great ideas, some of which I might work from later- but no long sleeves!  I decided to re-fashion using Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing blouse.  

I’m re-using the original collar and making long sleeves with a dart-fitted cap from Advance 2599.  I’m a little unsure how some of my alteration and recon tactics might come out, here’s a peek:

Finished shirt (and pattern layout pictures) soon!


  1. Ooh, can't wait! I've been giving this concept some thought lately, so I'm extra excited to see how your efforts turn out! Good luck!

  2. One of my favourite things to do when I first started sewing was to recon thrifted mens shirts into womens shirts. I have yet to have any success, but it makes for a fun afternoon and really helps build your sewing skills. I came across one men's shirt conversion that looks cute and keeps the sleeves, if you're interested. can't wait to see how yours turns out!

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