UPCYCLE: Button Down Shirt into a Strapless Top

July 11, 2017By Angela WolfSewing, Tips & Tricks, Upcycling 11 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

It’s time for another Upcycle project! As we roll into summer, one of the hottest trends is the shoulder baring strapless top. Here’s an easy way to transform a button-down shirt into this stylish look.

Strapless top - complete 100-2

Machine used:

DreamWeaver® XE VM6200D

Materials and Supplies:

  • button-down shirt or blouse
  • 1” wide bias tape
  • ¾” wide elastic
  • all-purpose polyester thread
  • scissors
  • quilters ruler
  • fabric marking pen
  • pins
  • safety pin
  •  

    1. Start by try on the top and measuring where you would like top of the strapless to land on your body. Place a mark at the center front of the top.

    Buttondown shirt-before pic 15

    1. Lay the shirt down flat and use a quilters ruler to draw a line across the front of the garment, starting at the mark you measured and extend parallel across the top of the shirt.

    ButtodownTop Pic 20 - measuring with ruler
    Buttondown pic 42 measureing with ruler
    buttondown - pic 22 - marking where to cut

    1. At the armscye seam, measure from the shoulder to the marking you drew across the shirt. In my case it’s about 4 inches from the shoulder to the marking of where I want my strapless top to go.

    buttondown - 4 inches down from shoulder pic 21

    1. Place a mark along the outside edge of the sleeve, the same distance from the shoulder down – in my case 4 inches. Draw the line extending from the shirt across the sleeve as shown. Add a ¼” seam allowance to the entire line.

    buttondown - pic 23 - marking shoulder

    1. Cut across the line for the seam allowance.

    Buttondown - 43 - cutting to strapless top
    buttondown -44-Cut across the line for the seam allowance
    buttondown -45-Cut across the line for the seam allowance

    1. Stitch or baste the center front opening closed.

    Strapless top -60- Stitch or baste the center front opening closed

    1. Starting at the center back, pin the bias tape to the shirt, right sides together, lining them up at the cut edge.

    Strapless Top - 47 - adding bias tape
    Strapless top-68-Starting at the center back, with right sides together pin the bias tape to the cut edge

    1. Continue to pin all the way around the top as shown.

    Strapless top-48-Continue to pin all the way around the top as shown

    1. When you get to the back where you started pinning, overlap the bias tape by about 1”.

    strapless top - 49- When you get to the back where you started pinning, overlap the bias tape by about 1”

    1. Stitch along the folded edge of the bias tape as shown.

    Strapless top - 50- Stitch along the folded edge of the bias tape as shown
    Strapless top-52-Stitch along the folded edge of the bias tape as shown
    Strapless top - 53 - sewing bias tape

    1. Turn the bias tape toward the inside of the garment, press, and stitch. You may choose to place a few pins to hold the bias tape in place as you stitch.

    Strapless Top - 54 - Bias tape sewn
    Strapless top -58- stitch bias tape down
    Strapless Top-55-Turn the bias tape toward the inside of the garment, press and stitch

    1. When you get to area with the bias tape overlaps, stop stitching in order to leave enough room to feed the elastic into it.

    Strapless top - 59 - leave enough room to feed the elastic into bias tape

    1. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic.

    strapless top - 70- Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic

    1. Insert the elastic into the back opening of the bias tape.

    strapless top -71-Insert the elastic into the back opening of the bias tape

    1. Feed the elastic through the casing along the entire top edge.

    Strapless top-72-Feed the elastic through the casing along the entire top edge
    Strapless top-73-Feed the elastic through the casing along the entire top edge
    Strapless top-75-Feed the elastic through the casing along the entire top edge

    1. Tighten the elastic as much as needed to keep the top on your shoulders. You might want to try on the top and double check the fit, tighten or loosen the elastic as needed. Overlap the elastic, and stitch with a zigzag stitch to secure together.

    Strapless top -62- Overlap the elastic, and stitch with a zigzag stitch to secure together
    strapless top - 63-Overlap the elastic, and stitch with a zigzag stitch to secure together

    1. Close the bias opening in the back and stitch.

    Strapless top-64-Close the bias opening in the back and stitch
    Strapless top-65-Close the bias opening in the back and stitch
    Straplesstop-66-Close the bias opening in the back and stitch
    Strapless top-67-Close the bias opening in the back and stitch
    inside strapless top pic 100-5
    strapless top - 100-1 - closeup

    That’s it! What an easy way to transform a basic button-down shirt into a stylish and feminine top! What do you think, are you going to try this? I am definitely using this top as a swimsuit cover up for summer. Want to extend its usefulness into early fall? Add a simple couched scarf (we’ve got a project for that too!)

    😊 Be sure to share your photos, I would love to see what you’re working on! Tag us at #StitchingSewcial, @brothersews and #angelawolf.

    Cheers,
    Angela
    angelas-sig

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    11 Comments

      • Hi S klingler –

        Your wish – is coming. 🙂 Angela happens to have this shirt with her while she’s at a fishing tournament and will send me a photo soon that I will add to this post (at the end!) Thank you for this suggestion/request!
        Come again to Stitching Sewcial!

        Happy Sewing,
        Kimberli

    • Love this idea. Great way to recycle clothes. I would also cut the sleeves short and put elastic in them rather than have long sleeves in hot weather. Love this idea. For my little girl, I would cut skirts off dresses and sew them to tank tops. Made great summer outfits.

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