Maternity ‘Pirate’ Top – Mens shirt upcycle – Tutorial

OK,  as promised a TUTORIAL for my men’s shirt upcycle 🙂 I’ve made this as a maternity piece but it could of course suit the un-pregnant ladies out there who are best served by an empire line for whatever reason…

OK start with a men’s shirt – the bigger the better:
Unpick the pocket:
Draw the shape of the neckline you want, and decide on a sleeve length:
Add a GENEROUS hem allowance as you’re going to have to make your elastic casing from it.

Making the Ruffle Trim
You can of course buy ruffled lace… I suggest you do that… I didn’t.
I don’t really think you should do what I did, but I wanted a ‘rough’ edge as I did make this as a pirate costume… honestly!… So I got some interesting lace-type fabric:

And yea, I shredded into just over 2 inch lengths

I sewed all the lengths together…

And this is how you ruffle using a sewing machine, loose stitch tension, long stitch length, straight stitch… and GOOOOO…

sew it along the edge of your hems (right side facing) using about 1/2 of your seam allowance…

You end up with something looks like this….

Now you need to turn the edges to your actual seam allowance, press and topstitch.

So you’ve got this big ole hem allowance, you need to make a elastic casing out of it. For the sleeves you’re going to have to make a cut up to your topsitiching, like this (I did it in the armpit).

Now across all edges you’re going to make another line of stitching. big enough to accommodate your elastic, the stitching needs to sew your seam allowance to your garment. from the outside it should look like this:

You need to thread your elastic though the casing you’ve made (if you need help look here) sew or tie the ends of your elastic together at the sleeves, and sew your elastic in place to secure it along your collar and you’re done!

How tight the elastic is is really up to you, some people might prefer it tighter than others… ‘try it on’ for size before you sew it into the top.

And there you go!

As always, please copy, please change, please show me what you made, but don’t pretend it was your idea, that’s just wrong 🙂


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