This summer, I’m a bit obsessed with DIY projects using men’s dress shirts. And armed with my chosen go-to book Koko Yamase’s Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew book, I continue to learn about woven fabric, fashion upcycling, as well as challenge myself more and more (sometimes incidentally) in sewing, albeit I’m very sloooooowwwww in sewing. Patience is virtue, I guess.

I asked Chris for some dress shirts he doesn’t want anymore, and one of the shirts he gave me was this light blue striped dress shirt that’s just begging for some upcycling. Well, perhaps the shirt wanted to be worn as a dress and we could’ve called it a day, but I chose a different (and harder) route :)

For the first DIY project, I did this quite a while back but didn’t have the chance to share until now. I didn’t take any pictures while it was in-progress, so sorry for the lack of explanation. In summary, you take off both sleeves of the men’s dress shirt, cut off the collar, separate the sides, and get rid of the back part from the shoulder blades down. From there, use tassle-like trims (I got mine from Jo-Ann) and sew them by the button holes at the front, and then sew the sides shut, keeping ample opening for your arms.

Now, find some wall in your apartment and ask someone to take pictures of you :) Et voila!

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This light cardigan is long at the back and short at the back, as you can see above. I find it best to keep the look simple; with just a tank top and either skinny, straight, or boot cut jeans (no flare). I wore it to work on the next day I finished this cardigan, and I got initial puzzled looks followed by compliments! It’s from Koko Yamase’s Kakkoii Couture Remake book, page 45 and 47.

Now what do you do with the left-over sleeves? Well, again I asked Chris for a white T-shirt he doesn’t want anymore (poor Chris, I’m slowly draining his wardrobe) and he gave me this white V-neck tee.

The how-to is now published! The concept is simple: take off the arms of the T-shirt and attach the men’s dress shirt’s sleeves. The book suggests finishing the sleeves with elastic gathering at the end, but I opted for orange bias tape that’s peeking from the inside. Definitely more of an orange, white, and blue state of mind for me. Go SF Giants!

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I find this top to be very relaxed and versatile for summer, and I can dress up or down with this top, thanks to the dress shirt sleeves. The above shorts and wedge heels combo (or sandals) can work, but I will experiment wearing it with straight pants and one of my sleeveless blazers too. Can’t wait! This project is from Koko Yamase’s Kakkoii Couture Remake book, page 43 and 68.

Until next time,

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