DIY · Style · Thrifts

Boy Howdy!

OK, so I wore this project today (I finished sewing it yesterday afternoon). One of my friends, whose little boy is in my son’s preschool class, commented on my shirt this morning, so of course I had to tell her everything about it. Because I’m kind of an open book. I told her it came from the boys’ section and that it would be showing up on the blog today since I just redid it yesterday. She said she was at Gap recently, and she was trying on jeans and the sales guy said, conspiratorially, “You should get your jeans in the little girls’ section – they’re cheaper.” My friend thought it was a little odd, but I told her I totally would do it. Of course, I’m super cheap. (Obviously. I mean, I have posted all my cheapskate thrifting adventures on a blog for the world to see.)

So here’s where it started – a cute chambray-ish oxford shirt, thrifted from the boys’ section. I love the color, and I love that it’s a longer shirt – perfect for layering. But even being a boys’ size, it was not quite right – a little too boxy still – so I set out to make it more fitted. Again, this is another project I would not have attempted a month ago, but I’ve come a long way since starting 31 Days.

So I put the shirt on inside out and buttoned it. (I’m not gonna lie, it’s tricky to button a shirt inside out.) Then I pinched in one side and used chalk to mark it under the arm and at 3 other points along the side. (Blue chalk is hard to see on a blue shirt.)

I took the shirt off and measured the location of these marks to mark the other side in the same places.

Then I used a straight edge to connect the marks. (Connect the dots, la-la-la. Please tell me I’m not the only person who hears that song every time someone says connect the dots.) Obviously, bodies are not very angular, so I made free-hand curves where there were angles, making sure they were the same on both sides. Where the sides meet the sleeves, I was taking in about half an inch, so I continue marking down the sleeve a little bit with a taper. Keeping the taper VERY gradual keeps the sleeve from looking wonky later.

Then I used my sewing machine to stitch it up. I cut away the excess fabric and pressed open the seam. (Yes, I know, I’m an ironing convert now.)

Here’s a before-and-after comparison. Small adjustment, HUGE difference in how it looks.

And I can tuck it in without the extra fabric bunching up. Being able to tailor boys’ (or men’s) shirts is an exciting accomplishment – there’s a whole new world of thrifing possibilities! (Or I could start with Husband’s closet….)


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