Monday, February 27, 2012

Upcycled Men's Shirt #8 (or maybe 9)

Another in the upcycled men's shirt series. For more upcycled men's shirts, vests, suit jackets and ties, go here. The major experiment with this shirt was an airy wire collar, but some other nice surprises happened along the way.

Finished shirt: airy wired collar, assymetrical front, ad hoc cuffs, vintage buttons

The first thing I usually do with a man's shirt is pick out the collar. Sometimes after picking out the collar I just restitch the neckband without any collar. This time I inserted a new collar with a twist.

Carefully pick out the stitching at the neck and remove the collar

Next steps in deconstructing this shirt:
• Cut the sleeves off just below the elbow.
• Taking the two sleeve remnants, cut off the cuffs and set aside. Open up remaining fabric from sleeve remnants and stitch together, forming a flimsy new collar piece. Using 32 gauge wire, roll the edge of the new collar around the wire and stitch in place. Insert new collar into neck opening and stitch closed.

Use 32-gauge wire from the hardware store. You can cut it with regular scissors.

New, airy, wired collar that can be bent into various shapes

The next step is to take those discarded cuffs and repin them on the the shirt sleeves. We're not regathering the sleeve into the cuff, just placing the cuff atop the sleeve, leaving about 3/4 of an inch of sleeve fabric below. You will then roll that fabric up and over the cuff forming a visible outer hem.  These relocated cuffs should be centered on the front of the sleeve and will probably go about half-way to three-quarters of the way around the sleeve.

Cuffs on front of sleeves. Note rolled hem of sleeve now covering raw edge of cuff

Now about that original collar. The next step was to cut one side of the shirt front shorter, making it asymmetrical. The original collar is used to finish the new edge, and the weight of the original collar and stiffness of its facing makes the shirt hang nicely. Note that the collar was so long that I ended up clipping off the far left edge of the collar that disappears behind the back of the shirt. 

Collar used as finishing edge of left shirt front.


  1. Funny you should say that. I was going to add "Ignore the fish" on the first caption but forgot. Those hanging fish are everywhere.

  2. Love your stuff!!! Especially the wire collar and cuffs.
    I'm busy in my hubbys closet!

    1. Thanks - working with wire is fun and so far it has held up through many a machine wash.


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