To avoid the toy section at Target with my toddler, I slid past a men’s clearance rack. This denim shirt was an extra small for only $6. The frayed edges were what caught my eye but the price tag sold me. It was bound for a refashion project.
While the fit of the shirt wasn’t bad as-is, it was definitely cut for a man. It just needed a few adjustments to become a lightweight, cropped denim jacket.
Here are the steps I took to create this denim shirt refashion. This method can be applied to any men’s shirt to create a more feminine fit.
Denim Shirt Deconstruction
Remove the sleeves and collar leaf from the body of the shirt with a seam ripper.
Remove the cuffs from the sleeves and set aside.
Adjust the Shoulders
Mark the point on the shoulder where you would like the new shoulder seam to be. Cut from that point to the existing armpit.
With the shirt body inside-out and the sleeve right-side out, slide the sleeve into the arm hole. Line up the edges and pin. Baste stitch the sleeve in place temporarily. Test out the new fit and make any adjustments needed. Finalize by sewing the sleeve on your sewing machine or serger .
Adjust the Sleeve Length
Decide on the desired length of the sleeve. I went with a bracelet sleeve length. Cut off the excess length. Mark the new width of the sleeve hole to match the sleeve cuff. Cut the existing seam from the armpit to the wrist. Sew the arm back together.
Sew the cuff back onto the sleeve.
Adjust the Shirt Length
I loved the curve and frayed edge of the original shirt and wanted to mimic that same style in the new denim jacket.
On a piece of paper I traced the curve of the original shirt. I decided how long the new denim jacket should be, traced the curve onto the shirt, and cut away the excess.
I straight stitched two lines 1/4″ apart like the original and left a 1/2″ seam allowance for fraying.
Sew the collar band back together with the seam allowance exposed for fraying.
Fray the collar and bottom edge of the shirt. A seam ripper and tweezers work great for fraying denim. The frayed edges will look better with every wash.
This denim shirt to cropped jacket is another men’s shirt refashion success in my closet.
It’s great for layering on those cool spring mornings and will be rocked with boots in the fall.
Did you try this denim shirt refashion? Leave a comment below and send me pics so I can see your creations.