The Button Up Refashion Swap


So a few weeks ago I got an email from Miranda of One Little Minute asking if I would be interested in participating in a refashion swap with some other lovely ladies in which we would refashion the classic button down shirt into something new for another participant. Well you know how many refashions I do here (umm I’ve literally never done one before) so of course I said yes! Today we are all posting tutorials on how to make our refashions and next week we’ll be showing off the tops that were made for us.

For the making part of the swap I was paired with Miranda. Her style description was ‘classic with a twist’ and the colors she included were pretty great, neon orange, navy, peach, chartreuse! We all know that I never say no to color so this part was particularly exciting for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a top in any of those colors but I thought this seafoam green fit in with her palette pretty well. I wanted to make the top really fun since if there’s one thing that you can take from her blog it’s that she is always having an excellent time doing whatever she’s doing, I mean this is a girl who ran a 5K in a tie dyed American flag unitard. I made a scalloped hem for a little bit of cute but then echoed the scallops at the front yoke in the form of cutouts to add a little bit of an edge to the top.  When I tried the shirt on to make sure it was wearable it was pretty cute with the color of my tank peeping out of the cutouts! This was definitely a challenge for me, I’ve literally never refashioned anything before that I can remember (Luke agrees, he can’t remember me ever doing this in the 10 years we’ve been together) and I was (and still am) terrified that she’ll hate the top! Anyway, hope you like it Miranda and to everyone else, if you like it you can find the tutorial below! Also check out the refashions of the other super cool ladies involved in the swap!

Jennifer of Grainline Studio
Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Liz of Cotton & Curls
Megan of Megan Nielsen Designs
Melissa of I Still Love You
Miranda of One Little Minute
Miriam of MadMim
Kate of See Kate Sew
Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking


Step 1 : Detach your sleeves and set them aside, we’ll need them later.


Step 2 : Take out the side seams and press flat. You may need to take out a bit of the hem to get things to lay flat.


Step 3 : Mark the new bust measurement plus seam allowance and blend to the hem. Stitch along the new sideseam and trim excess.



Step 4 : Trace the piece that you cut off onto the other side of the shirt. Sew the new side seam and trim excess.



Step 5 : Finish edges with a zig zag stitch or serger. Press seam to back and topstitch stitch 1/4″ from seamline.



Step 6 : Mark new shoulder line and trim away excess, then transfer new shoulder line to the other side of the shirt by tracing the cut off excess. Trim.



Step 7 : Cut one of the sleeves into 1″ bias pieces to finish the armholes. You can refer to this tutorial for detailed instructions on how I bound the sleeves or use your preferred method.


Step 8 : Lay the top out folded on CB with CF’s meeting and draw out your new hemline, shorter in front and longer in back. Make sure that the hemline meets both CF and CB squarely. Cut.




Step 9 : Trace the hem of the top onto paper and mark out your scallops, make your facing about one scallop longer at CF than you need. Mine are 2.5″ x 1.5″. Add 1/4″ seam allowance to the bottom of the scallops, 1/2 to the center back and add 1″ on top of the high points of the scallops. Cut this template out.



Step 10 : Cut two scalloped pieces from the other sleeve and join together at CB.



Step 11 : Pin scallop facing to right side of shirt hem. At CF wrap the extra scallop along to the other side of the shirt. Sew along the scallops at 1/4″ seam allowance as we marked on the facing pattern.




Step 12 : Clip and notch scallops as shown.




Step 13 : Turn scallops right side out and press. Turn under seam allowance at raw edge and sew the hem. You can use a blind hem foot for this or just sew it by hand.




Step 14 : Trace a scallop centered under each side of the front yoke. Take apart the stitching holding the yoke to the front of the shirt and cut out the scallop shape.





Step 15 : Bind the edges of the scallop cutout with the extra bias binding from the sleeve.


Step 16 : Sew the two layers of the yoke back together and you’re done!


Here’s the schedule for next week when we’ll all be posting the refashions that were made for us!

Monday, May 21st: Lizzie of Cotton & Curls, Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Tuesday, May 22nd: Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch, Kate of See Kate Sew
Wednesday, May 23rd: Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking, Miranda of  One Little Minute
Thursday, May 24th:Miriam of  MadMim, Melissa of  I Still Love You
Friday, May 25th: Megan of Megan Nielsen Design, Jennifer of Grainline Studio

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39 Responses to The Button Up Refashion Swap

  1. Miranda says:

    Are you kidding?! I absolutely love it! I’m floored by the scallop detail, and the cutouts are so fun! I’ve tried (unsuccessfully, so far) to scallop the hems on a couple things. I’ll definitely be putting your tutorial to good use!!

    • jen | grainline says:

      I was so nervous working on this for fear it wouldn’t be your thing…glad you like it at first glance. It’s arrival will be the true test!!

      • Miranda says:

        haha, I got a package in the mail today and was so so excited… It was zippers. womp, womp. (I mean, I love zippers, and packages of all types are fun mail, but, I was all ready to get my hands on this baby!) I’ll let you know when I see it!

        • jen | grainline says:

          Gah, I hate when that happens!!! I think it should be there tomorrow (at least according to the estimated delivery date on my receipt) or Saturday if the USPS decides to take it’s sweet time delivering.

  2. Paunnet says:

    Oh my gosh! I would be thrilled to receive this top, I’m sure she’ll be excited!
    It goes straight to my to-do list!

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thanks Anna! It was super easy to do too. Scallops get a bad rap but they’re really not so bad!

  3. Sky Turtle says:

    I love this! The scoops, the scallops (I’ve been dying to try them but wasn’t brave enough to go for a skirt or shorts), the colour!
    I have just recently sent a button down shirt to the revamping pile and was thinking what I could turn it into. I have already cut the sleeves off (to make sure I don’t put it back in the closet:) and was thinking to turn it into a spaghetti strap tank top, but this is just wonderful!
    Love the idea of the projects as well!

  4. Super fun, love the scallops! And that nice lightweight cotton.

  5. michael ann says:

    oh this is just all kinds of fabulous! my pile of “things to refashion” is getting pretty out of control, and i was thinking of adding a scalloped hem to one of my skirts. thanks so much for the tut, now i know where to go! great job!

    • jen | grainline says:

      Haha, I can definitely see the refashioning addiction after doing this, thought it was going to be really hard but mostly it was just really fun! Can’t wait to see what you put scallops on!

  6. Sunni says:

    I’m seriously crushing on those scallops and especially the edgy scallop at the yoke! I die! A fantastic tutorial for scallops too! Bookmarked for future use!
    xoxo, Sunni

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thanks lady! I sort of crapped out on the scallop tutorial a bit, trying to write instructions for figuring out the scallop size was a little much with a ton of cold medicine. I may write it up better in the future when I’m clear headed.

  7. Melissa says:

    The cut out detail and scallops are amazing! I love how polished and funky this looks! Can’t wait to see this on Miranda!

  8. kate says:

    this is awesome! I love the scallops!

  9. Miriam says:

    This is so cute! I love how the cut out echoes the scallop, really so cute and well thought out. Can’t wait to see Miranda sport it!

  10. Wanett says:

    This is so lovely!! The scallops are so perfect! And I dig the cut outs echoing their shape.

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thanks! I was sort of terrified to cut those out in case it didn’t go so well so I’m glad I think they turned out.

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  12. Krista says:

    Oh, I love the scalloped detail! Absolutely adorable!

  13. chie says:

    Oh my goodness this is amazing! I love the scallop hem, and the cut out on the shoulders. You are so creative, and I love everything about this shirt! I have to try it myself!

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thank you Chie! Originally I wanted the cutouts to go along the neckline but that collar was a beast so I left it alone…maybe on a future top though!

  14. Stephanie says:

    omg… that is a really, really great top. thanks for the detailed tutorial.i especially love the cut-out detail.

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thanks lady! I may have slacked it out on the tutorial a little bit…hopefully got the basics across though!

  15. prttynpnk says:

    Wow! So many great details, I don’t know what I love more, the scallops or the cutouts!

  16. super idea, im checking out the other ladies too!

  17. Ginger says:

    This is so, so cute! I love it! The cutouts at the yoke are such a great detail!

    • jen | grainline says:

      Thanks! I originally wanted the cutouts to go around the collar but I failed on that plan. Oh well!

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