Refashions are the most fun when the makeover is dramatic and unexpected, but I try to keep in mind that refashioning can be for basic wardrobe staples too! I can’t resist taking home wool or silk when I spot it in the thrift stores so this pretty purple shirt came home with me. It fit decently but the shoulder pads and sleeves read as a little dated. With 15 minutes of hand sewing and a few snips, I have a silk blouse I love that only cost $3!
If you don’t have any shirts ready for a new look, head out to Goodwill and check out my tips for thrifting to refashion and upcycle here! If you already have a shirt, read my tips for actually sewing refashions here!
If you need more refashion blog inspiration, check out these other posts of mine!
- 13+ T-shirt refashion ideas
- 12+ thrift store dress refashion tutorials
- 13+ modern books on refashioning clothing & upcycle sewing
I used a similar sleeve technique in this dress to blouse refashion! After I edited these pictures, I realized that I had bought a super similar shirt a few years ago and refashioned it… with much worse results, haha! You can see it here, I’ve learned a lot since then.
If you’re not ready to sew yet, pin this refashion without a sewing machine with this link or collage image:
15 minute refashion of an outdated silk tshirt
- Microtip scissors
- Coordinating thread
- Hand sewing needle
- Tailor sleeve roll (optional)
- Press cloth (optional)
Step 1- Snip out the shoulder pads! I teased out the thread attaching them, being careful not to clip the actual shirt.
Step 2- Next up the sleeves! I used the original hem as a guide, folding it up once and then once again to form a cuff. You could clip it at this point, but I live dangerously.
Step 3- Take a few tiny stitches to secure the hem – I used just 4, evenly spaced, but it will depend how you want it to look and the weight of the fabric. Sewing it together like binding on a quilt would work as well.
Step 4- Time to press your new hem! If you’re working with silk too, iron with caution, you may need a press cloth (plain piece of white fabric to use in between the garment and the iron) or to use steam. I also used a tailor’s roll, which keeps creases from being pressed on the other side when working in the round. You’re done!
Ta-da! Modern silk t-shirt. I have to admit, I’m still tempted to jazz it up a little with fabric paint or something, what do you think?