Wednesday, 10 July 2013

DIY | Sleeveless Men's Shirt

Menswear (shirts)
Womenswear (shapes)

à la Caroline Issa (right)

Here's my take on the sleeveless shirt:

A guy friend of mine was recently moving house and throwing stuff out along the way. He had an old cotton shirt that was a bit stained under the arms and whose collar was starting to fray. It was heading for the bin when I saved it for some DIY regeneration! 

By unpicking the collar and sleeves the shirt becomes much more structured and really pretty smart looking (read: no longer an old, man's shirt that you threw on coz it's comfy). It also counters the two main problems you come across in old shirts - wear on the collar and cuffs, and underarm staining - which make an otherwise perfect shirt scruffy and unwearable.

  • 1 man's shirt
  • Ripper
  • Scissors
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine optional
Rip the seams at the collar and arms.

Also rip the seam just at the underarm part - this is so that you can take it in.

At this stage you can just hem the arm holes as they are but the shoulders will be very broad, I decided that I wanted the shoulders to come in more so I put it on and marked where I wanted to cut, leaving a couple of centimetres for the hem.

Make sure it's the same everywhere!

(A handy way to check is to turn one half inside-out inside the other)

The shirt will probably gape under the arms, in which case take in the side seams.

Darts are optional;I didn't need any.

Sew up the shirt collar and then the arm holes by folding the edge inwards. Both of these can be tricky - the collar is made with two pieces of fabric, one slightly longer than the other to allow it to bend. If you try to sew it flat you'll end up with a puckered collar. Instead, bend the collar as you go. As for the sleeve holes, go slowly and don't take in too much of a seam - it will be too tight as you go round the curves under and on top of the arms!

Top three images Tommy Ton for