How to Make Women's Blouses from Men's

Written by ana sol
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How to Make Women's Blouses from Men's
It takes time, but tailoring hand-me-downs like men's shirts can save money. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Tailoring men's clothing into women's clothing is not a new idea. In fact, during World War II, with clothing rations in the U.S., many women entering the workforce used men's clothing and suits to make their own clothing. Save a few dollars by tailoring a man's shirt into a woman's perfect size and style.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Men's shirt
  • Straight pins
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Try the shirt on the woman who will wear it. It should be too large. If it is too small, this shirt cannot be tailored to her size. On the other hand, if it's too large, you will need to take apart and rebuild the entire shirt.

  2. 2

    Pin the shirt to the correct size and shape. If the shirt will be yours, ask a friend to help. Men's shirts do not have darts in front to fit a woman's chest correctly, so they will not flatter an hourglass figure. Pin the shirt along the side seams, front (below each side of the bust), and in the back below the shoulder blades. The sleeves also need to be pinned if they feel too full.

  3. 3

    Remove the shirt and prepare it for sewing. Working on the inside of the shirt, mark where the pins are and remove all pins. Using the tailor's chalk, mark the lines where the new seams will be. Recreate the folds on the inside and pin them so you can stitch over your marked lines.

  4. 4

    Stitch in the darts and new seams. Follow the lines you already marked. Finish the end of each seam by stitching a couple of stitches back and forth a few times.

  5. 5

    Finish the seams by trimming the excess fabric in folds and zigzag-stitching the edges. Press the seams flat.

Tips and warnings

  • As you pin the body of the shirt, the pins should create folds and should be vertical.
  • As you pin the sleeves, the pins should be parallel to the original seam.
  • In the front and back, the folds will become darts (they will taper so they're wider at the bottom and disappear below the bustline).

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