the button up refashion swap!

You guys it’s Meg! Did you miss me? I bet you’ve been really enjoying all of Lizzie’s fantastic maternity tutorials! Just popping in today because I have such a fun project to share with you!

Two of my favourite crafty ladies, Miranda and Melissa came up with the fun idea a little while ago of doing a button up shirt refashion swap. The basic idea being that a group of bloggers get together, take a boring button up shirt, and remake it into something super cute for another lady. I was super excited when I was allocated Lizzie to create something for – she’s adorably pregnant, and our current guest contributor here on DIYM! With my line of maternity patterns and this blog, I obviously have a real passion for designing things for baby bumps – it was kind of a match made in heaven! I was also really excited to find out that Mim would be making something for me – we’ve worked together before on a tutorial for DIY Maternity (back when she was preggers) and she is a really talented seamstress. Honestly this whole thing was so fun – i just wish it hadn’t all fallen over my move, but such is life!!

Want to see what I made??


I honestly cannot wait to see how it looks on Lizzie! It took all of my self control to refrain from adding a peter pan collar hehehe. I wanted to make something comfortable and practical but still a bit tailored – and obviously i wanted something that would suit Liz. I included a lot of my favourite maternity details – and the great news is there is a tutorial at the end of this post so you can make one of your own!

There are some really amazing ladies involved in this!!

Jennifer of Grainline Studio (see the top Jen made!)
Krista of Lazy Saturdays (see the skirt Krista made!)
Liz of Cotton & Curls (See the top Lizzie made!)
Megan of Megan Nielsen Designs (that’s me!)
Melissa of I Still Love You (See the maternity top Melissa made!)
Miranda of One Little Minute (see the dress Miranda made)
Miriam of MadMim (see the top Mim made for me!)
Kate of See Kate Sew (see the jumper dress Kate made)
Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch (see the top Sunni made!)
Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking (see the dress Suzannah made!)

Today we are all sharing tutorials for how to make the item we made for another lady – and then next we’ll be having a “blog hop” to share the tops that were made for us! So don’t forget to follow the links above to see the tutorials for all the other tops that were made! So fun right?

Here is the blog hop schedule for next week:

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
Thursday, May 24th:Miriam of MadMim, Melissa of I Still Love You
Friday, May 25th: Megan of Megan Nielsen Design, Jennifer of Grainline Studio

Okie dokie – that was a mouthful!! Ready to see how i made Lizzies maternity top? Instructions below!

You’ll need:

  • A button up shirt. I used a size L mens shirt and Lizzie is between an XS and S size in womens clothing – so that should be a good guide for how much larger your shirt should be
  • A guide shirt that fits (or fitted) you well across the bust, shoulders and arms.
  • elastic thread
  • ruler, scissors, thread etc (you know, all the usual suspects)

What to do:

First things first – cut off the sleeves and the collar. I cut the sleeves right along the seamline – and I cut the collar off about 1/2″ from the edge of the collar stand, all the way round. Also don’t forget to carefully unpick the pocket if your shirt has one!

Now it’s time to plan out our pintucks! To make things easy, I made 1/4″ pintucks, 1/2″ apart – so what that means is that i had to draw lines 1/2″ apart – easy! I made 5 tucks on each side, but how many you do is really up to you. Keep in mind that the more you do the narrower the front of your top will be, so you’ll probably have to tailor how many you have or their width to get the right width of top. I made the pintucks go all the way up to the shoulder seam, and end just under the bust, so that there would be lots of room below for the baby bump!


Now to form the pleats. For me, i find the easiest way to do this is to lay the top out on my ironing board – then place pins at the end point of each line, and further towards the top along the lines. Then match up the pins for each pintuck. Lines 1 and 2 will form the first pintuck. Lines 3 and 4 will form the second pintuck. Lines 5 and 6 will form the third pintuck. Lines 7 and 8 will form the fourth pintuck. Lines 9 and 10 will form the fifth pintuck.

Sew the pleats one by one. I find it easiest to start from the centre pleat and move outwards. Make sure you sew along the chalk lines and keep the folds even. Once you’ve sewn them all press the pintucks. I pressed mine towards the centre, but you can press them outwards if you like.

One of my favourite techniques to use when making maternity wear is elastic shirring. I love it because it can make a garment fitted without sacrificing comfort – and it allows your clothing to grow with you. Your bust and ribcage all expand throughout pregnancy, so something that is perfectly fitted in the early stages probably won’t fit at all in the last trimester. Which is why shirring is so great! I just sewed lines of elastic shirring along the back of the top starting at the the same line as the pintucks ended and extending all the way up to the neckline and shoulders. My lines are roughly 1/2″ apart. For full instructions on how to shir with elastic thread please check out this tutorial i wrote last year. It will take you through all the steps in detail.

Sew the shoulders back together and neaten the raw edges. (don’t worry about the fact that the neckline looks so small remember we shirred the back of the top and part of the front placket will become the collar)

Recut your sleeves using the guide shirt as a guide. Make sure to add on seam allowance. Then reattach them to your shirt.

Now I traced a facing for the collar and attached it to the neckline.

Press with the iron – and you’re done!

I’m so thrilled with how this top turned out and i really can’t wait to see how it looks on Lizzie! The beauty of this top is that because of the elastic shirring it will work for all stages of pregnancy, and the pintucks creating really flattering fabric flow over the baby bump.

And you know what – with that button front i’m pretty sure it would make an awesome nursing top too – right??

I really love using men’s button shirts for maternity wear – there are just so many things you can do! If you’d like to try another tutorial for making a mens shirt into maternity wear, check out these tutorials from DIYMaternity:

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  1. says

    This is lovely. I used your site quite a bit when I was pregnant last summer, but I will be certain to bookmark this for the next baby bump.

  2. jennifer says

    The only part I don’t understand is the collar. What did you trace to get that shape?

  3. jenny says

    i was with you until step 8. “now i traced a facing for the collar” – traced it from what? how did you decide how wide to make it across the back of the neck, where the elastic shirring gathered the neckline up?

    that step seems to have a great deal missing.

  4. katneedle says

    did this shirt have a yoke in the back, if it did did you just remove it? most mens shirts have them

  5. Carolyn says

    I agree with Jenny and Jennifer. I’m interested in copying this idea but the collar step is confusing. Can you clarify how you attached it? Looking at your pictures it’s hard to see how it’s sewn on and then the facing part is confusing. I’m sorry to be critical–I really love this shirt and I’m so impressed with your sewing skills. I’m not an advanced sewist so I’m sure there are people reading this who understand better than I do. Thanks for the tutorial and the wonderful inspiration!