3 simple ways to update shirts

When it comes to your wardrobe; Renew, Refresh, Reinvent

I wear shirts soooo much; under jumpers, over t-shirts, long sleeved, short sleeved, sleeveless, denim, linen, cotton…I find them so easy to wear and layer up in every season. When I did a wardrobe edit recently I found that some of my collection was looking a bit tired and some hadn’t been worn for ages. So I’ve been using some really simple techniques to update and bring new life to these garments.

Don’t immediately think you need to get rid of an item of clothing at the back of your wardrobe; with a little bit of care and attention you can give it a whole new lease of life
— Emma: Stitch Me Happy

Here are 3 quick and simple ways to update a shirt:

  1. Upgrade your shirt buttons

  2. Add rows of stitches to the collar, pockets or cuffs

  3. Change or add pockets with contrasting/complimentary fabric

Watch my free tutorial below to get you started:

Project notes

You will need: sewing machine and/or hand sewing needles, thread, buttons/beads/fabric scraps, general sewing kit.

Upgrading buttons: Measure the existing buttons and find some new ones of the same circumference. Remove the old buttons with a seam ripper and attach the new ones with a hand sewing needle.

Adding rows of stitches: Use either a sewing machine (much quicker!) or hand sewing needle to add rows of different coloured stitches to the collar, pockets and cuffs. Sew rows approx 3mm apart and aim to keep them the same distance apart (use a disappearing fabric pencil to draw guidelines if needed).

Pockets: Either add pockets from scratch or change them, using a contrasting or complimentary fabric. Draw your pocket shape out, ensuring you add extra for seam and hem allowance. Hem the top of the pocket, fold (and press if applicable) under the seam allowance, pin in place and sew to attach.

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This is a great project if you’re new to sewing or don’t have much time to dedicate to it. You can achieve these techniques using a simple needle and thread. It’s a perfect way to update your clothes on a budget , reduce the amount of clothes you buy, and personalise your clothes without making them from scratch
— Emma: Stitch Me Happy