How to Upcycle a Flannel Shirt
Here is a quick tutorial showing you how you can do a Flannel Shirt Upcycle in just a few minutes!
I like the look and feel of flannel, but the typical flannel shirt style, big and baggy, is not my fashion style. (*Some people look cute in them, but I just look extra-large. 😂)
When I found this shirt at a thrift store for $1 and loved the plaid design and color, I immediately knew it would be worth taking a little time for an upcycle to make it cute and more feminine to fit my style.
You might be wondering how to upcycle a flannel shirt, so I figured I’d take pictures along the way to share with all of you so that you can try the same thing!
No need to avoid flannel shirts if you don’t like that style – you can UPCYCLE it to make it something different (especially if you snag one at a thrift store)!
Here’s what I did for my Flannel Shirt Upcycle:
What you’ll need:
- A flannel shirt! 😃
- sewing machine (Brother sewing machines are very reliable and affordable!)
- thread to match
- sewing scissors
- 1/4″ elastic
How to Upcycle a Flannel Shirt
First thing I did was change the sleeves – 3/4 elastic sleeves look pretty, so I decided to do that on this flannel shirt.
You should try your shirt on and find the halfway point between elbow and wrist, then cut about 1″ or 1.5″ lower than that.
If you like your 3/4 sleeves to go farther than just past your elbow, then cut closer to the wrist-part of the shirt.
To put 1/4″ elastic in the sleeve hems, turn under 1/2″ on sleeves and press, leaving a small opening for inserting the elastic.
Insert elastic and then pull it just a little bit so it scrunches. You may want to try the sleeve on at this point to make sure the elastic is comfortable on your arm.
Stitch the elastic ends together, then finish stitching the hem opening closed.
:: PIN THIS FLANNEL SHIRT UPCYCLE FOR LATER ::
Next, I hemmed the “tails” of the shirt and put elastic in the shirt hem (similar to the sleeves).
I tried my shirt on first and pinned it up to see what length I wanted – where the elastic waist falls will be a little different for everyone, so try it on and find what looks good on you.
REMEMBER TO CUT ABOUT AN INCH LOWER THAN WHERE YOU WANT THE FINISHED LENGTH TO BE. (Allow for the hem, plus a tad more so it doesn’t end up too short.)
To make sure my shirt was perfectly symmetrical, I folded it in half as pictured below (a fold down the center back, and buttons and buttonholes matched up) and then did my cut.
You can see that I didn’t cut off too much, really. Just a little hemming will give it a new style.
Next, I turned my shirt hem under about 1/2″ and pressed and pinned it.
I double-stitched my hem to make sure that it doesn’t fray and open up.
Time to insert elastic – the starting and stopping spots on your hem will have an opening.
Also, you’ll want to make sure that after you insert the elastic, you stitch it down PAST the thick front-center button & buttonhole band. That thick area won’t scrunch well, so let it be flat.
I used more 1/4″ elastic, threaded it through my hem/casing, then gave it just a little pull to scrunch the waist up. It doesn’t take too much gathering!
(I tried mine on before stitching the elastic down to make sure I liked how it fit.)
Then just stitch through the layers (shirt hem & elastic) right before the buttonhole band to secure the elastic.
This is definitely more my style! I have worn it over a black sleeveless t-shirt dress (either buttoned or unbuttoned, both look nice)….and of course I’ve worn it with a classic denim skirt. 😀
:: PIN FOR LATER ::
Ready to upcycle some more clothes? We find skirts all the time at thrift stores that we end up shortening for summer skirts! Click the photo to see how easy it is. 😉