refashion: boring menswear to sophisticated skirt and top

The second week of So You Think You’re Crafty is wrapping up, and my project tied for first place this week. Here’s what I made (tutorials now available! find the blouse here and the skirt here):

On any visit to the thrift store you’ll find miles of mens’ slacks and button down shirts. Lots of very boring menswear castoffs. For the refashion challenge I wanted to see if I could turn some cheaps duds from the thrift store into a sophisticated, feminine outfit.

I spent $5 on a pair of black slacks, $3 on a cream button-down shirt, $1 on a plain brown belt, and used half of a $2 lace curtain panel – making the entire cost of my new ensemble $10 plus tax.

I started with the top, turning a boring button down into a lacey blouse. I turned it around, putting the buttons down the back, cutting new sides seams and adding bust darts, then covering the entire front with lace. I took off the sleeves and cut new ones, gathering them at the shoulder and elbow to add a bit of fullness for a retro feel. Finally, I used every last scrap of leftover fabric (including the original collar and sleeve cuffs) to make a peter pan collar.

Next came the skirt. I unpicked the inseam of the pants, cut them off just below the knee, then sewed new front and back center seams to create a skirt. Then I tried it on and did some taking in to get a more tailored look, including kick pleats on each side, to reinforce the retro feel.

I just needed a belt to complete the outfit, but all I could find at the thrift store was a plain brown belt. So I pulled out some aqua spray paint, crossed my fingers, and went to town. I used very light coats of spray paint and it worked perfectly! Now I have a completely new outfit, refashioned from something old, for $10.

Linking to some of these great parties:

Monday: Skip to My Lou | Brassy Apple | Craft-o-Maniac

Tuesday: Tip Junkie | Ladybug Blessings | Sugar Bee Crafts | The Blackberry Vine | Hope Studios | Funky Polkadot Giraffe | Not JUST a Housewife | Homework Today’s Assignment: Be Inspired | Shwin and Shwin

Wednesday: Handy Man, Crafty Woman | Southern Lovely | Sew Much Ado | SNAP | Someday Crafts | The NY Melrose Family | Printabelle

Thursday: Somewhat Simple | House of Hepworths | Momnivore’s Dilemma | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Yesterday on Tuesday | Fireflies and Jellybeans | The Taylor House

Friday: Chic on a Shoestring Decorating | The Shabby Nest | Stuff and Nonsense | Naptime Crafters | It’s a Hodgepodge Life | At The Picket Fence | 504 Main | Blissful Bucket List

Weekend: Tatertots and Jello


  1. 4

    April @ illistyle says

    Wow! I am so impressed with your mad skillz! You are the woman. Plus, I wish I had thought of your blog title! haha. You are too cute. I am your newest follower. Found you through HoH link party. xoxo

  2. 5

    Betsy @ Anna Nimmity says

    What a cute outfit! You did a great job on the refashion and I had no idea you could spray paint belts. I’m going to have to try that. 🙂

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