Turning a baggy button down into a fitted sleeveless shirt is a quick, easy project that can be finished in under an hour. Mine took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
All you need is a button down shirt, color matching thread, scissors, and a sewing machine.
I forgot to take a picture of the shirt before I started. Just imagine a big baggy men’s button down, okay?
First, off with zee sleeves! Cut them off as close to the seam as possible, right where my finger is indicating in the photo below. If you cut them off right at the seam there’s no further hemming that needs to be done.
If it’s a men’s shirt, you may need to take it in a bit. This is also easy peasy.
Button the shirt all the way down. Turn it inside out. Lay it out nice and flat. Make sure the side seams are even.
Find a shirt of similar style that fits you really well. (Do not use a shirt that is made of stretchy material.) Lay it flat right on top of the shirt you’re altering. Match up the armpit seams. The photo below is crap, but you get the idea.
Pin the front and back of the shirt together to keep it from shifting around. Sew a straight stitch or zigzag, following your line. (I erred on the side of caution here and sewed a line a bit further out than the one I drew. I’m overly cautious, what can I say?)
Cut the excess fabric off. Stay a good 1/2 inch away from the new seams so that you can hem the excess fabric neatly if you want to.
Try on the shirt. Mine fit pretty well, but I took it in another 1/2 inch on both sides at the waistline.
Note: If there is any gaping under the armpits, you can insert a bust dart. A 3 inch dart on both sides is probably sufficient.)
If the shirt you’re using has long tails, you can cut them off wherever you like and re-hem the bottom of the shirt. If the arm holes are too large for you, you can also hem them. I left mine alone.
And that’s it!