Resizing an old shirt into a Square Top for Kids

Resizing an old shirt into a Square Top for Kids

April 14, 2017 0 Comments

Happy Friday everyone!! Today I want to share an idea about how to resize an adult shirt into a square top for kids! If you are just starting to sew, this is your project. No big skills needed!

So, let's start!! 

Upcycling an old shirt


  • An old man shirt (L) for a toddler size. This was my first attempt to make a rectangle top and I think my denim fabric wasn't the best choice. A lightweight fabric will give you a better flowy style.
  • A Kid Short Sleeve T-Shirt (mine was size 2)
  • Sewing machine or serger
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • A marker and paper


  1. First, lay your old shirt out flat. Under the arms of your shirt, lay your T-shirt. Trace a line and cut across.
  2. Cut off the side seams of your old shirt.
  3. Fold in half the front piece and lay it out flat. On top, lay the shirt folded in half. On the edge of the sleeve, make a line perpendicular to the bottom. This will be our cutting line. Pin and cut. 
  4. We want to keep the hem of the shirt, so place the front piece on top of the back piece, line the hems up and pin. 
  5. Fold the shirt and the T-Shirt in half again, lay the second one out and mark the length of the sleeve open, just where your T-Shirt's sleeve falls. From the raw edge measure 1/2" and mark a guideline perpendicular to the floor. Draw a smooth curve that connects the sleeve mark with the guideline and cut it out. If you want to hem the sleeves, instead of measuring 1/2", use 1" to have enough room to fold them easy. 
  6. To cut the neckline, make a pattern from your T-Shirt or eyeballing it. I prefer the first method because I know for sure that it's going to be ok. Mark and cut it off.  
  7. Sew the shoulder and sides seams. 
  8. To finish the sleeves, you can hem them or use some bias tape. I used bias tape for finishing armholes and neckline.
cutting out the pattern


    1. Measure the neckline curve and armhole length.Make sure to double the armhole measurement to get the front and the back length and add 0.5" seam allowances.
    2. Unfold the bias tape and with wrong sides together line up the raw edge of the bias tape to the raw edge of the neckline. Pin all the way around.
    3. Sew along the first folded line. Remember to back stitch. 
    4. Press and fold it over the right side, pin and sew again. 
    5. Follow the same steps to finish the sleeves.
    attaching the bias tape

      And here you have it! A beautiful rectangle top for $3!! 

      Happy Sewing!!! :)

      Upcycling an old shirt

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