Refashion: Button up shirt to cold shoulder blouse

In a previous post I’ve refashioned a sweater to have cold shoulder detail. This time I’m sharing a refashion of a button up blouse to become a cold shoulder top with ruffled detail.


I bought this top with a gift voucher a few months ago (I actually blogged about this top here). It’s one of the few times I’ve actually bought something from a retail store.

Having worn it a handful of times, I eventually found the top a little uninspiring and difficult to style. Rather than donate it however, I wanted to give it a new life by turning it into something else.

I initially thought about turning it into an off shoulder blouse, but then Isaw this blouse floating around on Instagram and just loved the ruffled detail as well as the cold shoulders.




(all images above from Pinterest)

This top is very easily accessible from Zara, however I wanted to challenge myself (given it’s #NoSpendber) and see if I could refashion the blue button up top into this.

I wish I could give you a more comprehensive tutorial on what I did, but I ended up changing a few steps along the way because the fabric turned out to be more difficult to work with than I thought and didn’t take photographs of my progress. I’ll try to describe what I did below with the photos I did remember to take.

Materials I used:

  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Using the seam ripper, I removed the collar of the blouse and the front pockets, as I didn’t think much of them. (In fact, the collar is still undone in the final product, I haven’t sewn it up yet.)

Instead of unpicking the sleeves, I simply cut the sleeves off with scissors as I didn’t want to touch the seam detail. I cut as close to the seam as I could.

Using the fabric from the sleeves I cut out 4 panels to create the ruffles at the front of the blouse and for the arms. Two of the panels had to be long enough to cover the marks where the pockets used to be.

Using the thread and sewing machine I then hemmed all sides of each of the panels, then with a thread and needle used a basting stitch on one of the long ends to create a ruffle effect.

Ideally I would have liked to create a more dramatic ruffle, especially for the arms – I’d probably say the panel should be at least 1.5 the width of the measurement of where you want to sew it so it’s really ruffled. However I was working with limited materials (basically just reusing the sleeves of the original top) so had to make do with what I had.

I then sewed two of the ruffled panels onto the front of the shirt (making sure to cover up the pocket marks), then the remaining two on the armholes.

Here’s the refashioned top:


As I mentioned above the fabric of this top was quite finicky to work with. It frayed pretty quickly and didn’t seem to want to stay in place while I was sewing it. It also didn’t help that the only time I could work on this refashion was late at night, when I should have been sleeping (#mumlife).

Despite the difficulty I had refashioning this, I really want to try it again with another one of my many, many button up tops.






Wearing: DIY refashion cold shoulder top | Forever 21 high waisted ankle crop skinny jeans (similar, made in Australia) | Hush Puppies sandals

If DIY isn’t your thing, below are some shoppable options.

Would you refashion one of your button up tops to be cold shoulder? If you do, let me know – tag me on Instagram ( or leave a comment below! Happy refashioning!

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Photos taken by Instagram Husband

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