menswear top at Anthropologie. It was a simple strapless cami with an elastic waist and ruffled edge. When I saw the price of the top (originally $68, now marked down to $29.95) I immediately thought that a similar strapless cami inspired by the design could easily---and more economically---be sewn using a men's dress shirt.
So here you go. A super quick tutorial on how to refashion a men's shirt into a cami.
One man's dress shirt + elastic + bias tape + thread + a few hours = ruffled strapless cami.
Begin with a men's button front, long sleeve dress shirt. Best to choose a size L or larger.
Lay the shirt on a flat cutting surface.
Draw a horizontal line from underarm to underarm.
Cut the shirt along the line you just drew.
If your shirt had a breast pocket, carefully remove the remainder of the pocket. Don't worry if a bit of the stitching lines still show as it will be covered by the ruffle.
Baste the top of the front plackets together.
Trim away excess placket on the backside to remove some of the stiffness if your shirt has a firm interfacing on the placket like mine did. This will make it easier to create the casing.
Sew the front placket closed, unless you want the front buttons to remain functional.
Press under 1/4" on the upper edge.
Press under another 3/4" on the upper edge. This will be your casing.
Baste in place, leaving an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.
Measure the upper edge of the shirt and multiply by 1.5 to determine the length of the ruffle you will need--- my shirt measured 52" x 1.5 = 78".
Cut the sleeves off of the upper portion of the shirt. Remove the cuff, and cut the sleeve open so it lies flat. You're going to use the fabric in the sleeves for your ruffle.
Cut enough strips of fabric to measure the total length of your ruffle by 3" wide. I used four strips 19-1/2" x 3". Note that the stripes on the ruffle will be horizontal, not vertical.
Sew the strips together along the short edges until you have one long strip of fabric. Mine measured 78" x 3".
Narrow hem the two short edges and one long edge.
Press under 1/2" on the remaining long edge and run a gathering stitch along this edge.
Pull up gathers to fit top of cami.
Pin the wrong side of ruffle to the right side of the upper edge of the shirt positioning the ruffle 1/2" from the top edge.
From the top side of the shirt sew the ruffle to the shirt about 5/8" from the edge. This will also create your casing. Don't forget to leave the opening on the casing for your elastic.
Once the ruffle is sewn on you can remove the gathering stitches for a cleaner look.
Measure from your underarm to your waist to determine where to create your waist casing. Mine was 9". If you want the casing higher than your natural waistline, measure from your underarm to where you want the elastic and use that number.
On the inside of the shirt, measure 9" (or whatever your measurement is) down from the top edge of the shirt and make a mark. Continue around the entire circumference of the shirt.
Using bias tape, place the bottom edge along the line you just marked and pin in place.
Sew very close to both edges of tape to create the casing. Don't forget to leave an opening at a side seam to insert your elastic.
Measure and cut two pieces of elastic, one for the upper casing and one for the waist casing.
Insert elastic into casings. Lap the two edges and sew securely together. Sew the casing closed.
Evenly distribute the elastic in the casing and you are done!
A sweet summer cami in mere hours. Happy Sewing!