DIY shirt measurements

DIY Zara Shirt

Although for the last few years I haven’t been too concerned with fashion trends as a general rule, every now and then something comes in to the shops, which I just love and want to indulge in. When this happened I try to wait it out a little to see if it’s something I truly love or if I am just getting swept up in the hype.

This summer one thing that has caught me out are these cute blue and white shirts from Zara, usually cropped with some kind of frill detail.

DIY zara shirt mood boardIt’s one of those things though that I looked at and thought ‘I could make something like that!’ or at least alter an existing shirt to fit the style, so that’s what I decided to try instead on giving in to the ready made option.

This is what my finished shirt looks like and I am pretty happy with it, I just wanted to use the fabric from the shirt so I wasn’t able to get as big a frill as I would have hoped on the sleeve, so If I did it again I may try using a different fabric or second shirt to get more volume.

DIY cropped shirt flared sleeve

If sewing isn’t your thing but still want in on the action I have seen a few vintage shops dong similar things so have popped a few options below – you could always also swap a skill with a friend who can sew or ask your local dry cleaners/ tailors to alter it for you.


Beyond Retro

asos montage.jpg

ASOS Marketplace


If you would like to see how I made mine, keep reading!

First of all I had to find the perfect shirt, It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and ended up having to try a few shops before I found one that I thought would work.

I wanted a shirt that was 100% cotton, a small neck size and of course in a colour way that I liked.

This is the one I chose, it was from a PDSA charity shop, originally from GAP and cost me£3.99.

second hand shirt used for DIY

  1. The first thing I did was to measure from my shoulder to the top of my jeans waist band, making sure to take in the fullest part of my chest.
  2. Using that measurement I then was able to lay the shirt flat, add 1″ for seam allowance and cut.

DIY shirt measurementsDIY Zara shirt cut

3. I gave myself 1″ seam allowance so I could turn it over twice. After pressing and pining it can then be stitched.

DIY blue and white shirt pinsDIY shirt stitch hem

4. Now the trickier part, after measuring a T-shirt of mine to get a good idea of where I should but the sleeve I then measured and cut. It might be a good idea to cut it longer than you think and then try it on, so much easier to keep cutting down.

Up-cycling shirt measure and cut sleeve

5. Making the sleeve: I simply too the off cuts from the bottom of the shirt. These are perfect because one edge is already hemmed so this can be used at the hem of the sleeve.

I folded the strip in half and cut the centre seam to make two pieces. Then fold and stitch each piece to make two circles.

Place the new sleeve right side to right side over the original sleeve, with the new seam at the shoulder, it can then be stitched on, any excess should be used, pleated at the top of the shoulder to create volume and flare.

DIY shirt close up finishedDIY shirt final item

Needs a little iron 😉


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