Madeline’s Button Bib Flutter Shirt, Spring Collection 2012…

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I always like to get a ‘Before’ picture when I do an upcycle, but for this shirt – I was so inspired by this variation bodice image Grogsgrain Fabulous posted, that I just started cutting and completely forgot!

It started off as a plain white button down shirt, and I turned it into this button up bib with flutter cap sleeve shirt for Madeline. This is definitely one of my favorite items in the collection…


I simply love how it came out! Of course when you upcycle you have an advantage by using pre-existing hemlines, so you naturally end up with a more professionally finished product. But this just ended up fitting so perfectly, and looking so stinking cute on! I couldn’t help but fall in love with it…




Of course it was rainy the day I wanted to take pictures. But that doesn’t make it any less cute :).

Want to know how you can make this upcycle? You will need an old Button Up Shirt to start, a shirt that fits well or bodice pattern piece for guidance, as well as your basic sewing essentials.

Let’s get going…

We will first be cutting the top of our shirt. Cut it to the desired length you want the shirt to be ultimately (this is specifically important for the back of the shirt.)

Unfold your collared shirt, and cut the front in an arc. Notice that you will be cutting in the middle of the sleeves for this.

Now, for cutting the bottom of your shirt – use the old button up’s hem. We will be using the bottom back of your old button up, cut to your desired length.  

Take the back of the shirt, and following the top bodice arc, arc the top of your shirt piece.  Also, be sure to finish off your armhole arcs on the sides. 


Let’s attach the shirt bottom now.



Hem the bottom of the back of your shirt. 

(Like my wavy weird hem line…yeah, let’s not talk about it. Lol)

With left over hem from your old shirt, cut out arcs for the sleeves. You want them to be about 1/2 the size of the actual armhole.




And finishing off the shirt…

And that’s it!

I feel like this isn’t my most coherent tutorial, so please let me know if you have any questions.  For some reason, I was having a really hard time describing it.  

(Might be the late hour I am trying to write it…HA!)

I highly recommend making one of your own, because I really do looooove this shirt!  I already know just how much use Madeline is going to get out of it this Spring / Summer.  In fact, I loved the shirt so much…that I needed to make a pair of pants to go with it – lol.

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Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!

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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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  1. says

    Oh my goodness this is the cutest!!!! It’s one of my favorites. :) Love the last picture of Madeline and the black and whites are kind of fun. Also, her pigtails are to die for.

  2. says

    Love the shirt, did it fit your daughter initially, and then you upcycled it? It wasn’t an adult shirt to begin with? Sorry, tired after work and can’t work it out. Love your tutorials by the way!

  3. says

    i love those little sleeves and great photos. do you find that most of your favorite photos are ones that you took as part of a tutorial? have a great day and thanks again for the new list of blogs to stalk:)

  4. says

    This is absolutely amazing!!! I want one for myself, too! haha!

    I have a few questions though!

    1)How do you make the dotted lines for showing where to sew? I think I need to start doing that in my own tutorials because you sometimes can’t see the sewn lines very well.
    2)Did you use an adult button down or a child’s button down? Just wondering!

    And I would be so excited if I made something like this, too because it is awesome!!

    • says

      Thanks Vanessa!

      1) I use photoshop, and change the brush space settings. Whenever I have a question like this for photoshop I google it, someone has almost always already created a tutorial for it for me to follow along! Heck, I google everything :)

      2) I used a woman’s white button down. Size large!

      Thanks again!

    • says

      Okay! Awesome! I use Picasa to edit, as I have never purchased Photoshop, I will GOOGLE to see if there is a way in there first, if not, then eventually I will see if I can get photoshop! haha! And thanks so much about the sizing!

  5. says

    Soooooo cute!!! I have a bunch of men’s medium button down shirts (with cute pastel flowers or stripes) and was wondering if this would work (especially the collar) – I’ll give it a try and let you know. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    I love this! I was also so inspired by the post by grosgrain, learning new things is so much fun and I was totally inspired the most by the same front yoke one. I LOVE that style and this top is so stinking cute!

  7. says

    I think I’ll need to make a couple: one for my daughter and one for me! Fortunately my hubs is very tall and I’m short so his shirts have lots of material to work with :)

  8. says

    It’s completely adorable! Wish I had one for my daughters–guess I’ve got a another new sewing project to add to my list!

    Andrea {Fabric Envy}

  9. says

    This is a great tutorial. I am going to make one for myself with one of my husband’s shirts.
    I will keep you posted if it turns out.

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