Corporate ZIP!….spring top challenge #4

From corporate drab to FAB! 
I combined ruffles and the edge-y trendy look of zippers to create this refashion upcycling Spring top!

It’s my 4th entry into the Made by Rae Spring Top Challenge. I created all my tops by refashioning or up-cycling existing tops (top #1, top #2, top #3).

Here is the BEFORE…..

And a close up the details AFTER –
Zipper ruffle detailing down the front….
Zipper lined collar….
The shirred bodice adds texture and femininity…. (love the look!)

go feminine or feminist….go corporate or go to lunch! This top can do it all! 

Want to make one? 🙂
Here is the full tutorial or download it as well! 
add your photo to the Brassy Apple Flickr group if you give this a try! 
Mens dress shirt (1-2 times larger. We used a short sleeved shirt)
Zipper – color coordinating – 60 inches
straight pins
elastic thread
2 buttons – optional
measuring tape
Step 1: Remove front pockets if desired. Rub the fabric and the holes where the thread was should disappear.

Step 2: Determine how tall you want the shirred area to be and how much you want left unshirred around the bottom hem. I measured 3″ up from the side hem to the 3rd button from the bottom.

Step 3: Mark and pin the button area closed from the top of the shirring mark all the way down the bottom hemline. Cut off/remove the buttons in the shirring area and sew closed following the stitching lines on each side of the buttons.

Step 4: Take one end of the zipper cutting off hardware if necessary and separate the 2 sides from each other. To keep the ends from fraying, melt the fabric lightly with a match or flame.

Step 5: Place one end under the inside corner of the collar and pin. Line the entire collar with the zipper (about 24.5″ on our collar).

Corners – make a small fold at each corner for a smooth transition around the collar. Sew and stitch the zipper in place along the collar.

Step 6: Zipper ruffles. Measure from the top of the shirring line to the top of the shirt (12″ on our shirt). Add 4-8″ to the measurement you get and cut 4 strips of zippers for the ruffles.

Use a basting stitch on the fabric edge of the zipper and pull the bottom thread to gather each strip.

Step 7: Place 1 strand of the ruffled zipper about 1/2″ from the center buttons. Pin down the front to the top shirring mark. Sew in place.

Step 8: Place the 2nd strand against the center, overlapping slightly over the 1st strand as pictured below. Pin and sew into place.
Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 9: Shir the bottom half of the top starting at the top mark and finishing at the bottom mark. Space the shirring lines 1/4″ – 1/2″ apart.

Step 10: Sleeves – Fold each sleeve so it has to a 2″ cuff.

Step 11: Pin the top and bottom of the sleeve and sew a straight stitch on the top and bottom to keep the cuff folded.
OPTIONAL: Shir 2-3 lines on the top part of the sleeve to create a gathered look.

Step 12: Adding a zipper loop – Cut 2 10″ strips of zippers. Place one end of the zipper about 1″ under the top of the cuff. Pin in place.

Step 13: Fold the zipper onto the front/top of the cuff and pin.

Step 14: Create a loop with a 1″ tail. Fold the tail under and pin.
Pin the top of the loop to the shoulder. Sew the top of the loop and the bottom into place securing the zipper in place. Repeat on the opposite sleeve.

Step 15: Add a button (large, small, different color, etc) to the middle of the loop for added design interest. 

and you are done! 

linking up with these parties – Life as Lori, Someday Crafts, Beyond the Picket Fence, Somewhat Simple, The Shabby Chic Cottage, Everything Etsy, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Tatertots and Jello

thanks to for featuring all my TOPS! You can see their write up and interview with me here

As seen on


  1. I love it! You’ve made the most boring top look absolutely gorgeous. I’m not creative or brave enough to manage something like that. Well done!

  2. ….and it’s projects like this that make me glad I’m a follower! That looks awesome!! What amazing detail!! I love the zipper around the collar! Fantastic job!

  3. !!!!!!!

  4. I seriously can’t believe that is the same shirt. The zippers and shirring really dress that baby up!!! I am naming you the queen of shirt refashioning based on all your recent shirt refashions. Nice job!!!

  5. That’s amazing. I LOVE the zipper detail! So clever.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  6. Another amazing project – Meg, you rock!

  7. Ok seriously…you blow me away with each shirt…how in the heck did you think of this? Amazing creativity…my mouth is still hanging open! 😉

  8. Holy cow, Im LOVING it! The zippers, ruching,everything. Its amazing!

  9. All I can say is – WOWZERS! I saw this in my reader this morning, and I think I squealed with delight. LOVE!

  10. brilliant!!!

    it’s absolutely amazing! LOVE it!

  11. Um, yep, you’re my hero. This is completely AMAZING!!!

  12. Wow! You have major sewing skills…and what a designer! You rock! Great job! Are you getting the feeling that I really like it yet??? 🙂


  13. This is so AWESOME! I have been trying to think of ways to add zippers to a t-shirt refashion and here you are rockin’ it! 🙂

    I love this shirt! great job!

  14. You rock! The zipper trim on the collar puts this one over the top 🙂 Thanks for the tute, too!

  15. Love it!

  16. Holy Moley Megan!! You are seriously so amazing! I love what you did with this shirt it looks so so good!!


    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!

  17. You are just amazing. Truly!!!!


  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. OM goodness–I so love this and I am so becoming a follower right now. Thanks for linking up!

  20. This is SUPER cute! I never would have guessed that that plain shirt could become this cute, fashionable top. Some people just have an eye for sewing and what fabric could become, and you definitely have it!

  21. How cute is that and how cute are you? So Cute!
    Let me ask without sounding dorky – what is shir? I want to give it a try. You are opening a door for me that I never thought existed. I have been looking at my shirts the last week with new interest. Now to do something.

  22. Oh shirring is SO fun!!!

    It’s is sewing with elastic thread in your bobbin. I love it!

    here is a tutorial that my designer friend Sandi has put together!

  23. Clever idea! Very cute!

    Thanks for joing Get Your Craft on Thursday! Please join me next week for another great party.

  24. This is FABULOUS!! I’m loving all the zippers on the edging! And the shirring – brilliant!
    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  25. awesome idea!! thanks for the great tutorial!!!

  26. The shirt it amazing !!
    I’ve been trying to teach myself smocking (or shirring) and this has totally inspired me.
    I also wanted to ask if I could link from this post to my own blog ? I’m having trouble getting the email link to work though. You can email me on
    And the blog is if you want to have a look at it first.

  27. Sorry, i meant to say
    Thanks again.

  28. do you have a step by step tutorial on shirring?? Wow….very cool…I want one! 🙂 I love how you used the zippers!

  29. This shirt is so cute, thanks once again for sharing how to create it.

  30. I just wanted to let you know that I featured your here:

  31. Love it! What a creative idea! Thanks for posting a tutorial!

  32. Girl you are so amazing!! I wish i had half your talent!!

  33. Whoa.. this is amazing! I am so blown away by your talent. It’s really, really inspiring. I’ll be linking to this.

  34. This is so creative and amazing. I love it!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they’ve made to be worn. Stop by if you’d like!

  35. That looks awesome!! What amazing detail!!
    post free classified ads

  36. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [08 May 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  37. bellissimo tuotrial per riciclare una bella camicia!
    mi piecerebbe però sapere come si fa l’arricciatura parte del corpo e con che la fai?
    grazie ciao!

  38. Thank you for this great tut!! I linked to your tutorial on my blog.
    Eleonora, an Italian girl in Sweden

  39. WOW! That’s an AMAZING re-do! LOVE the new shirt!

  40. You made a boring shirt into a fabulous one. Excellent job. Love it. Just WOW!

  41. I am a new follower, and have visited your blog everyday for nearly a week! I am so excited to try some of your tutorials. I had a question on the shirring part of the shirt – I’ve never done it before, and I’m wanting to try this style on more of a knit (pima cotton). Does shirring work? do you think it would work to try this bodice style? Thanks so much!!

  42. Hello Erin! welcome!

    YES – it should work. I have shirred with several different fabrics before.

    have fun!!! 🙂 and nice to “meet” you

  43. Thank you so much for this tutorial. The design is awesome. I am nearly done with mine. It’s a red plaid men’s shirt and is going to be the best holiday shirt ever!

    This is my first time shirting. BRILLIANT!!

  44. I blogged mine if you want to take a look…

  45. Great! Thank you shoving this fab. tutorial!

  46. I made “my” version of your shirt. I didn’t have all the stuff on hand so I improvised. 😉 Here’s the link to it if you are interested:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial and inspiration. I have several more of your tuts pinned, awaiting my attention.

  47. Please forgive the time lapse! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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