How to Upcycle a 90’s Velour Shirt into a Split Sleeve Blouse

Refashion an oversized shirt from the 90's into a modern blouse with split sleeves.

The 90’s are back.  When I spied this stretch velour shirt at the thrift store for $4, I had flashbacks of Dr. Martins, the TV show Friends and grunge music.  Crushed velvet and velour were a hot trend back then, so I resurrected it by recycling this velour shirt by adding split sleeves.

Here’s a high level overview of the refashion:

  • Reshape bodice  with new armholes and dropped waist
  • Reshape sleeves with split seams and cuffs
  • Attach gathered sleeves to bodice

Step 1 – Reshape the Bodice

Cut off the first 6" to make the drop waist for the refashioned split sleeve shirt.

Cut off the bottom 6″ of the hem and sew a new waistband.  I made mine 34″ to fit around my hips.  Save the rest for the cuffs.

Reshape the bodice for the split sleeve refashion by taking in the sides and reshaping the armholes.

Chop off the sleeves and take in the sides of the bodice.  I cut the bodice right above my hips because I wanted the fabric to drape around my body.  I reshaped the armholes with an old sewing pattern.  Gather the bottom of the bodice with a running stitch until it’s the same width as the waist band.

Pin the bodice to the dropped waist and serge to make the split sleeve refashion.

With right sides together, pin the bodice to the waistband and serge together.

Create a new bodice with dropped waist for a split sleeve refashion.

Behold the new bodice.  I’m really digging the dropped waist.

Step 2 – Reshape the Sleeves

Make new cuffs for the split sleeve refashion.

Make 2 cuffs with the leftover waistband.  I made mine 3″ high and 7″ wide.

Cut the sleeves open for the split sleeve refashion.

Cut open the sides of the sleeves.

Prep sleeve for blind hem finish for the split sleeve refashion.

I finished the edges of the split sleeves with the blind stitch foot on my serger.  It’s a great feature that finishes and hems at the same time.  It’s an easy process, but I had to prep the edges.  Fold the hem  1″ and then fold back the sleeve so the raw edge sticks out about 3/8″.  The serger finishes the raw edge and simultaneously catches the edge of the fold.

Closeup of blind stitching on the split sleeve refashion.

Here’s the outside of the sleeve.   If you look closely, you will see tiny stitches holding the fabric in place.  It’s hard to see, hence the name blind stitch.

.Gather the bottom of the sleeve to fit the cuff.

Gather the bottom of the sleeve until it’s the same width of the cuff.

Finished cuff of split sleeve refashion.

Pin the sleeve to the cuff and serge together.

Step 3 – Attach Gathered Sleeves to the Bodice

Gather the sleeve and attach to the bodice.

Gather the sleeve until it’s the same size as the armhole.  With right sides together, serge the sleeve to the bodice.

Finished refashioned shirt with split sleeves.

To focus attention on the sleeves, I kept the bodice simple.  I was initially hesitant about the drop waist, but I like the way it echoes the sleeves.

Close up of split sleeve refashion. Love the dramatic sleeves.

The velour sleeves drape beautifully around the cuffs.  So dramatic!

Side view of split sleeves refashion. Love the way the open sleeves drape.

This was one of those easy projects that took more time to write than make.  Reusing the hem and keeping the collar made this project go faster.

By the way, I must give credit where it is due.  I stole this idea from fellow refashioner Laura, the Accidental Seamstress, over at the Refashion Co-op, who was inspired by  Beth Huntington and her book The Refashion Handbook.  I got her book for Christmas, and it is chocked full of creative refashions.  I can’t wait to get started on her projects.  I got a bunch of refashion books for Christmas, and this is by far my favorite.  Now go out and get it!




Follow my blog with Bloglovin
There are 9 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Melissa’s #DIY #90s Blouse #Refashion | Refashion Nation
  2. Pingback: Melissa’s #DIY #90s Blouse #Refashion | Refashion Nation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *