Summer Brights: Resize a men’s button up tutorial


Today I’m super excited to be part of the Knock it Off series at Elegance and Elephants.

I’ll admit, I have a hard time shopping for regular priced clothes for my kids. Not only do kids outgrow their clothes ridiculously fast, but seriously… $25 for a pair of shorts that they’re going to get mud all over in five seconds? Um, no thank you.

spring brights GAP knock offSo with a combination of upcycling and from scratch sewing, I knocked off this GAP outfit for my five-year-old [ahem, five and a half…].

DSC_0540I am loving the bright colors of spring! I had some green denim from JoAnn’s that was perfect for these simple flat-front shorts.DSC_0554And I added some faux back pockets, just for fun. :)DSC_0574The sweatshirt was upcycled from an XXL hoodie that I snagged at a thrift store a long time ago. It’s suuuuper soft. Upcycling tip: use existing pieces of the garment to create your own. I re-used the hood and part of the pocket. I also cut off the waistband and re-attached it onto the bottom of my sweatshirt. Such a time saver!DSC_0538The hoodie wasn’t a henley, so I added the placket and buttons. I did my stitching in a green thread to match the shorts… just because I liked the green so much.DSC_0592The gingham shirt was one that had been retired from my hubby’s closet. Have you ever sized down a button-up for your kiddos?

Re-size a men's button-up shirt for a kid

It’s so easy…. here’s how to do it:

DSC_0466Place a pattern piece [or a folded shirt] on top of the button-up shirt. If your pattern piece is for knit fabric [like mine was], give some extra seam allowance. Cut around the pattern piece, cutting through both the front and the back. DO NOT cut through the button placket or the collar. Leave those in-tact.

Note: Unless you’re making a shirt for something super formal like a wedding, you can most likely get away with leaving the collar in-tact for an older child. Or if you have a smaller child, use a smaller shirt. It will be a little big, but not so noticeable that you need to go through the trouble of messing with the collar.DSC_0470Cut off both sleeves and cut them to match your sleeve pattern piece [or use a shirt that fits your child]. Re-use the hem of the sleeve to make it an even easier sew.

Enter super fancy graphics…

vscocam2Unfold the body of the shirt and the sleeves – sew the sleeves on. vscocam1

Sew along the bottom of the sleeves and down the sides of the shirt. Seriously easy.

DSC_0612Thanks for popping in today! Happy sewing. :)

Similar Posts


  1. I love the Knock if Off series, and your contribution is great!!! I love finding posts that are about sewing for boys since I have 5 of my own (well, 5 girls too). The spring green shorts are stunning…especially with the gingham shirt. Nice job!

  2. Love this! I’m always looking for great projects for my son as he sadly gets overlooked in the sewing department! :)

  3. Oh, love this!! That sweatshirt is knocking my socks off. Especially paired with the bright green shorts. Great attention to detail with this entire knock-off. I do have a question about re-attaching the ribbed waistband. Do you attach it before you sew up the sides of the shirt, or sew it in a circle and then attach? If it’s the latter, is there a method you use to get it the right size? Does this question even make sense? Ha! Thanks for any tips, and again, fantastic job!

Leave a Reply