When we came across this beauty on Anthropologie’s website (up on the left), we were totally inspired. This chambray shirt has the perfect mix of trendiness (those patterned pockets!) and timeless, wear-anywhere appeal, so naturally, we deemed it a must-have for fall. But since updating old wardrobe staples is more rewarding, not to mention way more fun, than buying a brand-new, wallet-busting top, we found ourselves digging in our closets for old button-downs to refurbish — and for only $25 (if you’re coming up empty-handed from your seasonal stash, try a thrift store before you give into the buy it button).
Wanna restyle your fave fall top? Whether it’s a flannel, a plain white button down or a chambray lookalike, just brush up on your basic sewing skills and scroll onto the tutorial below. Warning: a happy dance will ensue.
– chambray shirt
– geometric print fabric
– a sheet of paper
– sewing machine
– tailor’s chalk
1. Start drawing your desired pocket shape on your paper sheet. We decided to go for a 5” x 7” one, but you can choose any shape/dimensions you want.
2. Cut your paper pocket.
3. Take your geometric print textile and fold it in half. Be sure that the wrong side (the side you don’t want to show) is facing you.
4. Place your paper pocket onto your textile and draw its shape with your tailor’s chalk.
5. Cut your pockets.
6. Fold a 0.6” piece of fabric from the top of your pocket and iron it so that it will stay in place. Then sew it.
7. Now fold a 0.4” piece of fabric from the left, right and bottom edges of your pocket and get ready for the final steps of the tutorial!
8. Take your shirt and pin the pocket you want to sew in place — if you don’t feel super sure about where to place your pocket, you can always wear your shirt and pin it while it’s on.
9. Sew the four sides of your pocket, being sure to leave the top part open.
10. Repeat the exact same process on the other side and you are done!
It doesn’t get much easier than tracing a pocket pattern. Once it’s measured out, cut out your pocket and use that as a stencil on your folded-in-half fabric — be sure to outline on the wrong side, or the side you don’t want facing front. Then cut it out.
Now fold, iron and stitch the edges so you end up with clean hems, then pin the pockets to your shirt. If you don’t feel super sure about where to place your pockets, you can always wear your shirt and pin ’em while it’s on. Then sew the two sides and two bottom edges to the front of your shirt (don’t sew the top!) and just like that, you’ve given your go-to button down a whole new life.
Wear your brand new shirt with a pair of black leggings or dark jeans for a comfy everyday look, or dress it up with your favorite high-waisted skirt.
No matter where you’re going, you will always find someone asking where you bought it — guaranteed!
Have you ever hacked a shirt, or maybe a tee? What’s your favorite technique? Tell us in the comments below.