How To Make A Puff Sleeve Shirt (Upcycle Men’s Dress Shirt)

Today, we’re going to have fun cutting a shirt with this beginner sewing project. Let’s learn how to make a puff sleeve shirt using an upcycle men’s dress shirt.

Good news! Recently, the original classic poplin top got a puff sleeve update according to the latest runways from Rebecca TaylorGucci and Ulla Johnson.

Yes, this statement sleeve trend is everywhere from social media to retail stores. With this tutorial, you will learn how to make a puff sleeve shirt using an upcycle men’s dress shirt.

Fashion bloggers and your favorite Instagram influencers are all over this trend already.

If you can’t live without a classic shirt for work or casual date night outfit, then this style is perfect for you too!


How to Wear Puff Sleeve Shirt

You might be wondering how to wear this trend properly to look chic and work-friendly or even as a casual date night outfit.

To nail the puff sleeve trend, the key to put this outfit together properly is to pair it with fitted bottoms such as straight leg pants or even a pencil skirt to keep the right balance.


Puff Sleeve Work Outfit

  • Pair a white puff sleeve blouse with beige chinos and white heels to look elegant and professional throughout the workday.
  • Pair with a black lace midi flare skirt and black pointed toe heels to give a unique and ladylike appearance. This is the classic black and white office work outfit.


Casual Puff Sleeve Outfit

  • Pair any puff sleeve white button-down shirt with your favorite pair of mom jeans and black ballet flats. You will create a chic and casual look.
  • If you need a classy and sexy summer look, you can easily wear any color puff sleeve blouse with a pair of denim mini shorts for a beach vacation.


Puff Sleeve Date Night Outfit

  • Love the off-the-shoulder shirt trend? There are off-the-shoulder shirt puff sleeve shirts that are to die for! Simply wear with a black leather mini skirt as a romantic date night outfit.
  • If you are a dress person, for your next date night outfit look for a puff sleeve shift dress. You will look elegant and date night ready.


It’s really fun to watch the new trend on the runway, but it’s sad to walk by all of the expensive clothes in the retail stores. This simple designer chic puff sleeve shirt costs range from $100~$400.

Instead, I decided to repurpose men’s dress shirt into women’s puff sleeve shirt. The best part of all is with an upcycle men’s dress shirt, you will be reducing 26 billion pounds of textiles and clothes in landfills that goes to waste every year.

Repurpose men’s dress shirt by learning how to make a puff sleeve shirt today!


Refashion Men’s Dress Shirt

There are many fun and creative ways to repurpose men’s dress shirt into a dress, skirt, rompers and also a women’s blouse. Since you are already starting with a finished garment, there is less sewing involved and no paper patterns needed to recreate your capsule wardrobe.

Follow this simple and easy tutorial for how to make a puff sleeve shirt and you will be all set! Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I will be sure to respond!


How To Make A Puff Sleeve Shirt

For this upcycle tutorial, I used no paper pattern to create the puff sleeve.

Most of the time, sleeve details need a paper pattern in order to fold and sew properly. But in this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you an easy way how to make puff sleeve shirt without a paper patter.

If you have any questions about the steps, send me an email or leave a comment, I’m here to help out!


Materials to refashion a puff sleeve shirt from men’s dress shirt:

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  • Men’s Old Button-Down Shirt
  • Scissor
  • Measuring Tape
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Pinks
  • Seam Ripper
  • Ruler


How to Turn a Men’s Shirt Into a Woman Shirt

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  1. Remove the pocket using a seam ripper.


  1. Detach both sleeves by cutting along the seam using scissors


  1. Disconnect the collar by cutting the collar band.


  1. Cut across the yoke seam in the back.


  1. Cut down both side seams and then detach the shoulder seam.


  1. To make the new front piece, start by folding the original back piece in half. Pin it securely along the armhole and side seams so that it doesn’t move when you are drawing a new shape or begin cutting.


  1. Then, fold your favorite t-shirt in half. Pin it along the shoulder seam and armhole so we can easily copy the pattern.


  1. Copy the front neckline, shoulder seam and armhole by tracing the outline with fabric chalk.


  1. Measure 23” down from the highest point of the shoulder seam and mark.


Then, measure 10” away from the folded center front, draw a straight line to connect and cut along the chalk mark to complete the front piece.


  1. To make the back piece, unbutton the shirt, lay the wrong sides together and then pin it to secure.


  1. Use your favorite t-shirt to copy the back neckline with fabric chalk.


  1. Then, use your new front piece to copy the shoulder seam, armhole, side seam, and hemline.


  1. Cut along the chalk mark to complete the back piece.


How to Make A Puff Sleeve Shirt Without Pattern

This easy step by step tutorial on how to make a puff sleeve shirt is so fun! Creative DIY projects to copy. #refashion #sewing #upcycling #sewingtutorial #diy #diyfashion #upcycle #sewinginspiration #easysewing #HowTo #clothes #clothing

  1. For the sleeves, remove both cuffs and then split open each sleeve by cutting along the seam.


  1. Open each sleeve and lay them flat with the right side up.


  1. From the center of the sleeve pattern, measure 13” down, make a straight line across and then cut to create the new sleeve length.


  1. Remove any sleeve seam so that you are left with a smooth piece of fabric.


  1. Now, measure the hem of the sleeve. Mine is 16” across and I will reduce it to 10” by removing 3” on each side.
  2. Draw a new seam line with fabric chalk and trim along both sides of each sleeve.


  1. Double fold the sleeve hem 1/4”, pin it to secure and sew edge top stitch.


  1. For the pleated fold on each sleeve, begin by folding both sides about 1/2” from the center of the sleeve and pin to secure.


Then, fold again about 1/2” on each side and pin to secure.

You want to make sure the new sleeve line matches your armhole so double check before your sew them together.


This simple step by step DIY tutorial on refashion mens shirt to women blouse is so awesome. Great recycling projects for beginner sewing. #refashion #sewing #upcycling #sewingtutorial #diy #diyfashion #upcycle #sewinginspiration #easysewing #HowTo #clothes #clothing

  1. Sew about 1/8” along the folded tucks to secure the pleats and then cut a smooth line along the armhole.


  1. Next, place the wrong side of the front and back piece together. Sew 1/2” seam allowance along the shoulder seam.


  1. Attach the sleeve to the bodice with pins and then sew 1/2” seam allowance.


  1. For this neck finish, I chose to make inbinding with a 3/4” width bias strap that is about 24”.


  1. Begin by laying the right side of the strap against the right side of the bodice, pin to secure and sew 1/8” along the neckline.


  1. Use scissors to clip along the neckline without cutting through the sewed line. This method will help you curve it more smoothly.


  1. Cover the seam with a 1/4” double fold, pin to secure and sew edge top stitch along the neckline.


  1. Double fold the hemline 1/4”, pin to secure and edge top stitch along the hem to finish cleanly.


How to Care For Cotton Poplin Shirt

Once you have taken the steps to construct your own clothing, we want to learn how to care for cotton poplin shirt properly. Follow these cotton care instruction so that you can avoid having to go to the dry cleaner every time you wear your cotton shirts.

You can easily follow how to care for cotton poplin shirt with these tips and tricks!

Learn how to make a puff sleeve shirt with this beginner sewing project!

Sewing and making clothes from scratch sounds like a lot of work, but with this simple and detailed tutorial on how to upcycle men’s dress shirt into women’s puff sleeve shirt, you will be on trend for this year and save the earth!


What’s your creative ways to upcycle men’s dress shirt?

Share your DIY puff sleeve shirt with me at Instagram #MakeWithFashionWanderer!


This refashion mens button up shirt to women puff sleeve shirt is THE BEST! Love this trash to couture ideas. Pin worthy and try later DIY with this tutorial. #refashion #sewing #upcycling #sewingtutorial #diy #diyfashion #upcycle #sewinginspiration #easysewing #HowTo #clothes #clothing

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

  1. thanks so much for the detailed tutorial. it makes me think i can actually do it! I will definitley be on the lookout at the thrift shop for a potential project. Cindy h.

    1. Thank you for leaving us a comment! We greatly appreciate the feedback! Please share the results of your upcycle men’s dress shirt project with us 🙂

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