+ DIY button-up + how to make your own button-up pattern

IMG_9024cbuttonup IMG_9025c

I have always been intimidated by making button-ups from scratch (without a manufactured pattern), but as I was dragging another bag to the thrift store I decided to take a few of the pieces that I could possibly make a pattern from. So I grabbed a pair of jeans, an overcoat and a yellow button-up. I had NO idea how easy  it was. Just quickly cutting out the top into pieces and make a pattern from those pieces onto paper (or if you want the old top can be the pattern).

top: self-made   pants/jacket: hm     shoes: sam edelman 


P.S. Beck with no tripod took a lot of these photos…the tripod did the rest. But isn’t he talented??

old button-up
sewing machine
optional: paper


On #2 when cutting out the pieces or making the pattern, if using a thicker fabric, you don’t have to cut the extra yoke piece if you don’t want (but it will look nicer on the inside of the garment), and you won’t have to do interfacing. But if you are using a lighter fabric, you will have to cut interfacing for the yoke, collar and the little long piece and a long inch wide piece to slide inside the plackets.
button up

5. Sew the plackets (where the buttons/button-holes will be) but folding the edge of the center of the front 2 pieces under a quarter inch, and then 1 inch more. Pin. Make sure the top two pieces over lad by an inch and are as wide as the back piece. Top stitch the edge and just under and inch from the edge.
6. Sew the back yoke (the plaid piece in back) to the black piece.
7. Top stitch into place
8. Sew the front two pieces to the back piece by sewing the sides and shoulder seams together.
plaid top, sweat pant, xmas programc

9. Sew the two collar pieces together right sides together.
10. Flip right side out and topstitch the edge of the collar.
11. Get the 2 skinny long pieces with the flat edge pointing up, pin the raw edge of the collar in between the two long pieces.
12. Sew all three things together following the curved edge, leaving a half inch or so from the edge of the curve.
13. Iron/topstitch the curved long piece down following the curved part. Leaving the flat edge and a little of the curved ends open.
14. Iron under the flat edge a quarter inch
Starred Photos3c

15. Slide the neckline of the shirt into the ironed under opening of the long little piece.

16. Sew up the sleeves into a tube.
17. Slide the sleeves into the arm openings (right sides together) with the taller seamless curved part lined up with the shoulder seam and the sleeve seam with the side seams.
18. Pin together and sew.
19. Hem the bottom and the sleeves at least one inch and done!
Starred Photos2c


  1. Can we see a better, closer picture of the front please? I cannot see the button up part of the shirt. Thanks!

  2. I like the fabrics you choose!! the combination is fantastic, nice DIY!!


  3. I really love what you made and I am trying to sew a corset at the moment with plaid fabric. It is a nightmare to try to line them up and also how do you tackle the problem if the print is not exactly following the grain? Do you go with the pattern or the grain? Thanks!

  4. Great tutorial Liz! I can’t wait to give this one a try!

    x Elena

  5. I want to make this shirt! It looks so stylish and easy to make!


  6. How easy would this be to be made into a maternity shirt??

  7. Love your tutorial on making a button-up. I am loving taking older clothing apart and re-designing it into something new. Most recently I put two sweaters together into a new awesome creation for my college age daughter. I will try out your directions! Pattern design is not as hard as everyone thinks ~ I designed a pattern for making a snow skirt – very popular in Anchorage, Alaska!

  8. I love the contrast piece in the back! So cool!

  9. Cool shirt. Cool jeans. Cool gal.

  10. can you trace out the other shirt’s pieces without cutting it up?

  11. This is a topic which is close to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?

  12. Excellent post. I will be facing a few of these issues as well..


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