Michie’ Mooney, owner of Creations by Michie’, is sharing a great tip for repurposing clothes you already have in your closet into new clothes for your children. Creations by Michie’ provides classic, quality sewing patterns for babies and children that never go out of style and include clear instructions that will not intimidate the beginner.

I just love her inspiration behind this tutorial! Read on to find out more…


Have you ever had a great idea for a project and then either couldn’t find suitable fabric or just couldn’t spare the time for a trip to the fabric store?  Back when I was sewing for our four children, this was often the case, not to mention our ongoing shortage of money.  I give the credit to my mother-in-law who taught me to look in the closet before purchasing new fabric.  She had started sewing for her oldest child when World War II shortages were still fresh in her mind and told me of cutting apart her husband’s worn out wool coat in order to make a winter coat for her toddler.  She explained that the collar and underarm seams are the first to wear out on a shirt, neither of which are needed when repurposing. In the years since she shared this bit of valuable information, I have made numerous shirts, pants, jackets and dresses as a results of this “check the closet first” philosophy and have never looked at gently worn clothing the same.

This project came from a desire to make a dress shirt for our grandson and the inspiration that hit while ironing one of my husband’s favorite shirts.  Not only was the shirt ready to be repurposed for great things, the little guy recognized the shirt as one of Grandda’s, and it became a favorite.


  • Man’s large dress shirt. (Size large normally has enough fabric for up to a 3T shirt)
  • Boy’s shirt pattern (Creations by Michie’ pattern #144 was used for this project)
  • Sewing thread
  • Interfacing (light or medium weight)
  • Buttons (The shirt’s buttons are often suitable for the project)
  • 1/3 yard of fabric for the Collar and Collar Band lining (If the shirt has a yoke these can be cut from the yoke lining)


Make sure that the shirt is freshly washed and ironed.

Remove the buttons.

Cut off the collar and discard.

Cut the shirt apart along the side and shoulder seams. Remove the sleeves and pocket.


If there are stubborn stitching lines left, after removing the pockets, consider turning the shirt front pattern pieces upside down so the stitching lines are less noticeable at the bottom of the shirt. If the print of the shirt is one directional, turn the shirt back and shirt sleeve pieces to match.


Lightly spray starch and iron the individual pieces.

Pin and cut out the pattern pieces according to the layout instructions.

Follow the pattern instructions to sew the shirt.

You now have an adorable shirt for the price of a pattern and a spool of thread!  Don’t have what you need in your closet to repurpose?  Thrift stores are a great source.