Upcycle a Button Up Shirt into a Baby Romper

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Learn how to upcycle a button up shirt into a baby girl romper by reusing the parts of the shirt. The buttons and bubble leg are fun details!

I’m excited to share a really fun upcycle with you today! I think men’s button down shirts are one of my favorite things to upcycle because there’s a lot of fabric and lots of fun details.

I love trying to reuse a bunch of the details! It’s like a challenging puzzle that really gets me excited.

Anyway, I’m sharing a tutorial to make a 3 mos size romper from a button down, but also a skirt tutorial over at House of Estrela for Refashion Month 2016. Go see what all the other cool refashions are! It’s always inspiring to see others’ work! (And if you’re crazy, you could also make baby pants from the leftover sleeves!)

I love sewing clothes for babies! Look at that cute, bubble romper! It’s perfect for wiggly babies and summertime!

Upcycle: Shirt to Baby Romper

I kept the button placket on the front and reused the button and buttonhole on the collar stand. I also turned the collar into ruffled straps. AND the most amazing thing about this romper is that you don’t need a pattern. The shirt actually works as the pattern!

Learn how to turn a men’s button up shirt into a baby romper with the collar and sleeves!

what is upcycling?

Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.

Upcycling saves time, saves money, saves the environment, and saves memories.

Save time by reusing details from the original shirt. Save money by using something you already have.

Save the environment by keeping t-shirts out of the landfill. Save memories by reusing a favorite adult t-shirt for your toddler or child.

Upcycle: Shirt to Baby Romper

Upcycle a Button Up Shirt into a Baby Romper



1. This is the pieces you’ll need from the shirt. Cut the body 13″ from the hem.

2. Unpick the collar and the collar stand.

3. Cut off the hem from the bottom of the shirt.

Upcycle: Shirt to Baby Romper

4. Cut the collar in half.

5. Cut off all the seams.

6. With right sides together sew 1/4″ along each long side of the collars. Turn right side out.

7. Sew 3/8″ from the edge along the inside curve creating a casing.

8. Insert 5″ of elastic into the casing and tack at each end.

Upcycle: Shirt to Baby Romper

9. Sew a basting stitch and gather the top edge of the shirt.

Upcycle: Shirt to Baby Romper

10. Tack the bottom edges of the button placket together. 

11. Sew the collar stand onto the gathered edge of the shirt.

12. Insert the straps into the collar stand 2″ from center front and center back and sew the top of the collar stand closed.

13. Create a 1/2″ casing along the bottom edge of the shirt.

14. Cut two pieces of elastic 10″ long and insert them into the casing while leaving 3″ of the center front and the center back elastic-free.

15. Add snaps or buttons to 3″ elastic-free spot for easy diaper changes.

If you make something using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

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AH! I love it!!!