A Frill Hem Charity Shop Shirt

Sewing on a Sunday is fast becoming a regular thing for me. Even if it’s just 5 minutes to iron a motif onto a t-shirt, or half an hour to mend a pair of jeans, or a little longer to adapt the most accessible charity shop item going – a shirt from the Men’s corner of the shop.

I have adapted a fair few shirts for both this blog (here) and the Oxfam Fashion Blog (here and here), but there is something quite satisfying about taking something fairly simple and turning it into something that cost a little more than the few pounds it costs in the charity shop than it would in the vintage corner of Urban Outfitters.

I saw this sky blue shirt in Oxfam a few weeks ago, and since it was before the Beast from the East dumped a hell of a lotta snow over us, I thought it was perfect for the spring weather seemed to be on it’s way, hence why I’m wearing it coat-less in these pictures. I promise you, I wasn’t taking on the Beast, it was a pretty reasonable temperature at the time.

Anyhow, before this blog post turns into a weather report of the past few weeks (it’s the Britishness in me that somehow I have ended up talking about the weather without planning too…), I’ll leave you with a fashion DIY so you can make your own upcycled shirt section of Urban Outfitters.


  • A Charity Shop Shirt (This one is from Oxfam)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Chalk
  • Sewing Machine

1. Try you shirt on and mark where you would like the hem of your shirt to end up (not including the frill). Then mark 2cm below to allow for the hem.

Before cutting the hem off you need to ensure that the hem you have cut off can be cut further in half and still be wide enough for your frill plus 2cm-3cm overall for a seam allowance.

The hem I cut off was about 12cm so I was able to cut this further so I had two strips of  6cm wide. My frill was then 4cm wide with a 1cm seam allowance at the top and a 1cm seam allowance at the bottom.

2. Cut along the lower line.

3. Cut the hem. Then cut the fabric you have cut off the bottom into two horizontal strips.

4. Hem the strip. I used a 1cm seam allowance but you may want a slightly bigger one if you want your frill a little narrower.

5. Sew the two strips together so you have one long strip of fabric.

6. Sew a running stitch, leaving the ends loose and with the sewing machine on the widest stitch 1cm from the top of the strip of fabric (along the unhemmed, raw edge side).

7. Pull the loose stitches of the running stitch gathering the top of the strip of fabric. Pin (with the right sides of the fabric together) to the raw edge of the bottom of the shirt.

8. Stitch frill to hem of shirt. Remove running stitch used for gather. As before, I used a 1cm seam allowance but it depends on how wide you would like your frill.

And that’s it. An easy DIY to complete whilst watching re-runs of Friends/Gossip Girl/*Insert Binge Worthy Netflix Series* and drinking all the coffee on a snowy/rainy Sunday afternoon.

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