I graduated high school at the end of the 90s, so I will always have a special place in my heart for flannel shirts. I owned so many flannels and thermals you would think I felled trees for a living. Even though it makes me feel old, I am super geeked that some 90s fashion trends are starting to come back — they are so comfortable! At my age, I can’t really pull off big old flannel shirts like I used to. If you are very thin or very young you can wear shapeless button downs, but my body needs more structure for a shirt to be flattering. I bought a tunic-length buffalo check flannel cheaply at Walmart, but it needed some work before it was presentable. Even with my very limited sewing skills, I was able to alter a boxy flannel shirt to suit my body shape.
The shirt fits reasonably well, but since it was a cheap shirt it had a very boxy shape. It was too muumuu-like to be flattering to my curvy figure. I had never altered any of my clothing before, but I figured that even if I really messed it up, I would be out less than $15. And if things went well, I would have a good go-to shirt for the fall.
I started by turning the shirt inside out (but kept it buttoned) and putting it back on. I stood in front of a mirror and pinned a curve in the shirt that followed my body’s curve on each side of the shirt. I ran the shirt through my sewing machine a half inch outside of those pins to make sure it wasn’t too tight.
I righted the shirt and tried it on to make sure that it fit like I wanted it too. When I was satisfied, I cut off the excess fabric from the side seams and removed all the pins.
It’s a subtle difference but it takes the shirt from being slightly sloppy to looking polished (in a lumberjack kind of way).
Another trick I used to make the shirt look less sloppy is to cuff the sleeves just above my elbows. I unbuttoned the cuffs and folded the sleeves up to my biceps. Then I rolled the bottom of the sleeve up to the bottom of the cuff. I tacked the new cuff in place with a few stitches, but you could also use a safety pin to keep it in place.
Since you can still see the original cuff of the shirt, this rolling method has more style and interest than a traditional roll.
There it is. A flattering flannel shirt for less than $15. I will probably pair the shirt with leggings or skinny jeans to balance out the proportions a bit.
I think my foldover leather clutch looks awfully good with the shirt, if I do say so myself.
PS I had to take a million pictures of myself for this post, and I hated every second of it. This is my “I am SO not a fashion blogger” face. Also, we are still dealing with our subfloors, as you can see. We keep praying for dry weather so we can finally get our floors installed!
Check out these other simple sewing DIYs: