Upcycled business shirt to apron

Aprons!! I love them! Who would have guessed? I had no idea they were so much fun, and in years past I wouldn’t have thought I’d be going crazy for them. Especially for gifts! They can be so easily personalised…

I made 2 of 3 of the aprons below yesterday – I had the nicest day chopping, playing, designing and creating these beauties! And as always, my very favorite element of sewing is that I can recycle materials in whatever way I want.

Why is sewing and recycling so close to my heart? Because consumerism, waste, slavery, poverty!

We all do it now and then, but the science shows what we all know in our hearts – consumerism only makes us happy in the short term and reduces our long term happiness, creating a long term void to fill. So now, we’re a society that just accumulates and accumulates, to fill a void of long term unhappiness made by our short term acts.

And the waste we create by consuming! I believe our footprint on the planet can be reduced so simply and easily, with just a little awareness. I buy bottled water sometimes, but I was shocked to learn this morning that the plastic bottles Americans send to landfill each year are manufactured from enough oil to fuel a million vehicles for a year. Oh boy…

And our consumer appetite for cheap goods, especially fashion, is the main driver for modern day slavery. In another world not so far from us, people toil in working conditions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy – just so we can buy a cheap garment that lasts three washes before we toss it!  And so many more people live in such poverty that they won’t eat today, let alone buy clothes! It hurts my heart that the world is so divided. I’m no martyr  – I was once the biggest shopper you ever met – but now is the right time, for me, to grow my awareness. I want to appreciate the clothes I wear.

This is how I do it…. by treasuring what I have, loving it and recycling it, and giving less money to unethical manufacturers.

End of rave 🙂

This was another of my partner’s work shirts. I sew with his shirts a lot. I have found men either wear their clothes to death, or not at all.. and the not-at-all shirts are the ones you want! They can be found in you local op-shops too.



Just add doilies…


Click through to tutorial…


The second work shirt I refashioned was made following the method you can see in the tutorial above. However, no doilies were added, and lace was sewn into the sides when this was joined. I decided yesterday that I was missing something, so I added a quick lick of paint and love how it turned out.

Your apron is a blank canvas! You can sew, paint, draw on anything you want.




Apron no. 3 was made differently, using an old skirt of my mums! I just chopped off the bottom denim and used it as the top bodice piece and then added a stripy piece of material as the skirt. I used the stripey skirt material to make into the necktie – I specifically wanted it mismatched in size and color for a little originality!

I added a little bit of stitching detail to this apron.. so very cute!




Using your scraps of material, ribbon and lace you can make any apron you like!!

Waste not want not!!

  • I am inspired (0)
  • Love this (0)
  • I want this (0)


  1. Kylie says:

    ohhh, I think the last apron is my fave – esp. all the cute little details and stitching. I also love the addition of the gold pocket on the second one though!

Leave a Reply