Polo Refashion #2 (Tutorial)

Many, many moons ago, I did a refashion with one of Philip’s old polo shirts, and after a ton of emails and comments asking for a step by step tutorial, it’s finally time. 
This was a polo that Philip bought a few years ago, but when it accidentally went through the dryer and shrunk quite a bit, he no longer liked it. It’s from Brooks Brothers, so it’s very high quality knit, and has a fantastic drape — the fit and feel is so nice. Also, with a year and a half of refashioning under my belt, this refashion turned out quite a bit better than the original polo refashion. I’m in love with my new slouchy half-sleeve tee.
jeans: american eagle (shop) // wedges: target // belt: target (shop)

step one. Cut off the collar. Set it aside to use later.

step two. Try the shirt on backward (buttons in the back) and mark the new neck hole with pins. Then cut out the neck hole, as shown below with the dotted line.

step three. Since we cut the collar off, go back with a seam ripper and remove the rest of the collar bits, as seen below. 
step four. go back to the collar piece and open it up, tearing off the interfacing if there is any. 

salvage as long of a strip as possible and iron it flat (as seen with the bottom strip in the photo below).

now fold it in half, wrong sides together, and press it flat. This will be the “ribbing” for your neckline.  If you can’t get a long enough piece, just use a few pieces and sew them together.

step five. attach the ribbing to the neckline with a straight stitch, as seen below. 
The length of my ribbing was about 2 inches shorter than the neck hole, so I pinned it evenly and then pulled the ribbing in between pins as I sewed. This achieved a nice tight neckline. If your ribbing is the same length and isn’t pulled tight when sewn, the neckline will be wavy and loose. 
Press the neckline flat and then sew around the neckline with a wide straight stitch just below the ribbing, as seen below. 
Fold the raw ends of the ribbing down at an angle and pin, sewing over them to secure them in place as you sew that seam. 
The front of your neckline will now look like this:
and the back will look like this: 

step six. try the shirt on and determine how much you want to take in on the sleeves and the sides. Then lay the shirt flat on the ground and pin in place. Then sew from the sleeve hem to the shirt hem with a straight stitch. Trim the seam allowance and serge or zigzag your raw edge (optional since knits don’t fray).

press all your seams and you’re done!
comment or email me with questions! happy sewing!


  1. Nicole says:

    This is great! Can't wait to try it. Thank you!

  2. Lindsay says:

    your refashioning tutorials are so good! I recently refashioned some old pants from one of your tutorials and absolutely love them! (I blogged about it here: livelaughloveandlindsay.blogspot.com/2013/02/refashioned-skinny-pants.html)

    thanks for the tips & inspiration 🙂

  3. samandro22 says:

    This is a really good tutorial. I love your blog because on a college budget, I can't really always afford to buy new clothes, but when you put up tutorials/ideas like this I can take old clothes and make them better! I'll definitely be trying this out with some of my old, too-big high school clothes that having been sitting around in my closet for the past couple years. Thanks for taking the time to explain all of it step-by-step!

  4. you are so talented at refashioned old clothes and making them look fab — thanks for sharing this! xo


  5. Sara says:

    I love the way this turned out! It looks great! Your first post about refashioning a polo is how I found your blog! I love the tutorials and can't wait to try this one out soon!

  6. oooo i totally love this!


  7. Really nice!
    You are able to refashion everything!!!

    This is Sara

  8. This is great! My husband is not going to know what hit his closet once I start raiding it!

  9. Wait. This is adorable! How are you so creative??


  10. Tara says:

    This is REALLY cute–i love it!!

  11. Wow! This turned out so great, looks a million times better than the original! I'm trying this out asap, thanks for the step by step tutorial.

  12. Sarah Vine says:

    MUCH cuter! It's such a gentle, subtle refashion with huge results. Brilliant.

  13. sushi.latte says:

    I love this!! Think I'll try it with my daughter's school polos.

  14. My DH has so many polos that this is the case with – hello new shirts for me!!!

  15. Mrs Gray says:

    Love it! I can't wait until I'm a little more confident with my machine so I can actually try them.

  16. Marjorie G says:

    It turned out great and fits you nicely. You gave me an idea on what to do with my shirts that are too big for me.

  17. Bart says:

    MB, that is a really fine refashioned shirt. So much so that I find myself moved to comment on it, even though I'm not interested in refashions, from the TSA line in the Philadelphia airport. Well done.

  18. Sarah S. says:

    so cute! This is definitely something I want to try.

  19. meg m says:

    you are totally sticking to your guns and stepping up your sewing tutorials! this looks amazing!

  20. Laurie says:

    unrelated to the re-fashion….where did you get those shoes?

  21. Abby says:

    What sewing machine do you have? Mine is just about the crappiest little thing. I want to chuck it across the room every time I get it out. The tension is always messed up.

  22. Abby says:

    Oh and ps, this is amazing. And it doesn't look that hard. This is something I can do Merrick!! YAY!

  23. Megan says:

    So cute!! holy cow you are talented!

  24. WHOA! What a chic transformation! Can't believe my eyes… and love the back. NICE WORK

  25. These shirts are great. They are fully cut, made of a nice stable cloth, and seem to be well made. I liked my first two so much I ordered two more. Always need to have sport tek port authority polo shirts for either jeans or jacket and this one is perfect.

  26. What a lovely reuse! Compliments and greetings from Italy

  27. Thanks for the tutorial! It has inspired me to turn a lot of my clothes around but I started with the basics:
    You're amazing!

  28. This was a nice shirt, I was great impressed at the quality of this shirt. You should consider this shirt.


  29. gailnadezna says:

    hiya … I need to take in my wedding dress at the bust (the sides are too low to just take it – would you have a blog that shows how please ??

    • No, I don't have any tutorials like this. I would recommend going to a tailor for wedding dress alterations, as those are much more important and delicate, and also use fabrics that are tough to work with. Good luck!

  30. Lily Fung says:

    This is really a very good idea, thanks for sharing 🙂

  31. katysewell12 says:

    This is such a neat refashion. I have quite a few solid color women's polo shirts that are a bit too big for me to wear now. Now I finally have a summer project to begin! http://bfrog.com/solid-color-womens-polo-shirts/

  32. Guest says:

    Cute from the front but that logo makes it look like you have a shirt on backwards. A lot of work for something that looks so “homemade.”

  33. Yvonne and Tim Reddy says:

    I love the great job you did on this clever remake! I like the logo. Particularly if the shirt logo is a cute logo or one that is a well respected brand!

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