SJP Ortiz top DIY

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Upcycling project – SJP Top from Johanna Ortiz made from old man shirts

I saw an article with Sarah Jessica Parker in 2016  and immediately fell in love with the top she was wearing. I found out it was designed by Johanna Ortiz (I do like lots of her designs) but literally unaffordable for me. So I decided to make my own top from the one material I have lots of… Man Shirts

I finished the project about a year ago (September 2017) after working on it for the better of that year. It took a lot of adjustments and thinking about the “how to…” because my fabric supply was VERY LIMITED and I couldn’t loose even a few cm of it. I did have to use a second shirt for the lining and ended up using a bit for the bottom part as I did cut out a piece the wrong way and couldn’t fix that any other way…

I intend to make a sewing pattern for this top but for now I can only show you how I made this one.

First I cut off sleeves and collar. I had to make a new shoulder seam to pull up the arm hole,  take out some fabric from the middle of the back (which gave me more fabric to work with), put a bust dart  in and fold in the button placket (I do not cut it off right away,  as I wanted to safe the bottom part of the shirt as a whole to keep as much fabric as possible)

Then I used a sleeve pattern I had from another blouse to get a good armhole. I put it on the sleeve upside down after I already removed the cuff. I needed the shoulder part as the new cuff to give it the wide puffy look that Johanna Ortiz is using in a lot of her designs. The new cuff itself I created by piecing together the botton placket I cut off.

I put the sleeves back into the shirt and tried it on to see where I can cut off the bottom of the shirt.

The piece I cut out from the center back I used to create the waist band. The original top on SJP had the stripes vertical but I did not have enough fabric to recreate that. So vertical stripes have to do. 

Then I decided that I needed lining and used another man shirt in blue to start cutting the pieces for the peplum. I did not have a pattern for that, so I created one, tried the pinned peplum on the mannequin, adjusted and then copied the pieces onto the striped fabric.



That would have been perfect if I wasn’t so stupid to cut one of the pieces the wrong way… Now I did NOT have enough fabric anymore. I had to use some of the lining fabric for the peplum pieces. I did have the shirt pocket saved, which I then used to put on the back middle piece of the peplum.


I finally had all the pieces for the peplum to sew them all together and onto the top. I used some lining to hide all the seams and velcro to close the top in the front. I wanted to use a button or snap first but I thought velcro is more adjustable as there is no elasticity in the waistband.



And here is the result… Not completely perfect but quite wonderful.

There are a lot of details I put into the design that I didn’t all show here but I aim to make a better tutorial on the second version. If you need any more info, just get in touch.

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina


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