Renew a Favourite Shirt

We have heard about recycling, reducing waste and re-purposing items; and one way of helping is to renew your old clothing.  Back in the day it used to be called “mending”.  

My mom taught me this little trick for prolonging wear time out of an older shirt.  Cut off the sleeves and turn the collars.  Mysweet Handy Man loves his old shirts, ones that really have seen better days; but I thought perhaps I can try this out and save his favourite shirts.

Back or Under Collar


As you can see, the top of the collar is pretty worn and frayed while the bottom looks new.

The first thing to do is to carefully remove the stitches.  I used a small ripper.  Slip it between the collar and the band and gently start to pick or slice the stitching.   I only opened the seam as much as I had to, to remove the collar.

Once the collar is completely separate, iron it to straighten the seam area.  Fold the band and pin the center to mark it.  Do the same with the collar.

Mark the Middle

Using the pins as markers, pin the collar back into the band making sure you turn it around so the bottom is now the top of the collar.  Stitch closed with a narrow seam.  Give it one more ironing to fold in the right direction.

Now the shirt looks new again, as long as no one peeks underneath 🙂

Do you renew your clothing?  What have you done to reduce clothing waste?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small monetary reward at no cost to you. 


  1. I read on Facebook about the tons of clothes that get trashed each year in North America. If you don’t want your clothes, at least give them to a charity. Our local “New to You” store not only sells them inexpensively, they give them to those who can’t afford to pay. Recycled! I have got great buys at times in former years. But I remember Mother doing that – or making shorts out of jeans. Or as some do – making quilts. It’s all good! 👍🏻

  2. Angela Lombardi says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the nice tips and pointers on not only mending an older shirt but fully renewing it. Thanks for sharing this important post.

  4. janie vezina says:

    great idea. my husband usually wears out his shirts.

  5. Wow I never even thought of that & I sew, make things from a pattern, cut out the material. And I mend too but I never thought of that! lol so now I’ll have to look around & see what shirts I can save Lol

  6. denise low says:

    Thank you for sharing. Great idea.

  7. Amber Ludwig says:

    Oooh this is genius!! I do not normally do it because I cannot sew for the life of me!! But my best friend can and she is always willing to help!!

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