First I will give you the dramatic before and after of this refashion and then you'll get the back story.
The back story: while sifting through my closet for something to refashion I came upon an old dress shirt. It had been well loved in its day but now it was far too dingy to be used for formal occasions. My first thought was that it needed to be dyed but I also realized that once dyed the cut would be too formal to be useful so it also needed some refashioning.
The first thing I tackled was the collar. It was too pointy and extreme so I opened up where the two pieces were attached. I have no idea what they are actually called so let's refer to them as the collar and the base of the collar.
And here is the obligatory help from a cat, they like to hold down fabric for you:
You can see where I seam ripped between the two pieces:
Once I had separated the top piece I was left with a nice little stand up collar. All I had to do was sew the piece that remained back together which I did by hand.
Next I tackled the sleeves. After about 50 false starts I decided just to chop them off (with a lot of experimentation to figure out the angle at which this should be done). I used leftovers from the sleeves to make a cuff (is that what it's called if it doesn't have a button?) for the sleeve. I actually had to piece it out of two different lengths but you can't really tell because the much smaller piece is on the inside of the arm. To gather in the extra material I went with one large tuck. (I only have pictures from after it was dyed.)
Although I liked the shirt a lot better with short sleeves it was still a little boxy so rather than attempt to reshape the entire thing I just added two ties at the sides:
I left them really long so they can actually be tied in several ways; as shown above or tied in front at the waist or as an empire waist.
Finally the shirt needed dying. (Pretend it wasn't already dyed in previous pictures). I did some research and decided after finding much praise for it that Dylon dye was good and widely available. (The "colour" page [I love British spelling] on their homepage has a cool color wheel of all the dyes.) After much mental anguish I went with "ocean blue:"
I was happy with the saturation of the color but disappointed that it came out a little streaky, although that is fading with every wash (and also could have been my fault).
I also had no idea how dying over pin stripes would turn out, whether they'd still be visible or disappear completely. I like that they are subtly still there.
It ended up being way more work then I expected but it was worth it because I really like it now:
P.S.: Total cost: About $3 for some cotton fabric to make the ties out of (I had plenty of white fabric but I wasn't positive any of it was 100% cotton so I had to buy some) and the packet of dye.