Thrift Flip: DIY Color Block Two Piece Set

  • 6-min read
  • 14 Tools
  • Beginner

Summer is here, and what better way to embrace it than by donning a chic, self-made color block two-piece set? Inspired by the trendy outfits flooding Pinterest, this guide is your ticket to crafting a unique summer essential from old button-down shirts.

Color block outfits have been making waves in the fashion world, offering a fresh and vibrant look. Moreover, by opting for a DIY approach, you’re not just making a fashion statement but also promoting sustainable fashion.

The beauty of this DIY project lies not just in its sustainability but also in its ability to offer a personalized touch.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with a step-by-step roadmap to transform forgotten shirts into a trendy outfit, perfect for the summer sun.

So, let’s dive in!

Color Block Two Piece Set - Before Color Block Two Piece Set - AFTER

Tools & Materials

Just a reminder that my original video is in the middle of the page. You can watch the entire process and read the entire transcript there if you’re interested .

Selecting the Right Material:

Begin your project by choosing the fabric that you’d like to work with. I selected two men’s button-down shirts of similar fabric weight. This allowed me to upcycle with consistency. It’s a bonus if they’re from the same brand and size.

Deconstructing the Shirts:

With your shirts selected, it’s time to deconstruct. Use a seam ripper to carefully take apart both shirts, organizing the pieces separately. This gives you a blank canvas to start your design.

Designing the Color Block Pattern:

Lay out the shirt pieces and experiment with different designs. This is where your creativity shines. Decide on the color block pattern that appeals to you the most, keeping in mind the fabric weight for a consistent feel.

Constructing the Top:

Start by sewing together your chosen pieces for the back and front of the shirt.

Attach the sleeves, ensuring they align with your design.

Add the collar to give structure to your top.

For an elevated touch, replace the original buttons with buttons that fit your personal style.

Feel free to watch the original video below and following along with the transcript in the dropdown below before crafting the shorts.

Thrift Flip | DIY Color Block Two Piece Set

Hello, my name is Tiffany and welcome or welcome back to my channel. If you like sewing and DIY videos, make sure to give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. I am back with another upcycle by Little Toh where I take old forgotten items and give them a new life. I live in New York and the weather is finally starting to get warmer, so in today’s video, I’m going to show you how I turned two men’s button-down shirts into this matching color block set. So, let’s get started.

I was on Pinterest looking for some outfit inspirations for the summer, and I’ve been seeing a lot of these matching color block sets. I was just thinking how easy it would be to recreate this look using thrifted items. There are always a ton of men’s button-down shirts at the thrift store, and I managed to find these two. They’re actually made by the same brand and they are the same size, but most importantly, they are the same fabric weight, so I think it’s gonna work perfectly for this upcycle.

Here is a quick look at the shirt on. I love this one with the blue pinstripe. And here is the white one, basically the same shirt in a different color. I started by seam ripping both shirts completely, and here are all of the pieces from the blue pinstripe shirt. I repeated the whole process with the white shirt as well.

Now that both of the shirts are completely seam ripped, I was able to play around with the color blocking. Here is the final design I ended up with. This shirt should be pretty easy to fit together since I am reusing the elements from the original shirts. I’m essentially just piecing everything back together. So, let’s get sewing.

I’m starting with the back of my shirt. I’m using the blue for the back yoke and the white for the main back piece. I’ll sew these together, and you should have something that looks like this. Here are the pieces I chose for the front. I’ll sew these together along the shoulder seams, and this is what the top should look like at this point.

I wanted to quickly mention that because I am putting two different shirts together, there are going to be some sizing discrepancies. For me, the hem of the shirt is just not quite lining up right now, but I’m going to fix this later by hemming everything evenly.

Next is to sew on the sleeves. Before I sew on the sleeves, I wanted to quickly show you the original sleeve cuffs of the pinstripe shirt. These kinds of cuffs require cufflinks, which I don’t want to have to use, versus the sleeve on the white shirt that has a regular cuff with buttons. So, I’m going to go ahead and seam rip this cuff and replace it onto the sleeve.

I’ve gone ahead and seam ripped the cuff from the sleeve, and I’ll replace it with this white one. Now, I’m just going to pin the hem of the sleeve in between the layers of the cuff, working my way all the way around. I’ll sew these together, and here is what the sleeve should look like now.

To attach the sleeve to the top, I’m pinning both pieces right sides facing, and I’ll sew these together with a straight stitch. Here is what the shirt should look like with one of the sleeves sewn on. The next step is to sew on the other sleeve.

Moving on, I decided to use the pinstriped collar. Just like the cuff, I’m sandwiching the neckline between both layers of the collar and pinning everything in place. I’ll sew these together with a top stitch, and this is what the shirt should look like at this point.

Now, I’ll go ahead and sew the side seams together, and this top is almost done. The last step is to hem the top. I’m using the hem of the pinstriped panel as a guide to cut off the extra fabric. Then, I use the section that I cut off as a template for the other side to make sure that everything is even. Finally, I hem the top by folding the raw edge over twice and sewing.

I have the shirt on, and I’m pretty happy with how it looks, but I think it’s a little bit too long on me right now. So, I’m going to go ahead and hem the shirt again to shorten it. Here is the section I decided to cut off, and once again, I’ll hem this top by folding the raw edge over twice and sewing.

For the matching bottoms, I’m going to be making a pair of simple, comfy shorts with an elasticized waist. I did draft my own pattern for this, but I’ll make sure to include this free one that I found from Mood Fabrics down below. I am a little bit bummed because I initially planned on adding pockets to my shorts, but I really don’t have that much fabric left to work with, so unfortunately, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

Here is the pattern for the front of my shorts, and here it is cut out of the fabric. I didn’t have a large enough piece, so I had to sew two pieces together. I went ahead and cut out my mirrored piece, and again, I had to join two pieces for this. Next is to sew these two pieces together along the center front, and this is what it should look like now. I also decided to use a French seam to hide any raw edges.

Here is the pattern for the back of the shorts, and here it is cut out. Again, I had to join two pieces together for this piece, and then I went ahead and cut out my mirrored piece. I think I found a way to add one pocket to the back of my shorts. I have this piece left over from the front of the white shirt, and I have an idea of how to turn this into a pocket.

I cut out this rectangle to use as a pocket, and the top of this was the original buttonhole placard of the white shirt. I’ve also folded the raw edges along the sides and bottom over twice and given it a good press for a clean finish. I’m going to use that existing buttonhole along the top as a closure for my pocket.

Moving on, I’m just going to place my pocket onto my back short panel, and I’ll sew it in place along these three edges. This is what the pocket should look like sewn on, and now I can go ahead and sew my back pieces together along the center back.

Here are the back of my shorts now, and I’m placing the front of my shorts and lining them up along the side seams. I’ll sew these together. Once the side seams are sewn together, the next step is to sew the inseam, and here is what the shorts should look like at this point.

The next step is to add the waistband. I’ll start by measuring the opening along the top of my shorts. Unfortunately, I can’t find the footage I filmed for this part of the video, so I’m going to use some scrap fabric to demonstrate what I did for my waistband. I cut out a piece that measures the width of the waist of my shorts plus half an inch for seam allowance, and for me, that was 41.5 inches by 6 inches.

I folded this in half, right side spacing, and sewed together, creating this loop. You can see that my waistband is kind of patchworked together, and the only reason I did this is because I’m working with a really limited amount of fabric. So if you have a larger piece of fabric, you can go ahead and cut your waistband according to your measurements in one piece.

I wanted to quickly mention that the pinstripe section will be the shell waistband, and the white will be the lining. Before I sew this to the shorts, I’m going to fold the seam allowance of the lining section over twice and press this all the way around, and you should have something that looks like this.

Now, I’m going to fold the waistband in half, wrong side spacing, lining up the raw edge of the shell section to the folded edge of the lining section, and I’ll give this a good press. To attach this to my shorts, I’m placing the edge of the shell section right sides facing to the top of my shorts and pinning this all the way around. I’ll sew these together, and here is what the waistband should look like when I turn it to the right side.

Because of the pinstripe fabric, I’m a little bit nervous that these shorts are going to start looking a little bit too much like pajama pants. So, I’m going to add some eyelets and a drawstring to help elevate the shorts. I’m just marking out the placement of my eyelets, and I’ve spaced them an inch and a half apart and centered along the shell waistband. I also ironed on some interfacing to help reinforce the fabric.

I’ve already installed the first eyelet, and I’ve gone ahead and cut a small hole for the second eyelet. I used a kit from Amazon, which I’ll link down below, but this whole process was very easy and straightforward.

Now that the eyelets are installed, I can go ahead and finish sewing the waistband. Starting from this point, I’m going to stitch in the ditch, making sure to catch the lining waistband as I sew all the way around to this point, leaving a small opening for my elastic.

I would normally use a wider elastic that’s an inch and a half wide for my waistband, but I only have this elastic on hand right now. It’s 3/8 of an inch wide, so I’m going to make a few adjustments to my waistband to accommodate this elastic. I split my waistband into three sections, and I sewed a straight stitch closer to the top here, leaving a gap to insert the elastic, and then another straight stitch two-thirds down, again leaving an opening for the elastic.

What I’ve essentially done is created three channels for my elastic, and I’m doing this now because it’s a lot easier to sew the fabric while it’s flat as opposed to later when it’s all bunched up from the elastic. With my channel sewn, I can insert my elastic that I’ve attached to a safety pin. I feed the elastic through the opening, working my way all the way around the top channel, and once I get to the end, I’ll sew both ends of the elastic together, and you should have something that looks like this.

Now, I can sew that opening closed, and the first row of the elastic is complete. I’ll repeat this step with my other two pieces of elastic, and here is what the shorts should look like at this point.

Now, I’m turning my shorts over to the right side so I can insert the drawstring into the eyelets from earlier. Here is the drawstring I’ll be using, and I’ve attached one end to a safety pin. I’ll feed it through the center channel, and I also use these shoelace aglets I found on Amazon to finish the ends of the drawstring.

The last step is to hem the shorts. I decided to add some contrasting cuffs to the hem of the shorts, and I made a short tutorial on exactly how I did this. I’ll make sure to have that linked down below, and here is what the cuffs look like sewn on.

We are so close to being done, but I wanted to bring in some gold elements to the top as well. So, I’m going to switch out the original buttons for these gold ones. I hand-sewed all of the new buttons to the top, and I also added a gold button to the back of the shorts.

And here is the completed outfit. I think this outfit is casual and comfortable but still looks put together. I love all of the subtle gold details, and I’m so happy with how this contrasting cuff turned out. And of course, I’m very happy that I managed to get this one pocket. I am so excited to wear this outfit all summer long.

I hope you all enjoyed this video. I love the way the set turned out, and it was honestly a pretty beginner-friendly project. So, I hope you try it out. I’m already tempted to make so many more of these matching sets for the summer. I’m gonna be posting more photos of this outfit on my Instagram, so make sure you’re following me there at Little Toh. Give me a thumbs up if you like this video, and let me know in the comments what you thought about this upcycle. And as always, thank you so much for watching.

Crafting the Bottoms:

Draft your pattern based on your measurements.

Cut out the pattern from your remaining fabric.

Sew the pieces together, ensuring they align perfectly.

Add a waistband for fit and style. Consider adding eyelets and a drawstring for a trendy touch.

Hem the shorts for a polished finish (I added contrasting cuffs). If you’re feeling adventurous, add pockets or other details to enhance the design.

Accessorizing and Final Touches:

Once your two-piece set is ready, think about accessorizing. A chic belt, some gold jewelry, or even a trendy hat can elevate your look. Remember, it’s all about making the outfit uniquely yours.


Diving into the world of DIY fashion is not just rewarding but also incredibly fun. The satisfaction of creating a personalized outfit, especially one as trendy as a color block two-piece set, is unparalleled.

So, why wait? Dive into your wardrobe, find those old shirts, and start crafting. And once you’re done, don’t forget to flaunt your creation and inspire others to embrace the joy of DIY.

If you liked this article or projects like this, please follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more images and videos of my work. It means the world to me and is free!

Also, if you’ve not already, please sign up for my email newsletter to get free patterns, updates on my latest posts, and more from me straight to your inbox!

As always, thank you so much for reading, and happy sewing!

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