I could have just taken in the sides, but I wanted something a little more unique, a little less blah than the standard 3/4-sleeve ladies' blouse. I knew I wanted to go sleeveless with both of them. Texas summers are incredibly warm, and I can always throw a cardigan over them as it gets cooler. I removed the sleeves from the first shirt, and then the collar and surrounding fabric to give a nice rounded neckline. I flipped it inside-out and took in the sides, and then hemmed the raw edges. I also sewed all the way down the front to keep the fabric from gaping between buttons. Since the fabric is a cotton-spandex blend, it has enough stretch to be able to pull it over my head, so no worries there. Finally, I used the top bits of the button placket I had removed to create little straps to cinch in the fabric just below my collar bone.
For the second, I decided to be a little more adventurous. I had seen a couple refashions on Pinterest where the collar was reused as a decorative element on a little spaghetti-strap top, so I thought I'd try my hand at that. Again, I started by removing the sleeves and collar, but this time, I took off a lot more fabric for a deeper neckline and thinner straps. As with the first, I took in the sides, hemmed the new edges, and sewed the front closed. However, I had some gaping issues at the underarms this time that weren't a problem with the first top because the cinched straps pulled in the excess fabric. So to fix that, I added a bust dart coming in from each side. And to finish it all off, I reattached the two halves of the collar to the top edge.
Not too shabby for a couple of those ubiquitous button-up blouses I'm sure we all have hanging in our closets. Go try it for yourself!