Just typing that title makes me want ice cream. It was 106 degrees here yesterday, and the last thing I needed was a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater vest. Well, I know just how to fix that!
First, let's tackle that top. We'll chop off the sleeves and make it a short-sleeved tee. Then we'll take those former-sleeves and cut two long rectangles out of each, four pieces total, each about 6 inches wide and as long as possible. Don't include the original sleeve hem; the bulk of it would just get in the way. Next, sew those four pieces end-to-end and run a basting stitch all the way up each long side, about 3/4 of an inch in from the edge. Gently tug on the threads so the fabric scrunches up to the length of the front of the shirt. Pin the ruched panel in place on the tee and sew across the top edge, following the collar line, then all the way down one side right on top of the basting stitch, then across the bottom edge along the tee's hem, and finally back up the other side on top of the other basting stitch. That's it! If you want to finish the new sleeve edges, that's cool. But I didn't.
Next for that sweater vest. It's cotton, so it won't be too warm as long as I don't wear it as it is intended, over another shirt. Let's make that puppy a skirt instead! We'll cut right across under the armholes, and then attach a piece of wide elastic as a waistband to the top edge, keeping the original ribbed sweater hem as the bottom edge of the skirt. Make sure you use a zig-zag stitch to sew the elastic on so it will still have plenty of stretch.
And there you have it! A strawberry shirt, chocolate skirt, and if you're as melanin-deficient as I, you are the vanilla. May visions of ice cream dance in your head and keep you cool this summer.