How to Make A Dress Out of A Dress Shirt

I came into the kitchen the other morning and opened the trashcan.

How’s that for a great start to a story?

Inside, I found my husband’s old button-up shirt that he has had since high school. Since I’m a total sewing novice and don’t want to spend money on fabric just to completely botch it, I texted him and was excited to find he’d ripped the sleeve and did intend to throw it away! I texted back “don’t throw clothes away without asking… I might want to sew with them!” and got to work. (Don’t worry: the shirt was the only thing in the trashcan!)

I decided to merge two tutorials (here and here) and added my own lazy steps short cuts to make a cute toddler dress for Beach Girl.

Instead of a pattern, I used a dress that fits her well as my guide.  I traced the dress onto the shirt, adding a couple extra inches around all sides to allow for the seams and for room to grow. I made sure to keep the bottom of his shirt as the bottom of the dress to save myself some sewing.

I used the existing buttons from the front of his shirt as the back of her dress and then sewed a strip of fabric along the chest for a little extra flair. To reassemble the shirt as a dress, I simply sewed up both lengths (with right sides facing and then turned it right side out), finished the top of the dress, and added straps.

For the straps, I just cut the cuffs off the shirt and sewed them on as shoulder straps, using the existing button holes to attach them to buttons that I sewed on the front of the dress.

Super easy! I finished the entire project in one day and… Voila! Just like that, I have sewn my first independent project.

I’m linking up to: I Heart Naptime.


6 thoughts on “How to Make A Dress Out of A Dress Shirt

  1. Stephanie H June 28, 2012 / 1:28 pm

    Great job on the dress! It looks so cute on Beach Girl!! Love it 🙂


  2. lindsey June 28, 2012 / 4:20 pm

    teach me.


  3. MP June 28, 2012 / 11:29 pm

    Awww, I bought him that shirt. So happy to see it getting used on Beachgirl!


  4. KR July 3, 2012 / 11:46 am

    So did you do all by hand? I love this!!


  5. beachmom July 4, 2012 / 10:19 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    KR- I mostly used a sewing machine (to go up the sides and to attach the fabric across the chest), but sewed the smaller sections by hand.


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