Do you gravitate towards amazing men’s drerss shirts when you thrift? Or do you have a whole bunch of ill-fitting ones sitting in your favourite guy’s donate pile? Somehow I’ve ended up with a few more button-ups than I really need, so I decided to tackle another reconstruction to show you how versatile these babies are!
The collar and placket of a button-up are always a classic style and if you keep that portion of it in tact, you can keep a “put-together” look even if you’re wearing a totally deconstructed shirt. Today I’m going to show you how to make a large men’s shirt into a really cute summer dress with the back cut-out. So follow along and let me know if you have any questions!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- an oversized mens button-up shirt
- a shirt that fits you well
- measuring tape
- sewing machine (not shown)
[ MEASURE ] – Put on your oversized mens shirt and measure from the collar to your underbust or high waist. This is where the empire waist of your dress will be. Pin at this point for reference.
[ OVERLAY ] – Straighten out the oversized shirt and overlay your fitted shirt, aligning the collars. Make sure the fitted shirt is also straightened out with the side seams sitting flat. I positioned the smaller shirt and also folded it up where I had pinned it in the previous step!
[ CUT SHIRT ] – You can pin the shirt or use chalk to mark where your smaller shirt sits. Basically, you’ll need to cut about a quarter inch seam allowance around the side seams and sleeves of your shirt. I also cut straight across at my new “waist” of the dress BUT I made sure NOT to cut through the front of the shirt, because I want to keep that part attached.
[ HEM EDGES ] – Use either a rolled hem or whatever your favourite technique is for finishing edges. Hem the sleeves and the bottom hem of the top of the shirt.
[ SEW SIDES ] – Sew your side seams face to face so that the top portion of your dress is complete!
[ MEASURE ELASTIC ] – Measure a piece of elastic so that it’s about the length of the back portion of the dress (about half of your waist measurement)
[ SEW ELASTIC ] – Attach your elastic to the top portion of the skirt. My favourite method is pinning the elastic at a few different points and then serging it to the top, with the elastic stretched out. Then, I roll the fabric inwards and sew along the elastic, with the elastic stretched out again. If you don’t like the cut-out look or prefer not to have so much volume on your bottom, attach the skirt to the back portion with a straight stitch!
[ IRON ] – Finally, iron the entire dress. This will really be the point of transformation! :)
I didn’t show it in this tutorial, but I ended up adding belt loops afterwards. I just wanted to make sure the dress could hold up my skinny belts without me having to puff out my ribs uncomfortably to hold it in place ;) Let us know if you try out your own mens shirt to dress reconstruction!