How to make a dress from an oversize shirt

I got a request to make a tutorial on how I made this dress;

First of all, you will need to know some basic sewing to do this, because I won't go into details on how to add a zipper and such, as it would simply make this post waaay too long. Secondly, finding a suitable shirt to re-vamp might not be that easy, as getting enough fabric for both top and bottom even for little old me was tricky. But still possible! I'd look for something with wide and long sleeves...Also, you could just make the skirt-part if there isn't enough fabric.

As I didn't plan to make a tutorial when I made the dress, I took no pictures of the process itself. So I'll just have to try and explain what I did...Hopefully I'll get you inspired to re-use something old and make something new, and save the environment etc. So here goes. I first thrifted a very large sized shirt with all in one sleeves, made from a thick and suitably stiff material;

I decided on my desired skirt length and marked it, plus a 1 cm seam allowance, measuring from the hem up. Then I cut my skirt part out, zig-zagged the raw edges and sewed close the left side all the way up. I also carefully removed the pockets and sewed them back on higher up.

The next step was to cut the collar out, leaving a bit of fabric at the front to work with. At the back of the collar I undid the seam and removed the collar from the back of the shirt. Here I noticed that I would not be able to fit my head through the collar if sewed shut (where there used to be buttons to undo), so I left it open at the back instead. I then turned the undone neck parts back in towards each other and sewed shut, leaving the back with two straps, too short to tie, but long enough close with a button and buttonhole or my version; hook and loop tape for more adjustability.

Here's a little explanation on how I cut the shirt up;

(Click for larger image)

But before I did any cutting I had to measure the sleeves across to see whether or not they were wide enough to make into a top for the dress. They were, just...So I cut the pieces out, comparing the width to my best fitting top pattern. I made some adjustments, added darts at the bust, and made sure the back (and front!) was high enough to cover a bra. All edges got zig-zagged and the darts sewed. I then sewed the left side shut.

The next step was to fit the collar in. I fitted the collar as if the top was a vest or pullover and the collar was peeking out, and sewed the pieces together, really close to the collar. The zig-zagged egdes were turned in, of course.

Now, the sides/arm holes were still open. I cut the extra fabric from the collar (sticking out from underneath the top) to match the sides, turned them in towards each other and sewed shut. I then turned the rest of the sides/arm holes over, as well the back, and stitched shut. Now, it was time to add the top to the bottom!

I matched the left side seams to each other, and then the right sides, still open. Next, the center of the top to the center of the bottom, and then on and on, center of top gaps to center of bottom gaps until I ran out of pins...All this to get the wrinkles to spread out nicely and evenly.

Finally, I added a zipper in the gap at the right side, starting in the skirt-part going all the way up to the arm-hole. Done!

Phew! I hope I didn't miss anything, and that you get the idea despite the lack of proper sewing terminology etc. I am, after all, a swedish speaking self-taught seamstress...But if something was really unclear you can always ask about it. And if you do go ahead and make something inspired by this post (or any other posts of mine for that matter) do let me know, I would love to see the results. Good luck and happy sewing!

5 kommentarer:

fröken lila sa...

this is such a great idea!

Seinäruusunen sa...

UPEA idea, taidankin napata joskus jos sattuu niin hyvä tuuri että tulee vastaan kivan näköinen miesten paita...

Anonym sa...

Men åååh vad duktig du är! Blev så sugen på att sy nu.

Ha en fin dag!

Erika sa...

Så fiffigt! Väldigt bra beskrivning också!
Visst gör fackspråket för sömnad en extra svårighetsgrad i bloggosfären? Jag får ibland fundera en bra stund över vissa av Gerties inlägg innan poletten trillar ner, för att jag inte förstår sömnadstermerna... Så bra jobbat med den delen också! =)


Kitten sa...

Fröken Lila; Thanks!

Seinis; Kiitos, pidän silmä auki sun blogissas jospa tulis!

Catrin; Tack, roligt om du blev inspirerad! :)

Erika; Åh, bra om du förstod :) Kram!