Shirt to Dress Refashion

When we all went to visit my mom last weekend (I still need to share pictures from that!) she gave me a couple of brand new shirts that didn’t fit her, just in case I could use them. They didn’t fit me either, but I was able to turn one of them into a dress for Annie!

shirt to dress refashion


This isn’t going to be a tutorial, just an idea to share. I didn’t take photos of all the steps for several reasons.

1) This isn’t a common style of shirt, and I didn’t think a tutorial would be all that helpful for people using a different style of shirt.

2) I  wasn’t sure if the dress would turn out.

3) I was hurrying because the kids were behaving.

I’ll go through a run-down of how I transformed the shirt into a dress, though.

First, I cut off all the lace from the back and the hem of the shirt.

Next, I removed the buttons from the front of the shirt (you can’t really see that clearly from the picture, but it was a kind of fake-button down shirt.

I turned the dress inside out and sewed the opening where the buttons were closed. Since I didn’t want a seam going right down the front of the dress, I turned it around. The front of the dress became the back. I picked the stitches out of the bias tape across the (new) back of the dress and refinished the top so that it doesn’t look, well, unfinished.

I convinced Annie to put the dress on for me and decided how narrow to make the dress. I didn’t pin anything, I just did it by eye. Because of this, I had to do part of one side twice.

Then I started on the sleeves. The straps are basically extra wide bias tape. I picked the stitches for several inches to open up the binding. I then cut the front of the dress to the width i needed it, then re-sewed it into the binding. I figured out how long I needed the straps to be and sewed those, cut the excess fabric, then folded the seam so that there isn’t a bumpy raw edge in the straps, and sewed that down flat. (I know..I’m probably being totally confusing. Basically, I cut and sewed the straps to fit my daughter.)

That’s basically it. I know it’s confusing without pictures to explain. To shorten it, all I really did was make the body of dress more narrow by removing the same amount of fabric from each side. Then made the sleeves the right size by shortening them. If you do this yourself, it really depends on the style of shirt. There are TONS of great tutorials out there.

So, this is one step forward to crossing an item off my list of goals before my next birthday. I’ve also been working on organizing the kids’ books, and will share about that soon. :)

Check out some other re-purposing projects I’ve done herehere and here.

Have you ever re-purposed old clothing or furniture? Share about it!

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