In this project I tried to sew my friend a dress out of old mens shirts based solely on her measurements and with the help from a shirt as a pattern for sleeves.
Please just use this as an inspiration to make your own dresses, clothing, and give you ideas. No need to follow these exact instructions, change them to match your own measurements and ideas! :)
Step 1: Measurements
Around the neck
Side of neck to end of shoulder
Spot where the skirt will sit
Hips (not needed)
Length from neck, down the back to the top of where the skirt will sit
Length from where skirt will sit down the back of the leg to where the skirt will end.
Step 2: Supplies
pen for marking on clothes
Ruler or measuring tape
Thread color of your choice
And calculator to make some small easy calculations
Step 3: Skirt
Lay them flat.
Cut up the sides and cut out the sleeves at the same time.
Then cut across the top of the shirt underneath the shoulders to the give it a nice flat edge.
Step 4: Skirt Pattern
Now we have four pieces of fabric so lets take 34 and divide it by four, that will give us four pieces at 8.5 inches a piece.
Take each piece of fabric and measure along the top. Find the total length and divide it in half. Place a mark in the middle.
Now take your measurement of 8.5 inches and divide in half again, giving us 4.5
Now measure 4.25 after the mark you made, and 4.25 in front of the mark. This will give you your total of 8.5 inches right in the middle of the piece of fabric.
Now make sure to add 1/4 of an inch to each side of the pattern, this is where you will cut out the fabric, it gives you your seam allowance.
This is the top of the skirt
Step 5: Measure Down
From this mark measure down the measurement from the back of where the skirt sits down the leg to the length you want the skirt at.
In this case it was 19.5 inches. I then added another 1/2 inch to it.
The extra half inch on the bottom will be where you hem the skirt
And the extra half inch on top is where you attach the skirt to the top.
Once you have the bottom measure out. Cut across the shirt shortening the bottom to its new length.
Step 6: Cut Out the Pattern
This way you can get as much natural gather as you can from the fabric.
Draw a line down from one point to another, then do the same with the other side.
Next cut out the two sides.
Now repeat this step with the other three pieces and you will be ready to pin and sew!
Step 7: Now Pin!
Place two pieces together with the outsides facing each other, basically if it was a shirt, face them so it would be inside out.
Then pin along one side and sew up the edge. Remember to back stitch for a secure stitch.
Take the other two pieces and do the same.
Now take the two newly formed pieces and repeat this step again till you have a full skirt sewn.
Step 8: Now the Tricky Part! the Top!
For the top I used a green striped shirt
Step 9: Measure Again :(
For this I measured the shoulder length to the shirt.
From the neck to the end of the shoulder, which for this was 5in inches, place a mark. Then add 1/4 inch for seam allowance.
Then I cut the sleeves of the original shirt off.
For the sleeves I used a womens shirt to follow a rounded pattern for both sides. This made it easier so I knew the sleeves would fit for sure.
I also cut the sleeves out of the old shirt from the extra fabric in the sleeves.
Step 10: Bottom of Shirt
Start at the base of the collar and measure straight down in this case, 19.5 inches. Add a 1/2 inch to the bottom. This is where the skirt will attach to the shirt.
Measure straight across at this point and cut across. This is where the bottom of the shirt will end.
Step 11: Readjust the Bottom
The entire measurement was 34, so we half it to 17.5. This measurement will be straight across, meaning both the front and back piece together will equal 34.
Measure the entire length of the shirt which in this case was 21 inches, so I just took 2.5 inches. About an inch on each side. Leaving a quarter for seam allowance.
Make a mark. Then taking the measuring tape measure up the the bottom of where the sleeve would be and make a line all the way up.
Do this with both sides and then cut up on each side. You should get a somewhat angled v look. More feminine look to it.
Step 12: Open and Pin!
I like to pin the ends first then put one in the middle. After that work your way in, this allows you to take any extra material and gather it in so no one can see any mistakes. It seems to be something I do a lot of when I sew.
Once theyve been pinned then sew exactly where you have already pinned.
Step 13: Now Pin the Sides and Underarm
Once this is done start sewing from the sleeve underarms down.
Step 14: Attach Skirt to Stop
Step 15: Embellish
Step 16: Final Outcome!
I hope this just inspires you to get creative with old clothes rather then just throwing things away! You can turn old clothes into anything! Have fun!
I also cinched the waist a little bit more to give it more shape then the square frock it started as.