Today I am sharing how to take a Western Shirt (or any button down) and turn it into a dress! Since the shirt I have is a women's small, I am using it to make my daughter a dress. Although, this tutorial would work the same for turning a larger shirt into a dress for a woman.
Step 1: Gather What You Will Need:
- Western Shirt (or any button down)
- Flat twin bed sheet
- Sewing machine (or needle and thread- more power to you!)
- A dress pattern (needs to be a bodice and a skirt portion- not an A-line pattern). I used the Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado
- iron and surface to iron on
*When it comes to choosing a western shirt, size matters.The bigger the better!
*I always take out two different bodice patterns, so I can choose which one fits better on the shirt with the pattern placement.
Step 2: Step 1: Look at Your Shirt
Not the one you are wearing! Take a good look at the shirt you are about to cut into.
What do you like about it? What do you want to keep? Is there a snap placket that you want to use as a functioning closure? Decide now where you want everything.
Take your bodice pattern and play around with placement. I like using the snaps in the back, so I make sure to place my back bodice pattern on there.
This is also a good time to make sure your shirt and sheet are pressed. Get out that iron and get rid of those wrinkles!
Step 3: Cut That Shirt Apart
Cut carefully (or seam rip) along the arm seams, and the shoulder seams, the shirt side seams. Make sure to keep any pieces you might want whole. I kept the cuffs in tact, and the collar. You never know when you might want to embellish with these! I use scissors because I want to get started this year. If you want to seam rip, go for it! It may take you a bit longer. I'll wait.
Step 4: Cut Out Your Bodice Pieces
Lay your bodice pieces wherever you want to on the shirt pieces. Do this carefully and slowly. Make sure they are where you want them. Pin them in place.
Cut them out.
Repeat for the lining
My fabric is quite sheer, so I am lining the dress. Cut out the same pieces only this time using the bed sheet. These will be your liner.
Step 5: Embellish
Take those bits and pieces you saved and place them where you want. Pin in place. Make sure all raw edges will be concealed. If they need to be finished, do that before you pin on.
Baste them in place!
*Tip: if you are sewing on a peplum with the cuffs like I did, make sure you sew them right sides together with the bodice (upside down).
Step 6: Sew Up Bodice
Sew bodice according to the pattern's instructions.
Step 7: Sew on Skirt Portion of Dress
Now take the sheet and cut out the skirt portion of the dress. Sew it onto the bodice as the pattern directions state.