Shoddy Upcycle! Mens Dress Shirt Into Dress!




Introduction: Shoddy Upcycle! Mens Dress Shirt Into Dress!

About: Just a guy who likes doing random arts n crafts whenever I can. I hope to get my own website up someday on DIY arts n crafts and whatnot, but for now, it's pretty cool to even be doing this. I am going to real…

Warning! Warning! Warning! I am by no means a great sewer let alone a good one! I like to upcycle clothing into quilts and re fashion some old sweatshirts into newer nicer looking ones.

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

Get your measurements. I made a makeshift drawing and added in some of the measurements

Around the neck
Side of neck to end of shoulder
Arm width
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

Sewing machine
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

For the skirt choose two of the shirts, for this I used the two blue striped ones.

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

For this I measured where she has her skirt sit when she wears it and the measurement was


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

Now go from the middle mark and measure down 1/2 inch.

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

Now take your measuring tape and place it from the top left mark and line it up to the bottom corner of the shirt.

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!

Now figure how you want your skirt pieces to fit. I did alternating pieces, keeping the buttons from the shirt upfront on the pattern itself.

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!

I reccomend when turning a mans dress shirt into a womens, try and use your own shirt as a patter, will make the fit much better and make this WAY way easier to do, unlesss you are already pretty good at sewing. I am not, but it was fun trying! :)

For the top I used a green striped shirt

Step 9: Measure Again :(

Always measuring.

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

Next take the measurement from the back of the neck to the top of where the skirt sits and measure along the back of the 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

Now we need to match the bottom width of the shirt to the top width of the skirt.

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!

Now open the shirt, right side facing downwards. Place your sleeves along the sleeve holes 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

Now pin up the sides and underarms.

Once this is done start sewing from the sleeve underarms down.

Step 14: Attach Skirt to Stop

Now turn the shirt and skirt inside out and pin together along the waist.

Step 15: Embellish

I ran out of time for this but I would like to add more, but I just added two blue striped on the shoulders of the shirt and sewed them in with an X. Then I tucked the top of the collar in and sewed it to give it a cuff collar instead!

Step 16: Final Outcome!

I would really like to add a belt, darts to make it more fitted, and some more embellishments.

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.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have not made this yet (yes, I have shirts to start soon), but I am thinking about shortening the top to an empire top....solid belt section of maybe 3 inches (upcycle an older stretch belt or extra wide covered elastic) and then longer bottom......maybe a floral instead of stripes mixed with solid sections?...Ohhh I cna have fun with this one!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Please feel free to post comments and feedback on how to better write this instructable please! I am all for learning a better way to write these! :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It's very nice what you have done.
    Perhaps a few changes??
    Use the finished frock as the main image...also brighten it up with photo editor or any other software...brighter and clearer pictures are more interesting and really catches the eye making readers want to click on it!
    good luck!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the idea! I will definitely work on that. Thanks for the advice!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You are welcome!
    Also .... Get someone to model... Niece, friend .... Will do :-) or hang in a hanger with a plain background ..... Like the wall! ;-D