Take a dozen colorful plaid shirts, cut them up and make a cute dress! I was able to find all of these shirts at the local thrift shop. I used a dress form to help make this dress but you can make it without a dress form if you have a friend help.
Step 1: Cutting Up the Shirts
Cut up the shirts at the seams. Press each individual piece. Cut off the collar and cuffs, discard. Cut the front placket away from the shirt leaving 1/2" of fabric on both sides for seam allowance. Set aside for later.
Step 2: Making the Bodice
For the top of the dress, choose a large or extra large shirt without a pocket. Cut the shirt across at the underarms, set aside the top of shirt to cut into squares later. Put the bottom of the shirt inside out on the dress form, or have a friend pin it around you. Pin the sides and darts. Unbutton and sew the front and back darts. Sew the side seams.
Step 3: Constructing the Skirt
I made my skirt with 6 tiers but you can make yours shorter or longer than this. The top tier had 8 squares, (4 in the front and 4 in the back) the second tier had 12 squares, the third tier had 16 squares, etc...I used a total of 80 squares for the skirt. The top tier has a button placket in the front center. This will be matched up with the waistband. I sewed the button up front sections to both sides of the skirt. Hem bottom of skirt.
Step 4: Shoulder Straps
This dress would also be cute with a strapless bodice but I wanted to add an interesting neckline to the shoulder straps. I placed pieces of fabric on the dress form until I got the effect I was looking for. Remember to allow 1/2" around for the seam allowance. When you get the shoulder straps cut, cut another for the lining. Pin right sides together. Sew around the edges. Clip curves. Place a large safety pin to the end of the shoulder strap, turn right side out. Press. Measure around top edge of dress, add 2". Cut a piece of fabric that long by 2" for the facing. Serge one long edge or turn under 1/4" and hem. Pin facing to top edge of dress with shoulder straps in between. Sew across top edge, leaving open in the back for the back of shoulder straps. Turn the facing to the inside and place the shoulder straps over the shoulders and tuck the ends into back of the dress. Pin. Top stitch all around the top edge of dress. Place a pin where you want the waistband to be. Add 1" and cut around.
Step 5: Waistband
Measure waist. Cut a piece from a shirt 3" wide, leaving the button front placket intact. Sew to the bottom of the bodice, matching up the front button plackets. The shirt I used for the bodice was a womans and the shirt for the waistband was a mans, because of this, the buttons were on the opposite sides. In order to line them up, I turned the waistband upside down.
Step 6: Attach Skirt
Gather top edge of skirt and pin to waistband right sides together. Sew.