For Fathers Day I made Some dresses Out of my husbands Dress shirts! Super easy and the possibilities are endless! I was afraid my oldest daughter,almost 6, would need a larger shirt so I bought an XXL from my favorite discount store, DownEast Clearance for only $2.50. Here is how you turn an old favorite of Dad’s into a new favorite dress …
First take a dress shirt and cut off the sleeves and the bottom half just below the arms.
Remove the pockets by using a seam ripper!
To make a pattern you need a poster board, and a tank top shirts. Fold the poster board in half the long way. Measure your daughters chest area to get an idea of how wide you want the dress. For my girls I measured 7″. Add 1/2″ to that measurement for seam allowance and then divide in half because we are making our pattern on a folded Poster Board.
Starting at the top of the poster board, on the fold, measure and mark off your half measurement. For me, 3.25″. Now take your tank top shirt and trace the arm curve. From the bottom of the arm curve use a straight edge and draw a line to the bottom corner of the Poster Board
Using the top half of the shirt, both front and back, trace and cut out two pieces that will then look like this. NOTE: Line up the template about 1″ above a button. Be sure to use the crease mark in the template to make sure you are straight. It should be in the center lined up with the buttons. The lenght of this section is determined by holding up the template to your daughter and getting an idea of how long you need it. If you notice in my photos of the compleated dress my daughters have different lenghts… I used a longer one on my older daughter.
Now we will make the straps. Using fabric from one of the sleeves or left over from the top of the shirt, cut a piece 3″ by 20″. Fold and iron both length wise sides. Fold that in half and iron. Sew with a straight stitch both length wise sides and cut the strip in half. You should now have two 10″ strips. ( You can make the straps as wide or skinny as you want!)
Fold and iron the top of the bodice and the arm curve section. Pin on your strap 1/4″ from the edge. Fold over edge and sew starting from the bottom of one arm curve , across the straps and down the second arm curve.
For the back side, seperate the two buttoned sections. Measure on your daughter how long you need the straps and iron and pin the same way. Once you have sewn both back sides,re button.
Now to attach the skirt part.Unbutton and open your bodice and lie it length wise facing up on your ironing board. Take your bottom section of the shirt, the skirt, and unbutton it. With it’s right side facing down, line up the same sides, meaning button side to button side bodice. Pin then together.
We are now going to start to gather and pin our shirt. I do this one section at a time to insure I have an even gathers. You have already pinned the button edge together. Now take the first seam and match it up to the first seam in the bodice. Pin it there as well. You should have a loose section of skirt fabric. Now gather and pin the skirt fabric to the bodice fabric. Repeat now on the last two sections, the middle and other end by using the trick of first pinning each seam together and then pinning down the loose skirt fabric.
There you go!!! The beauty of this dress is in the steps you get to skip…Because you use the bottom section of a skirt, it is already hemmed and finished on the bottom and the sides and buttons make little to no work for the back!
The possibilities are endless. I plan on sewing on just the bottom of a cut off shirt onto a plane white t shirt using the gathering step and making a simple casual dress. You could also shorten it and make a baby doll top just by cutting the bottom half of the shirts closer to the bottom!!