Saturday, June 25, 2011

TUTORIAL: Men's dress shirt to MY NEW DRESS


A few days ago I posted an upcycling project I did using one of my husband's old dress shirts that I turned into a dress for myself.  Click here to see that post.
So many of you wanted a tutorial that I put one together for you!
When I was making the original dress I started taking these pictures. Then I almost gave up sewing it because I thought I messed up, so I stopped taking the pictures. I'm kicking myself now, because I should know that even though a project may not come out as planned or imagined,
sometimes it comes out better than expected.
materials needed:
largest men's dress shirt you can find (I used a L), a dress that fits you (for size), 3/8 inch elastic (one piece cut to 5 inches smaller than your bust size), thread, notions, sewing machine
1. Find a dress shirt in a color that you like. Find the largest size you can so you have plenty of material work with while you sew. My husband's shirt is a L. Lay a straight edge at the base of the collar and draw a line from left to right side.
2. Line shown here.
3. Lay the dress that fits you in the middle of the dress shirt, lining up the collars. Notice how I am keeping the curve along the bottom as my new dress' hem. Trace along the sides of the dress to get the dress shape you desire. I left about an inch on either side when I traced it.

4. Cut along the lines you drew to make the shape of your dress.
5. Cut along the line by the collar. (I also cut off another inch once I put it on because the pocket fell in a funny place.)

6. This is where I stopped taking pictures. Place your two dress pieces right sides together. Pin along the side seams. Make sure the bottom hems line up.

7. Starting at the bottom of each side, sew up each side seam (the pinned edges) taking out the pins as you sew. Sew both sides.

8. Press your seams open with an iron. Zig-zag stitch or serge them if desired.

9. Fold and irondown one inch along the top (this will start making your elastic casing).

10. Fold and iron down another inch. Pin in place.

11. Sew 1/2 inch seam allowance from the top of the dress. We are making a casing that will "ruffle" along the top of the dress. Sew it all the way around.

12. Sew using a 1/8 inch seam allowance along the pinned/folded edge. This will start to make a casing/tunnel for the elastic. STOP SEWING 3-4 inches before your starting point. Backstitch.

13. Cut a piece of 3/8 inch elastic that is 5 inches shorter than your bust measurement (to keep the dress up).
14. Insert your piece of 3/8 inch elastic into the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together.

15. Sew along the unfished part of your elastic casing.

16. Try it on!
Wear it with a sash made from the sleeves of the dress shirt or a belt to give it some form.

I thought the belt added some shape to it and made it a bit more trendy.

There are loads of dress shirts to be thrifted or just grab one from your friend, boyfriend, husband, dad, get the idea. They are everywhere and even come in great colors, patterns and fabrics - some even perfect for summertime.
Have fun sewing! Share your link if you make one!
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