Upcycled Summer Dress – Tutorial

Started with a 6XL men’s shirt, this one to be exact:

tutorial image1


A- First you need to disassemble the shirt  (I named what part of the dress we will use with each part of the shirt)
I un-sew the front pockets (you can always sew them back to your dress if you want), cut the body of the shirt and the sleeves.

B- Next up is to disassemble the top, cut out the sewing lines of the back and neck so you will end up with something like the picture. remember that normally the back of the shirt has a double layer (cut them to rectangles because we will use those pieces for the ruffles on the front of the dress)

C- Cut the front of the shirt like shown in the picture, I made sure to measure my bust from under my arm to the other side and use that measurement for the width of this piece to fit me better.

D- Now open both sleeves and cut one like this picture (that piece will be the back of the dress) and with the other sleeve cut two stripes of 2inches width (those will be the straps of the dress)

E-to make the straps for the dress fold the 2inch stripes in half and sew along the edge, to turn them inside out I always use a big safety pin.
1- secure the end of your strap with the safety pin.
2- turn the front to the inside of your strap.
3- pull trough the inside of your strap.
4- reach the other side and pull the safety pin out.
5- keep until all you turned the whole strap.
6- strap ready, just press to finish.

F- Out of the back piece I named “waist stripes”, cut 2 pieces of 3inches wide each and half the length of your waist measurement + 3 inches, (in the second image) to have an even pattern in the front I cut one of those stripes in half and added to the end en begging of the other one, the 3 pieces together must be the your waist measurement.
Put pins to mark you bust measurement on the final stripe, leaving an extra inch for comfort.
Make another piece just like this one out of ribbon, shirt or anything you can use (if you have enough leftover you can make it with the shirt in my case my left overs were not enough)

G- Ruffle the bottom of your dress, by sewing with the widest stich your machine has and then pulling on one of the ends of the threat, center your waist stripe and make sure the ruffles are the same width as the measurement under your bust marked in the waist stripe.

H- Pin to secure the ruffles, remember right side of the fabrics had to be facing each other.
Grab the other piece you made and place it on top of the ruffles, with the wrong side facing out.

I – Sew the sandwich made out of the 2 waist pieces with the ruffles in between.

J- Turn the fabrics up and this is how it should look.

K- Ruffle the back pieces of the shirt and fold and sew the edge to prevent fraying.
Cut 2 small pieces out of your shirt leftovers to cover the edge under the arms of the front of your dress.

L- Protect the edge of the underarm.
1-Sew the stripe to the back of your top’s arm.
2- Fold and sew on top of the fold for a clean finish.

M- Repeat the same process for each side and it should look like this picture.

N- Attach the ruffles to the back of the front, with the wrong side facing out.
1- Secure the edge of the straps in between the ruffles and the front. Sew them together.
2- Turn the ruffle to the front.

K- Sew the edge of the ruffle to prevent the to fall back.

O- Add the back  piece on both ends, if you want you can add elastic to the edge. (the sleeves already have the old so you just need to pass the elastic trough it and secure it on both ends)

P- Pin and center both pieces together, remember to sew on the dress piece because we will fold the other fabric’s waist stripe to cover and make the inside clean.

Q- Once everything is centered, sew it.

R- Now fold the “other” fabric, and pin to secure it.

S- Sew all the way around, I did it double because I like the look.

T- Add an extra button hole or pin to the waist so it fits better and doesn’t open in that part.
I added some lace to the bottom of mine but its just because I love lace!
…and you are done!

Summer dress

summer upcycled


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