I have always loved a good shirt dress. Scrolling through Pinterest I was looking for some refashion ideas and I came across a color-blocked shirt dress. I tried the first version which you can see here. Since it was too restrictive on my chest I thought I would try a Men’s shirts to princess seam dress refashion.
Instead of sticking with the traditional A-line shape I wanted to slightly gather the skirt to make it a little more flirty and place princess seams in the top for my lady humps.
One of the things I loved most about making this dress is the lack of seam ripping I had to do! Well besides my own mistakes. It’s all trial and error.
For the princess seamed top, I drafted a pattern off one of my old dresses. I made sure that it was a woven low stretch fabric so the pattern transferred really well. If you are not confident in making a pattern of a piece of clothing I would recommend using the simplicity amazing fit pattern. It does not look too fabulous on the cover, although it is one of the best fitting patterns I have ever used.
YOU WILL NEED:
- 2 men’s shirts ( I bought mine from Goodwill for $5 each)
- Sewing machine
- Erasable fabric marker
- Extra fabric for the waistband
- The pattern for the top I used Simplicity Amazing Fit 8543
- Optional rotary cutter set
Here are my two men’s shirts. I chose them because I loved the detailing on the white shirt and the orange-red shirt just popped at me. It also looked great with the red stripe accents on the white shirt. (The colour looks different because I was sewing at night time. I was taking the night shift for our daughter Harper.)
HOW TO REFASHION TWO MEN’S SHIRTS TO A DRESS:
Measure out your natural waistline on the first shirt. This will be the shirt that you will use as the top half-color block. Mark where your waist falls. I chose the white shirt for the top. I have a cool skin tone so crisp whites work well against my face.
I removed the pocket of the shirt with my seam ripper. Why, because it was interfering with the lines of the princess seams.
Trace your pattern on your shirt. I ended up going with the simplicity pattern mentioned above. Since it was recommended to cut the pattern on the fold I simply traced it on both sides from the front center point of the shirt.
After marking your pieces, cut the bodice front, back and side panels front and back.
Sew the side front panels to the front bodice and the back side panels to the back bodice. Then sew the front and backside panels together.
Try on your top to see how it fits. I usually make a few alterations.
Cut your sleeves out of the fabric from the old sleeves.
I used the sleeve pattern mentioned above because for some reason shoulders and I do not mix! I’m not going to lie, I think I sewed them on and picked them off about ten times.
Pin and sew the new sleeves to the bodice. Congratulations all the hard work is done. Now we can move on to the easy part of the skirt!
Cut the top of your shirt so that you are left with a nice rectangular piece of fabric. I bought this rotary cutter set for only $27! You can cut the top off with your scissors but you will find that if you cut the top and it is not 100% straight it is going to really stand out due to the colour blocking. That’s why I like the rotary cutter and mat for this job. You can line up the ruler and the mat to ensure that your cut is 100% on point.
Remove the top pocket. You may want to resew it on later a little lower than its original place.
Baste 2-3 lines at the top of the skirt. Pull one of the threads to create your gather. The other 2 lines are just in case the thread breaks. Measure the circumference of the bottom of the top of the dress so that you know how much to gather your skirt. They need to be able to fit together.
Sew your skirt to your top. I ended up adding a black suede belt to mine because the dress was still a little short for my modesty standards.
Now that the top is connected to your skirt, ensure that you remove your basting stitches. Well done that’s a wrap!!
I ended up having enough fabric left over to make a dress for my little lady!
What did you think of Men’s shirts to princess seam dress refashion? Will you try it? What would you have done differently?
Can’t wait to hear from you!