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Another men’s shirt refashion! This is very similar to my last plus-sized shirt dress. Again, the base was a fairly plain man’s shirt. It was a 2X so the fit on the top of the arms and across the chest was fine but I wanted to open it up around the hips.

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The shirt was so plain that I decided to use one of the more dramatic fabrics in the stash. There was a very nice chunk of a silky polyester with a vibrant paisley print in the Stratford Festival scraps. The pieces of it were big enough for me to make a couple of large wedges that were inserted in the sides to widen the shirt. The sleeves were cut off at elbow length and the cuffs were salvaged. I added them back on to the bottom of the sleeves and small scraps of the bright paisley accent the rest of the cuff space. One more piece was used to make a heart to decorate the front pocket.

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To make the skirt part of the dress, a small textured skirt was removed from it’s waistband. It’s seams were opened up and made into 3 pieces. It was too small to fit the full run of the expanded bottom. To fill in, the lining fabric was cut into two pieces and lightly gathered. It was sewn along the bottom of the inserts then sewn in line with fancier pieces on the shirt sections.  The shirt was cut to a straight line and folded under with the bottom fabric set behind it before running the seam. This gives a nice finished look to it.

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The last thing was to change out the buttons. I went with a set in dark burgundy that matched the colours in the accent fabric. It’s really surprising to me how much of a difference in the final feel, changing to dressier buttons makes!

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Having succeeded with my first refashion of a men’s shirt to a skirt graft, I was looking to make another plus-sized dress in the same style. The second attempt started with a men’s 3X plaid shirt. While it was in mint condition, the dullness of the colours had kept me from using it as one of the basic tunic tops. A pretty little black linen skirt looked to be a good match so I put them together. The skirt was quite small, a 6 or 8, but had a very wide flare to the bottom so I was able to keep around 8” and still have the top edge line up with my shirt hem. I really liked that the skirt looks like it has a couple of layers due to the edging of black eyelet lace on it’s bottom.

There was enough room in the shirt that I was able to do some shaping around the waist. I put in a pair of darts below the breast-line as well as taking in the side seams slightly at the waist. This was done before altering the rest of the shirt.

Once the waist shaping was done, I cut out the side seams to just below where I’d come in at the waist. Then, a pair of triangle inserts were cut from the skirt fabric and sewn in. They give both some accent to the sides and a bit more swing to the hemline.

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The bottom of the shirt was cut to a straight line, folded over and sewn down to the skirt cut-off.

The shirt was more than wide enough on the arms so they were simply cut off at 3/4 length.

It was starting to look pretty dressy at this point so I decided to run with it. I had a black silk velvet scarf in the stash and used it to both trim the sleeves and make a new top for the collar. As before, the original collar was removed and used as a pattern for the replacement. In this case, I wanted a bit more drama to it, so I kept the same shape at the bottom of the collar but expanded it at the top. To do it, I traced the original on some craft paper and then sketched out some possibles. Once I had something I liked, I folded it over and cut the second side to make sure they matched. Since the new pattern had stayed the same at the bottom, it fitted perfectly. Black interfacing was needed, due to the transparency of the silk velvet.

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Finally, a set of fancy buttons finish the look. While they look great, they are a bit too big to fit through the buttonholes so the front was sewn down and the buttons sewn into place over their buttonholes. Making them completely decorative was optional but the sew-down should prevent future ironing problems.

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(I want to mention that while the pictures make it look like the skirt is significantly lighter than the collar and trim, it really isn’t. I had to fade the pictures out a bit so you could see any detail on the skirt due to the intensity of it’s blackness!)

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