Posts Tagged ‘woman’s dress’

This was a slightly different take for me on the shirt dress. The base shirt was quite plain, but excellent fabric. It had thin blue and green stripes on a white background. The green in it was a good match to a floral cotton I had salvaged from an 80’s dress. (it was one of those Laura Ashley style fabrics in a prom-dress style, so very dated)


The shirt had a decent fit on the top of the sleeves but was tight around the hips. I decided to stay simple and just cut the sleeves off at elbow length. I didn’t bother to salvage the cuffs but finished the sleeves with a trim band of the floral.


The side seams were cut away right up to under the armpit. Large triangles of the floral fabric were inserted to open it up on the hips. The bottom of the shirt was cut to a straight line and a wide, ungathered, band of the floral was added on to take it to a dress length. It was attached with a basic straight seam.


Keeping with the simple design, I removed the top of the collar and just reclosed the top to make a mandarin style collar. I then swapped in a set of bright green buttons and they help to dress it up.

The finished piece is clean-looking and comfortable while still being cute and professional.

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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.


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.


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.


(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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