On Safari 1
Dress Refashions,  Refashions,  Shirt Refashions

On Safari

A Happy Hippie Dress to Top Refashion
Bursting at the Seams

When I bought this rather large shirt (a men’s 4X!!) at the dollar-a-pound Goodwill, I had no idea what I would end up doing with it.  I figured it was worth buying  just for the fabric.

On Safari 2
Life cereal brings out the kid in me!

This shirt sat in my “before” pile for about a week before I came up with an idea of how to use it.  I decided to turn this huge shirt into a cute khaki shirt dress, like the ones I’ve been seeing/coveting in stores lately.

I seam-ripped the breast pocket off, and put it aside.  I couldn’t keep it where it was, as a seam would end up going through it.  Don’t worry!  It’s coming back later, I promise!

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Don't call it a comeback!

Now, I had to begin the taking-in part.  This wasn’t easy.  I put in on inside-out and pinned it at my underarms (where the new sleeves would start), bust, waist, and hips.  It was difficult to see exactly how much I would be taking in, given how huge this thing was.  I kept my estimates conservative.  I knew I could go back and tweak it more later.

I took the shirt off, and marked in chalk where the pins were, using my measuring tape to keep each side even.  Then, I drew a chalk line between the points to give me a better idea of the shape.

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Prepping for the big operation!

Then, I pinned each side down, being careful to keep the fabric smooth.

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Next, I carefully ran each side under my machine, making sure the fabric didn’t bunch up, which it realllllly wanted to!

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Reshaping in progress!

I used my pinking shears to trim off that excess material.

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It's starting to shape up!

Now, as you can see in the pic above, it still doesn’t have much shape.  That’s okay.  I planned on having to tweak it a bit more after I got the size down.  As it was still a bit too big up top for me, I put it back on and pinned the arms, bust, and waist a tad more to give it a curvier shape.  I ran it through my machine, and cut off the excess material.  No biggie!

I wasn’t done yet!  I took that sad, neglected pocket, and pinned it near the bottom of my new dress.  I love pockets, and would hate to see this one go!

On Safari 8
One hand holder...coming right up!

I used a contrasting maroon thread to sew it on.

On Safari 9
Hooray for Pockets!

Now…my new dress was fitting much nicer, and was made even better with its new pocket.  However, I wanted a nice sash to cinch my waist, and give my new safari dress a bit of flair.  Luckily, I had plennnnnnty of leftover material from the sides of the original shirt. 

I cut three strips like so:

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Uno! Dos! Tres!

Then, I sewed them to each other, keeping the raw edges tucked in, like so:

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Hiding those raw edges!

Now, I had one, long strip of fabric.  I pinned the long ends together, with the raw-edgy side facing out.

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making a tube 'o fabric!

I ran this through my machine, making a seam on the long raw edge.

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Here comes your sash!

I trimmed off the excess material, turned my tube ‘o fabric inside out, and pressed it, making a smashing new sash!

There was one more issue to deal with.  The bottom of the dress needed to be secured, below the bottom button.  In its previous life as a shirt, this would have been the part that was tucked in to some guys trousers (ewwwwwwww!!!!!!!I literally just thought about this!!!!).  I just can’t have that level of gappage at my upper thighs, so I pinned that part down.

On Safari 14
Pinning the bottom of the dress to prevent any unladylike flashing!

After a quick sew, it was good to go!  I pressed my new seams, and was done! 

On Safari 15
Ready for Safari!

Oh, and check out my cute lil handkerchief!  I used a scrap from my most recent refashion.  I thought it tied in the contrast stitching and my burgundy brogues quite nicely!

On Safari 16
All hankie! No panky!

I patted myself on the back further for creating my own version of a similar dress by Michael Kors that sells for $130.

On Safari 17
She's not invited on my safari.


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