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.
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!
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.
Then, I pinned each side down, being careful to keep the fabric smooth.
Next, I carefully ran each side under my machine, making sure the fabric didn’t bunch up, which it realllllly wanted to!
I used my pinking shears to trim off that excess material.
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!
I used a contrasting maroon thread to sew it on.
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:
Then, I sewed them to each other, keeping the raw edges tucked in, like so:
Now, I had one, long strip of fabric. I pinned the long ends together, with the raw-edgy side facing out.
I ran this through my machine, making a seam on the long raw edge.
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.
After a quick sew, it was good to go! I pressed my new seams, and was done!
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!
I patted myself on the back further for creating my own version of a similar dress by Michael Kors that sells for $130.