Subscribe to updates via email!

Bursting at the Seams

How to Upcycle a Men's Shirt into a Dress
Muumuu to Art Show Dress Refashion

I’m a fairly scrawny gal, so it’s rare that I encounter this problem.

Bursting at the Seams 2
This dress is literally bursting at the seams!

This dress is too small.  See how it puckers out at my hips?  Not attractive.  I could practically hear the seams groaning in protest.  It fit perfectly up top (my usual problem with dresses), though.  I liked the lines of the dress, and was sad that I would have to change the whole thing drastically to make it work.  I couldn’t take the skirt out any, as there was no seam allowance.  Grrrrrr!

I was going to have to make this lovely dress into a top.  My original plan was to turn it into a tunic, so I could at least keep the pockets.

First, I removed these bits of stuffy frumpiness.

Bursting at the Seams 3
Unneeded accoutrements

Then, I cut off some of the length.

Bursting at the Seams 4
Choppy Choppy!

I ripped the seams up the sides of the dress with my trusty seam ripper.

Bursting at the Seams 5
Let 'er rip!

At this point, I tried my tunic on and hated it.  Absolutely hated it.  You could tell that I had simply slit the seams because it didn’t fit around my hips.  I temporarily abandoned the project.

The next morning, I felt refreshed and knew what I needed to do to save this!  It needed to be shorter, meaning that I would have to give up the pockets in order to save the garment…a noble sacrifice!

Bursting at the Seams 6
Chopping a bit more off to make it work
Bursting at the Seams 7
I'll miss you, pockets! *sniffle*

Now, I just needed to finish the raw edges.

I took the seams on the sides and turned them under twice to keep them from fraying, and pinned them.

Bursting at the Seams 8
pinning those side seams!

Then, under the needle they went!

Bursting at the Seams 9
NO! Dexter, you put that down this instant!!!!
Bursting at the Seams 10
Don't worry, Dex! Your secret is safe with me! 😉

 Don’t worry, folks!  It’s not that kind of needle!

Bursting at the Seams 11
I'm sewin'! Yes indeed! I'm sewin'!

The last thing I needed to do was finish up my twice-shortened hem at the bottom.  This involved a bit more pinning…

Bursting at the Seams 12
On pins and needles!

And a quick run through my machine.  I pressed my new hems/seams and was all done!  As the dress closed via a zipper that ran all the way down the front, I just left it unzipped a little.  I added the sash from another dress, and ready to go to work!

Bursting at the Seams 13
A cute lil top!

I’m not gonna lie.  I wasn’t thrilled about this one.  And here’s why:

Bursting at the Seams 14
Not digging the sides.

The sides were just too gap-y and weird.  I’m really not the kind of gal who wants to showcase her muffin top (My muffin top is all that…whole-grain and low-fat!), and I thought the end result looked a bit clumsy.    What do you think?  Any ideas of other directions I could have taken with this dress? 


How to Upcycle a Men's Shirt into a Dress
Muumuu to Art Show Dress Refashion