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Men’s Shirt to Dress Refashion

Thrift Score Thursday: Nana Edition
Trish's Reader ReFash!

I love a comfy shirt dress.  But this Mens’ 2XL shirt I thrifted for $1 wasn’t quite working for me.

oversized mens shirt for shirt to dress refashion
Awkward Face #382

I was looking forward to catching Love, Loss, and What I Wore at Trustus Theatre….but I couldn’t very well show up to a play about fashion looking like this!

The length of this shirt would work nicely as a dress, but I had a lot of work to do!

First, I cut a bit off the sleeves.

cutting of shirt sleeve

Then, I pinned the sides to take them in.  

You can see how my plan was to keep the sleeves full and kimono-y.

taking in sleeve

I stitched the sides down, like ya do.

stitching new sleeve
See where the new, full sleeve begins?

Then, I cut off the extra fabric with my pinking shears.

By now you guys know I have a thing for sashes.  I think they look nice and polished.  They’re the easiest way to cinch the waist of an otherwise frumpy dress.

But today, I’m going to show you another way!

I still had a teensy bit of elastic from a fitted bed sheet I used to make a toga months ago.

piece of elastic
Remember me?

I wrapped it around my waist and snipped it so it would fit nice & snug.  

Then, I stitched the two ends together.

stitching elastic together

I folded my new elastic O in 1/4s and added a small mark to the end of each 1/4.

folding elastic
Following me so far?

With my dress still inside-out, I decided where I wanted the waist of my new dress to be, and I drew a dotted line all the way around it with tailor’s chalk.

Fold, Measure, and Mark!
Fold, Measure, and Mark!

Now I have a guide for where I want the elastic to go.

Just follow the dotted line
Just follow the dotted line!

Remember those 4 marks I made on the elastic?  

They’re going to help me add the elastic evenly, without any awkward bunching.  I pinned the elastic to the center front, center, back, and each side on the dotted line of my new dress…using those 4 marks as my guides.

adding elastic to shirt for dress refashion
Simple so far!

Now it gets a little finicky.  

I lightly stretched the elastic, and gathered the fabric of my dress just a little as I pinned the elastic to the dotted line.

adding elastic to shirt dress
Now we’re getting somewhere!

I stitched the elastic down using a straight stitch.  

The feed dogs on your machine will stretch the elastic a little, and I stretched it a little more as I sewed it down.

When I tried my dress on, I wasn’t happy with the fit.  It was just way toooooo blousy still.  No worries!  

I tossed it on my dress form and did a little more fine-tuning.

mens shirt to dress refashion on dress form
Look at Bandit snuggled in his blanket! 🙂

I took in the sides (again), sewing right over that elastic.

I noticed that even after using pinking shears to cut off the extra fabric before, those edges were still fraying like crazy!  So, I used this little guy to help keep things under control:

fray check
It’ll keep that fraying in check! 🙂

I’m almost done!

In order to wear this as a proper dress and not flash my lady parts at everyone, I stitched the bottom of the front placket down.

Pin & Stitch
Pin & Stitch!

I’m sooooo close to being done with this one, you guys!  🙂

All that was left to do was to hem those sleeves I cut off in the beginning.

Pinned sleeve
sewing sleeve hem

Check out that oversized shirt now!

Men's Shirt to Dress Refashion After

I styled my new frock with my favorite brown boots, orange tights, and my Cindy Saad sterling sculpture necklace.  🙂

I enjoyed pre-theatre noms with my friend, Amauri.  🙂

refashionista eating sushi
Hi Amauri’s Hand! 🙂

I really enjoyed the show and will post a link to my review right here as soon as I finish writing it.  🙂

love loss and what I wore program
Random Jillian Fact: I can remember what everyone (including myself) wore to just about any major event.

It was fun catching up the the show’s director, Larry Hembree.  🙂

Jillian Owens and Larry Hembree
Hi Larry! 🙂

I even scored a sweet painting by Lauren Maurer, who was selling her work in the lobby!

Jillian Owens with Lauren Maurer Painting
Appropriate for me, don’t you think? 😉

Such a fun & fashionable evening!


Refashionista Men's Shirt to Dress Refashion Before and After
Thrift Score Thursday: Nana Edition
Trish's Reader ReFash!