Adventures in Dressmaking: The Button Up Refashion Swap: Recylced men's shirt dress tutorial!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Button Up Refashion Swap: Recylced men's shirt dress tutorial!



A while back Miranda of One Little Minute contacted me about participating in a blogger refashion challenge--swap-style, so we all make items for each other! The challenge of the "The Button Up Refashion Swap": upcycle a men's shirt into something cute for your partner! I'm sure we've all done shirt upcycles before, but this time it's for someone else, so you've got to use their measurements and hopefully match their style a little bit!

Sounded like fun, and who am I to say no to a sewing challenge. ;)  All 10 of these talented and creative ladies participated in the swap, so check out all their posts today, too to see what THEY made out of men's shirts!
Each of us was paired with another blogger, and made her a shirt project.  My customer was Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch, and Krista of Lazy Saturdays made me something--I'll be posting about that later!

So, wanna see what I made??  And a photo tutorial for my steps in the upcycle!
  • I started with a basic men's shirt, sort of sateen-ey.  I'm drawn to classic colors like this for a basic like this shirt!  I was imagining a sort of ModCloth-ey, retro-inspired, patriotic kind of thing!  So I also planned to use a bright red sateen I had.
  • I cut off the pieces I knew I couldn't use in the dress; I also removed the pocket (left).  I saved the buttons, just because... maybe I'll need them someday, I guess.
  • I cut the sleeves off AT the shoulder seam, as close as possible, leaving the seam allowances on the body of the shirt. I also cut down the seams of the sleeves to open them up.
  • Whew, this pic is blurry... sorry!  I cut off the shirt AT the yoke of the back, lining it up and cutting the front as well.  Keeping a very straight line.
  • Oops, no pic. I cut the bottom of the shirt off to give it an even hem.
  • I made the body of the shirt skirt-shaped, A-line-ish, tapering down to the hem.
  • Then I flatted out the sleeves for my bodice pieces, and pulled out a couple of patterns for the bodice.  I used Butterick B5371 for the top of the bodice...
  • And Butterick B4915 just for the midriff panel, which I cut out of the contrast red.
  • Complete with the upcycling theme, I use a recycled lining from this comforter cover that I cut apart and made into a dress ages ago.
  • I also used the buttons that I had cut off from the cuffs, etc. to add to the front of the dress.  And put it together...
  • And I gave it a small invisible zipper in the sideseam, which saved fabric because I could cut the back out on a fold, rather than losing the seam allowances at the center.
  • Other touches: I added a double row of stitching to the hem to echo the original shirt's topstitching, and I had enough fabric from the shirt to do about a 1.5" hem to help it lay better.

Next week, the refashion results (you can see how my dress fit Sunni!) will be up in the blog hop part of the project--here's who's posting when.

Monday, May 21st: Lizzie of Cotton & Curls, Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Tuesday, May 22nd: Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch, Kate of See Kate Sew
Wednesday, May 23rd: Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking, Miranda of One Little Minute
Thursday, May 24th: Miriam of MadMim, Melissa of I Still Love You
Friday, May 25th: Megan of Megan Nielsen Design, Jennifer of Grainline Studio

Lots of fun refashion ideas coming up!

Update: You can see the dress on Sunni on her blog here!

40 comments:

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. So cute! One of the best Men's shirt refashions I've seen! Great job.

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  2. Wow that dress is so hot! I may have to attempt to make one! Loving it x

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  3. wow, that looks amazing! Now I'm inspired to do something with some too-big shirts in my stash.

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  4. So cute! I love the button detailing on the bodice.

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    1. Thanks! Excited for more sundresses for your feature coming up... =)

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  5. Aww wow this is gorgeous. I have a dress that is in the same colour way and a very similar pattern. (But not shirt like).
    Love this.

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  6. This is so very cute! I do believe I have a similar shirt in my stash. Clearly, it's waiting to become one of these dresses!

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  7. The one you sewed was DEFINITELY the cutest of all the refashions. (No offense to the others). I'd wear that in a heartbeat.

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  8. Gorgeous, Suzannah! The details are all perfect.

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  9. oh i love that! the red waistband looks so stunning with the blue, great job!

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  10. Oh Suzannah! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this dress! I'm so excited to model for everyone - it's just wonderful and just what I needed to give me a chin up! Thanks so much! You are the BEST!
    xoxo, Sunni

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    1. Haha, thanks, Sunni!! Can't wait to see it on you, and so glad you like it!!!!

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  11. this is adorable! I love the red panel!

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  12. Wow this is incredible. You give me the courage to try new things in my sewing--I'm always afraid it wouldn't turn out so in the end I don't cut or sew any thing, hahaha, thank you--today I'm going to cut out a pattern that I've had on the side for some time now being afraid that it wouldn't work out--I'm a fairly new sewer, but I do have a sewing mentor always willing to help out

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    1. Definitely! Just jump in, learn and have fun! Great to have a mentor, too!

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  13. What a beautiful refashion!!!!

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  14. What a true upcycle! Amazing idea and execution. I can't wait to see it modeled. Now I have some great ideas for what to do with my husband's extra too large dress shirts!

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  15. As always, impeccable. This is super super cute. I love the tighter spacing of the buttons on the bodice. I just can't wait to see it on Sunni! And you're my sister in that you use patterns, I didn't for my refashion, and it totally stressed me out, and I wish I had. Lovely job!

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    1. Oh, thanks so much! Yours was so creative and cool!

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  16. Beautiful! Definitely would never in a million years guess that this started out as a large buttondown shirt. Love the color combination too

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    1. Haha, thanks, that's the hope! I love when upcycling isn't obvious.

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  17. Thanks so much, ladies!! So glad you like it and were inspired to try something new with an old shirt! ;)

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  18. WOW! It makes me think I should have kept more of my fat clothes and upcycled them... that is really an amazing make over of the man's shirt!

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  19. Yep, everyone said it all. The colors, the details...I love the buttons and can't wait to see it take shape on cute Sunni! Awesome work.

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  20. so so beautiful! I love it. Just when I thought you couldn't get any better.

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  21. Your dress is adorable Suzannah! I love the pop if red! It's going to look adorable on Sunni :)

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  22. That is genius! Why didn't I think of a dress? I can't believe you got enough shirt in there for that!

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  23. Wow, Suzannah! I am impressed. Time to go thrifting!

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  24. What a lovely dress! I love your refashion of that shirt, I would not have thought it was a shirt when first looking at it.

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  25. thats really neat, I need to find some more patterns!

    Jenelle
    http://nellecreations.blogspot.com

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  26. Thanks again, everybody!! Such sweet comments! =)

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  27. Super cute! I love this! The red midriff piece really pulls the whole thing together!

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  28. Oh wow! Lovely dress. Brilliant idea. I liked it.

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  29. Loved it! The dress is so perfect. Now I'm inspired to do something with some too-big shirts in my stash.
    mens designer hoodies

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  30. Wow that dress is so hot! I may have to attempt to make one! Loving it x

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  31. I like this idea, looking for more mens shirts store, any idea?

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