DIY Upcycled Shirt Maxi Dress
Easy way to use old men’s shirts
Upcycling is really one of my favourite ways to make clothes – this time DIY upcycled shirt maxi dress! Using old shirts to create new trendy piece of fashion will allow you to be original whilst practicing your sewing skills. Men’s shirts are particularly fun because they offer bigger size to work with. Men’s shirts are usually made of large pieces of quality fabric. Plus – if you love collage making – with paper art or for patchwork – you will love the affordability and variety that old shirts offer.
Over the past months I’ve collected three lovely men’s shirts in size Medium. I loved the fabric texture, colour palette and often the detailing! Some shirts have gorgeous print, some mismatched buttons and some clever little pockets. All these details give it soul and interest which is what I love. Plus large shirts are so comftable to work in when you’re making art in your cozy atelier or creative space. Most days you will find me in my little corner – wearing a big floaty shirt and sewing, embroidering, sketching designs for patterns or practicing with acrylics. Here is the latest cozy upcycling piece for these occasions – DIY upcycled shirt maxi dress!
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DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress
- three men’s shirts that you already have at home or found in a thrift store
- sewing machine if you don’t want to hand-stitch, otherwise sewing needle
- regular polyester sewing thread
- soft pencil
Begin by washing and sewing the shirts. Then lay all pieces flat and decide which is the nicest to become the top of the dress. I chose my favourite men’s shirt with some distressed places on cuffs, mismatched buttons and interesting breast pockets. I also preferred long sleeves for the dress which this shirt had.
Once you’ve made your plan, cut the bottom edge of the top shirt about an inch, to make the edge raw and straight. Then move onto the shirt you would like to have as the middle piece. This should be cut as long as possible, depending on any breast pockets it may have. Mine only had a small pocket which I also decided to keep. I used a seam ripper to detach the pocket to sew it back on later. The middle piece also needs to have both edges – top and bottom – raw and straight for easy attachment. Repeat the same with the bottom piece.
Sewing the DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress
When you have all the pieces cut and ready they will begin to look like the DIY upcycled shirt dress. Start to attach them to each other with pins, right sides facing each other. Make sure that the vertical edges with buttons and button holes correspond nicely. If you find that one of your shirts is wider than the rest, easily rip the side seams and mark how wide the piece needs to be, then stitch with a machine or hand stitch. Then stitch the horizontal edges of each piece together, top and middle first, then the middle and bottom pieces.
You may even decide to stitch in some invisible pockets or attach pockets removed from the shirts – that’s entirely up to you, you can play around! If you have any sleeves left you can also make a little belt.
The last part is to hem the bottom edge for neat finish. I decided to rip the bottom piece on the sides and create two splits. However, if you prefer you can even make the bottom piece wider then the rest and make some gathering. Again – that is completely up to you! Have fun!
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