SHIRT DRESS

The boy’s dress shirt in this photo was in very good condition when my son outgrew it, but since the next child in line was a girl, I needed to find a way to make the shirt useful for her. I had an idea that required a solid color, v-necked t-shirt, so I scouted around until I found this one for a dollar at a local store! My thought was to combine the two shirts to make a dropped-waist dress. I began by cutting the dress shirt apart as seen in this photo. I cut about an inch or so above the cuffs of the sleeves, straight across the middle of the shirt, and several inches out from the collar area. I finished off all the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch. After checking to make sure that the dress shirt cuff was the same width as the t-shirt sleeve, I attached the cuff to the sleeve of the t-shirt so that it would turn up on the t-shirt sleeve. Next, I turned my attention to the collar section. I inserted the dress shirt collar into the neck opening of the t-shirt and pinned it in place, being sure not to pin the front and back sections together. I carefully turned the t-shirt inside out and sewed the collar to the t-shirt along the inside seam where the neck ribbing is attached to the body of the shirt. I turned it right-side-out again to make sure that the seam did not show and that the collar was sewn in straight. The final step was to attach the skirt. I tried the shirt on my child and marked where I wanted the bottom of the shirt to be. I cut off the excess t-shirt and put in a new hem, marking where the centerer of the front and the center of the back were on this hemline. I sewed a gathering stitch along the upper cut edge of the shirt tails I had removed from the dress shirt. I then pinned the “skirt” in place, evenly distributing the gathers and making sure to match up the side seams and the centers of both shirts. I stitched the skirt in place by stitching over the seam line of the t-shirt hem. When I tried the dress on my child again, we decided that it would look better with a belt, so I used the remnant of t-shirt fabric I had cut off to cover a belt that she already had and did not use very much. I did this by sewing a tube from the fabric, sliding it over the length of the belt, and hand-stitching the ends. I made the holes in the belt by coating the fabric over the existing holes in the belt with Fray check and then pushing an ice pick through each location. The finished dress looked rather nice to be made of only two shirts and a belt and I since I had bought the original dress shirt second-hand, the entire dress cost about five dollars!

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