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May 11, 2010 / KristenMakes

Men’s Shirt Makeover

May seems to be sewing month and not just for me.  I have been overwhelmingly glued to some amazing sewing blogs out there.  First off, there is “Me-Made-May” by Zoe of Collette Patterns.  Zoe is spending all of this month wearing ONLY clothes she has made or refashioned, and she is inviting others to join along.  Hopefully I’ll have a Me-Made wardrobe big enough for that next year, but for now I’m half-participating by wearing at least 1 handmade item a day.  It’s hard!  I am curious though on handmade underwear, that might be fun!

Also there is Dana, mom and blogger extraordinaire, who refashions adult clothes into adorable children’s clothes, and has a cache of tutorials for her readers.  I really love that idea of turning a normal garment into something completely different and unique. My favorite is the 90-Minute Shirt (pictured here)!  She also provides great ideas for moms, the home, and the kitchen (yummy recipes)…

And then there is New Dress a Day, by a seriously devoted sewist who is taking this year to refashion one garment every day, and blogging about it.  Armed with $1 a day, she sifts through thrift stores and takes a frompy, frilly, tacky dress and refashions it into amazingness.

My contribution to the sewing and refashioning movement:  The Men’s Shirt Makeover!  I don’t know what compelled me but I ventured into a charity shop a few weeks ago (Edinburgh has loads of great charity shops) and bought a large men’s shirt to see what I could do with it.  I did this!
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I refashioned the large shirt into a shirt-dress by cutting off the sleeves and top and making a casing through which you draw the strap (made from the sleeve). I loved it so much I immediately bought 2 more shirts and photo-catalogued the refashioning event.


Shirtdress No. 2 (pictured above) has contrast pockets, strap and belt.

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All you need for this one are:

1 Men’s button-up shirt (the larger the better) • 40 x 60 cm contrast fabric (if desired)
Sewing Machine and basic cutting and sewing supplies • Iron

I’ve typed up all the instructions and photographs into a 3-page pdf file that I’ve made available for download from the newly created “Free Download’s” page on my blog.  Just click the link to download and save the file!

The tutorial is for great for basic beginners who already know how to sew but it is quick and fun for even a seasoned sewist.  It includes step-by-step instructions for refashioning the shirt body and making the strap, belt, and pocket, as well as quick pointers for making yours look like Shirtdress No. 1.  Even if you don’t plan on sewing and are just mildly interested, I’m still happy to send you the tutorial!

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Stay tuned for the tutorial on Shirtdress No. 3:



Leave a Comment
  1. Sue Orme / May 11 2010 8:36 am

    So cute! If I was young, I’d love to make one. It would also make a great swimsuit cover-up.
    Mom Orme

  2. Noas' libellule / May 11 2010 9:48 am

    This is really cute and you make it sound so easy! I am really looking forward to your shirtdress. I love those ruffles!

  3. Marilyn S / May 11 2010 5:33 pm

    Clever girl!

  4. Ang / May 12 2010 6:39 am

    Ooh, I am excited about #3! I love ruffles on clothes right now!! Hope it’s not too advanced for me 🙂 This should be really fun!


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