Saturday, December 7, 2013

Country Chic Dress from Men's Dress Shirt

Country Chic Men's Shirt Dress
Men's Shirt Dress with Pearls
Make this country-chic dress or tunic from a men's dress shirt!

Deconstruct an existing XL or XXL men's dress shirt

Starting from the bottom, cut the shirt's front from its back following the side seams.

Remove the sleeves near the seam. 

Now it's time to work on your pattern.  Lay the shirt out flat.  Use one of your tops of which you like the armhole openings.  This will serve as a guide for cutting your armholes.

The top I used as a guide is a stretchable knit, so I allowed for extra room on my transformed shirt.

Fold the shirt in half lengthwise down centers, aligning and matching front sides.  Back sides should be aligned as well.

Following your guidelines, cut the armholes on the front.

Now fold the top over at the shoulders.  You can now use the armholes you just cut from the front to guide you in cutting the armholes from the shirt back. 


Lay the "guide" shirt on top of the project shirt, aligning the armholes.  You now need to mark where you want your sides.  Again, because the guide shirt I used is a stretchable knit, I moved it over from the center to make it bigger.  I marked where I wanted my side to start under the armholes.


Because I wanted my new top to flare, I cut the sides at an angle from the underarm to the bottom side.  (At this stage I actually traced the shirt pattern onto a piece of large paper, so I could save a pattern.)
I used the front as a guide to cut the back the same way.

With all the cuts complete, this is what the project shirt looks like.
Now on to the construction!

With right side together stitch the front to the back at the sides.

Finish the armholes by pressing seams in about 1/4 inch.  Fold over another 1/4 inch, press, and stitch in place.  Press all seams flat.
Your top is finished!

 For this top I opted to keep the original neckline.

For the dress above, I altered the neckline.  I cut it into a "V" neck and finished it using seam binding tape made from the discarded sleeve fabric.

I love this pattern!  There are so many options for embellishments.  
I chose to keep mine fairly simple, so I could change up my accessories.  
I also made all of them sleeveless.  Here in Texas the weather is often quite hot; perfect for sleeveless, airy tops.  But when it gets cooler I can simply add a sweater, denim jacket, or even slip a turtleneck t-shirt underneath.  
This tunic/dress is so versatile!

All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.

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