The Shirt Off Daddy's Back

>> Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Check out Jo's new dress! It's made from a short-sleeved button-down shirt that Alan doesn't wear anymore. Isn't it cute? Here's how to make it.

I started with a men's XL shirt. Button it all the way up and lay it on the table.

I used a simple A-line dress pattern that I've used before. Lay it out so that the center front is along the row of buttons and as close to the bottom of the shirt as you can get it. No hemming needed - yay! I left the "spare" buttons at the bottom because I liked how they looked.

Cut out one side of the front, then flip the pattern over and cut out the other side.

For the back I usually insert a zipper, but since I'm leaving the front buttons intact there was no need for that here. Instead fold the shirt in half along the back center and lay the pattern on it with the center back along the fold - but take away the center seam allowance. Cut out the back of the dress. On this one, lining it up along the bottom hem just barely let me keep the little tuck in the back of the shirt.

You can see in this photo that I had just enough fabric left to make a matching purse too. Sew the front to the back at the shoulders and sides.

I wanted to reuse the shirt pocket (it would have ended up in her armpit), so I picked it off the chest and resewed it down lower.Scavenge some binding pieces from wherever you can get them - I pieced together some strips from the sleeves. I cut them 1 1/2" wide and then I press over 1/2" (so much easier to press BEFORE it's attached to the curve of the armholes and neck). Cut two strips long enough to finish the armholes and one for the neck opening. Stitch down the binding with the raw edges against the raw edges of the openings, then fold the folded edge under and topstitch it down.
Voila! It's done - with no hemming and no zipper!


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