The One Hour Dress – Refashion a Shirt & Skirt Into a Dress

I’m so excited that the weather is warming up here in Melbourne after a very long winter. I had a child free hour up my sleeve last night so decided to tackle two projects at once!

Clean out my wardrobe and make a new spring dress. Not really as ambitious as it sounds when you throw a little creative wardrobe refashioning in the mix.

I’ve had this business shirt in my wardrobe for years, it still fitted well and the fabric is beautiful quality (and was an expensive purchase) but it was a little too ‘corporate’ for my lifestyle today.

The maxi dress was a hand me down from my sister, nice fabric, but totally unflattering on. Both were on their way to the op-shop.

If you are keen to make a similar style dress for yourself and don’t have any suitable garments to refashion, take a visit to your local op-shop and see what you can find.

How to Refashion a Business Shirt into a Dress
You will need:
  • Fitted shirt
  • Long dress or skirt
  • 0.5cm (1/4″) wide elastic length = waist measurement
  • Sewing machine
  • Overlocker (serger) optional
  • General Sewing supplies
  • One Hour
Skills Required:
  • Confident beginner or intermediate sewing skills
  • Apply elastic

How to:

1.  Cut the sleeves off your shirt about 1cm (1/2″) from the shoulder seam.

2.  Fold the edge in twice to create a rolled hem and stitch to inside of sleeve. This creates a neat finish without needing to bind or face.

3. Mark waistline and cut, leaving a seam allowance of 2cm (1″)

4. Measure length of skirt desired and cut the dress, retaining original hem. On the raw edge, use a zig zag stitch to attach elastic to inside of skirt section. Stretch the elastic as you sew.

5.  With the top right way out and skirt inside out. pin skirt section onto top.

6. Serge or sew with a long zig zag stitch the 2 sections together.

It took me around an hour (not including photographing the steps), but take your time to get a neat finish, especially around the sleeves.

All done!

The hardest part for me was getting good photos of myself wearing the dress. I am no fashion blogger (ie. don’t have a talented boyfriend to take photos of me, hehe) so I spent a hilarious morning with a tripod and self timer. The photo shoot took me longer than making the dress!

Accessorize with a cute vintage belt, and enjoy wearing your new dress this spring.

Looking for other fun ways to refashion a shirt? You may enjoy:

My Poppet Makes

Want more details about this and other fashion and style ideas? Check out more here!

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Join the conversation

2 of 4 comments
  • Valentina
    Valentina
    on Jan 10, 2021

    great idea. Looks great on her, however, at my pace of sewing, this would take me at least 2 days to complete it lol!

    Still a great idea. Thanks for sharing.


  • Karen Mason
    Karen Mason
    on Jan 10, 2021

    I would love to try this; however not a very good sewer. Can you show a video on how to do this?

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