Trash to Treasure: DIY Bodycon Dress From Old Button-Down

Rosa Padilla
by Rosa Padilla
7 Materials
1 Hour

Looking chic has never been so cheap. This button-down shirt DIY proves that treasure is all a matter of perspective. Don’t get fed up when thrifting doesn’t lead you to diamonds in the rough. It’s time to make your own diamonds!

Tools and materials:

  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Zipper
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
DIY button-down shirt projects

Remove the pocket 

Unstitch the pocket from the plaid shirt to remove it. 

Button-down shirt DIY

Cut, cut, cut 

Take some scissors and cut across the seam of the sleeves to remove them. Then cut across the top of the shirt to remove the collar and shoulders. Finally, remove the buttons by cutting down the length of the shirt (on each side of the buttons). 

Mark your measurements on the shirt

Mark and measure 

Measure your bust, waist, and hip. Take those measurements and mark them off on the shirt to get the right fit. Remember to add about an inch and a half for stitching and seams. Next, connect the measurements by stenciling them together. 

Cut dress to shape

Cut off excess 

Once you have stenciled your dress, take some scissors and cut out the correct shape. 

DIY button-down shirt dress

Then, take the piece of material that comes free, place it over the other side, and use it as a guide to cut the other half of the shirt. What you are left with is the front and back of your body con dress (separated into three pieces). 

Insert zipper into the shirt

Zip it up 

Take the back of the dress - or the half that is separated in two pieces, and place your zipper between them. Measure out the length of your zipper and mark it off. Next, pin to secure before sewing your zipper in place. Remember to leave room for a hem on the top edge. 

Upcycle button-down shirt

Hem both edges 

Right before we stitch the dress together, fold over the edges, and create a hem. Fold over twice and pin in place to secure. Next, sew the hem carefully, ensuring that both halves of the dress remain the same length. 

Sew dress together

Connect both halves

Lay the two halves on top of each other and pin in place. Once secure, sew the two make one dress. 

Measure the straps

Make the straps 

Take the excess fabric left over from cutting off the sleeves and shoulders. Measure out the length that matches your shoulders and cut out two straps. Fold the straps in half and stitch them together to create a tube. Then push a stick through the strap to turn inside out and hide the stitches. Don’t forget to connect those straps!

Bodycon dress from button-down shirt

This is how you upcycle button-down shirt! The fact that this chic dress used to be a men’s top can be your best-kept secret. As I said, there is treasure everywhere, sometimes you just need to look a little harder to find it. 

Bodycon dress from button-down shirt
Suggested materials:
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
See all materials

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3 of 9 comments
  • USK USK on Jan 18, 2021


  • Terre Tulsiak Terre Tulsiak on May 08, 2021

    guarantee this isnt from the US.

    • Leslie Leslie on May 09, 2021

      Hi Terre, why would it matter? Hometalk and Upstyle Daily reach many people throughout the world. In my life I will try to learn from anyone who has a good idea and willing to share. :) We all have the right (so far) In the US to read or not to read what we want.