DIY Button Up Sleeveless Dress (Beginners Sewing)

Miaira Jennings
by Miaira Jennings

Now that I have a sewing machine, there are so many more ways to refashion basic items of clothing, and I can't wait to experiment. Here's how I transformed a men's button up dress shirt into a cute sleeveless dress that's perfect for warm weather!

Full video:


What you'll need:

Step 1: Cut Dress Shape

Turn the shirt inside out. Then place another dress on top of the shirt to use as a pattern for the dress shape. You may also choose to try the shirt on or place it on a mannequin and pin it to your specific measurements, but I found that using a dress you already have is a really easy shortcut.

Cut the shirt around the shape of the dress with a few extra inches all the way around. You can always downsize later if you need to, but it's best to start with more material.

Step 2: Fold Armhole Edges

Once the dress shape is cut, fold the edges of each armhole outward (remember the shirt is inside out, so the material is being folded toward the inside). Then pin the folds in place.

Step 3: Sew Armhole Edges

Head to your sewing machine and sew along the folded armhole edges, removing the pins as you go. Now they're nice and smooth!

Step 4: Pin Dress Sides

Once the armholes are sewn, lay the dress out again and pin the sides, making sure they're lined up neatly. Remember, it should still be inside out.

Step 5: Sew Dress Sides

Sew the sides of the dress together, removing the pins as you go.

Step 6: Cut Sleeve to Create Tie Belt

Cut the edges off of one of sleeves and then cut the sleeve open so you have a nice block of fabric to work with. Fold the outer edge over about 2-3 inches and cut to create a folded strip.

Repeat this to create 4 equal-sized strips that you'll sew together to create the belt.

Step 7: Sew Belt

Sew the strips together to create the belt tie. To do this, slip the end of one of the strips in between the fold of the end of another strip and sew along the edge, as well as where the strips overlap.

Once you've sewn the belt, tie it around the waist and that's it!

All Done!

Just a few simple steps later, you've completely refashioned a basic button up into the perfect summer dress!


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Miaira Jennings
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