How to Make a Cute DIY Off-Shoulder Dress Out of a Men's Shirt

Slow Fashion Style
by Slow Fashion Style
10 Materials
1 Hour

In three simple steps, I will show you how to transform a regular men’s shirt into a gorgeous DIY off-shoulder dress. As you may know, I’m all about upcycling and refashioning items the easy way!

This DIY men’s shirt to off-shoulder dress is perfect for beginners. Let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized men’s shirt
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric clips
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • ¼-inch elastic
  • Iron
Men's button-up shirt before the DIY

Measuring where to cut the shirt

1. Cut the shirt

I have an XXL men’s shirt, and even though it’s huge, it’s great to work with. All you need to do is draw a line underneath the collar as this is where you’ll be cutting. It’s about 2-3 inches down from the collar. Then, cut away!

Pressing the raw edges

2. Hem the raw edge

Fold the raw edge onto the wrong side (about 0.25”) and press the fold for a crisp finish. 

Pressing the DIY off-shoulder dress

Then, fold it again, but you should have a 0.5” seam allowance this time. 

Pinning around the edge, ready to sew

3. Pin and sew

Pin the edge all around, as shown. 

How to make an off-shoulder dress

The hardest part to fold is the shoulder and armhole area. Normally, depending on your shirt, it might not cut straight. You’ll need to sew a dart on the side to even out the edge to fix this.

The length of your dart will vary depending on the size shirt you are working with. 

DIY men's dress shirt off-shoulder

Go ahead and topstitch all around when you’re done pinning and adding in the dart. 

Attaching safety pins to the elastic

4. Insert elastic

I’m using a ¼-inch-wide elastic for this DIY off-shoulder dress. Wrap the elastic around the widest points of your shoulder area to get the correct size; (mine was 34.5 inches).

Then, attach two safety pins on either end of the elastic.

Inserting the elastic into the shirt

Next, feed the safety pin through the open end of the tunnel you created. 

How to make your own off-the-shoulder dress

The safety pin will help you maneuver through the tunnel easily. Do this until you reach the other end. 

How to sew an off-shoulder dress

Lastly, topstitch the front placket area closed, down, and across either side, making sure the elastic stays in place. 

DIY off-shoulder dress

DIY off-shoulder dress from the back

DIY off-shoulder dress with a cowboy hat

DIY off-shoulder dress

This DIY off-shouder dress was super quick and easy! I love the vibe! What can I say? I’m ready for some cocktails (just kidding)!

I hope you enjoyed this upcycled DIY on how to make your own off-shoulder dress! Be as creative as you wish, and most importantly. Have fun! 

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized men’s shirt
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric clips
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation