How to Sew an Overall Dress Out of an Old Corduroy Shirt

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
7 Materials
4 Hours

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to sew an overall dress out of an old corduroy shirt. Corduroy overalls aren’t just adorable, they are comfortable and practical. If you love this look as much as I do and want to learn how to DIY an overall dress that’s perfect for fall, here’s how to do it!

Tools and materials:

  • Large corduroy shirt
  • Sharp scissors (a must as this fabric creates lint and fluff if not cut properly)
  • Sewing machine with a heavy-duty needle
  • Seam ripper
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • Marking chalk
  • Needle and thread
Men's corduroy shirt

Note: When ironing corduroy, put the iron on a medium setting and move in the direction of the nap.

Marking the corduroy shirt

1. Cut the shirt

Mark a line directly beneath the first button at the collar across the width of the shirt.

Cutting off the sleeves and neckline

Cut off the sleeves and where the mark is. Put the sleeves aside to make the pockets and straps. Remove the pocket in the chest area.

How to make an overall dress

Mark about 15cm (6 inches) from the center button placket on either side.

Measuring the shape of the DIY overall dress

From that marking, make a vertical line about 24cm (10 inches) down. From that line go outward about 7cm (3 inches. Add a small diagonal line at the base. From that outward mark, measure straight down to the end of the shirt.

Measure 5cm (2 inches) outward and 2cm (¾ inch) from the bottom. Then, draw a triangle meeting the 5cm (2-inch) mark on either side. Measure a straight line across at the bottom.

Cutting the shape of the DIY overall dress

Cut along the outer lines and separate the two pieces. At the front, fold all the raw edges in and pin them into place. Hem all the edges.

Cutting the back of the DIY fall dress

2. Cut the back

Measure from the outer edge in 15cm (6 inches) from either side. Mark those lines and a diagonal line downward and cut. Trim the top end so it is flat and not pointed. Serge and then hem the edges.

Making the pockets for the overall dress

3. Make the pockets

Take one sleeve and lay it perfectly flat. Mark these measurements: 

  • 30cm (12 inches) across the length of the sleeve.
  • 20cm (8 inches) down the width from the shoulder to the armpit.
  • 10cm (4 inches) down the width by the wrist.
  • 12cm (5 inches) across on the bottom by the armpit.

Make a diagonal line from the 12cm (5-inch) mark upward towards the 10cm (4-inch) mark to create the angled pocket.

Pocket shape for the DIY overall dress

Cut the pocket out. You’ll have two pockets. Separate them. Serge the ends on the sewing machine. Then, fold in the raw edges. Iron them down. Sew the hem on the part of the pocket where your hand goes in. The other sides will be sewn directly onto the front.

Placing the pockets on the DIY overall dress

4. Attach the pockets

From the bottom of the front, measure 5cm (2 inches) up. From either side of the button placket, measure 3cm (1 inch) outward. Pin the pockets in place. Sew the other four sides onto the front.

Pinning the front and back pieces together

5. Attach the front and back

Attach the front and back pieces. If needed, serge the edges, then sew together.

Making the straps for the DIY overall dress

6. Make the straps

From the other sleeve, cut off the wrist. Open the seam and lay the sleeve flat. Measure four straps at least 7cm (2¾ inches) wide and about 30cm (12 inches) long. Trim so they are even. 

Pinning the straps ready to sew

Lay one strip on top of another, right sides facing, so there are two straps, and sew only on one short end. Fold the strap lengthwise, right sides facing in. Now sew lengthwise keeping one short side open.

Use a safety pin or BBQ skewer to pull the strap right side facing outward. Iron so they are perfectly flat. 

Attaching the straps to the DIY overall dress

7. Attach the straps 

Attach both straps at the back in a cross pattern. Pin into place and sew down. 

Creating buttonholes on the straps

At the top of the front on both sides, about 4cm (1½ inches) down, pinch the fabric and cut a small hole to create a buttonhole.

Attaching buttons to the straps

Hand-sew the edging of the buttonhole, as corduroy tends to fluff. Attach a button taken from the sleeve on each strap, adjusted to your liking. 

DIY corduroy overall dress

How to sew an overall dress tutorial

Wear this fun DIY overall dress for day or even night with different shirts underneath and changing the accessories. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to sew an overall dress out of an old corduroy shirt.

Let me know in the comments how easy or hard this was to make!

Suggested materials:
  • Large corduroy shirt
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine with a heavy-duty needle
See all materials

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