Men's Shirt Refashion - Make a Dress From a Dress Shirt

by Afrayedupcycling
6 Materials
1 Hour

Whether it’s your dad’s old shirt or a really cute thrift find, men’s dress shirts can be the perfect base for a stylish dress. This basic men’s shirt refashion is proof that with a little hard work and a lot of creativity, anything can be upcycled for the better!

Tools and materials:

Men’s dress shirt



Fabric markers

Measuring tape

Sewing machine

Men’s button-down shirt refashion

Refashion men’s shirt

Remove sleeves and collar 

Remove the sleeves and collar by cutting them as close to the seams as possible. 

Easy men’s shirt refashion

Find your measurements 

Turn the shirt over and cut along the yoke - keep in mind that the back of the shirt will be the front of the dress. (Be careful not to tear any seams while cutting.) Next, fold the yoke in half and mark off the center point. Do this with a pin and fabric marker. 

DIY men’s shirt refashion

Measure your chest and (from armpit to armpit) and use the center point to find your new armholes. 

Simple men’s shirt refashion

Attach the bottom 

Take the bottom part of the shirt and weave a string through it. Gather the material until it’s scrunched. Next, pin the corners to the markings you made on the yoke. Continue pinning until the bottom part of the shirt is secure on the yoke.

Basic men’s shirt refashion

Create your armholes 

Cut up both sides seams. Once the sides are separated try the shirt on. Pin the front seam over the back and mark off a new armhole. Now, take the front seam and pull it over about a centimeter. Mark it in place and then pull the seam down until it is close as possible to the back corner on the bottom. This should create a diagonal line. Pin along the seam until secure. 

How to refashion men’s shirt

Sew the dress 

Now that you have the basic build of the dress, use a sewing machine to sew over all the pinned areas. I used a decorative stitch to add more detail, but you don’t have to.

Separate the sleeves

Make the ruffles 

Take out any back darts that might be sewed into the shirt. Next, cut the cuffs of the sleeves and cut the seam of the sleeve so that it becomes one piece of flat fabric. Then cut the second seam on the sleeve so that you have two pieces of fabric. Sew the pieces without the buttons together to make one long piece of fabric. On the longer edge of the sleeve cut-outs, weave a piece of string and gather the fabric until it’s scrunched. 

Sew on the ruffles

Attach the ruffles 

Pin the ruffles with the buttons on the sides of the dress and the longer piece of fabric across the back. 

Cut out the neckline

Finish up the yoke 

Put the dress on again to make a comfortable neckline. Mark off your desired opening and fold the shoulders in to finish up the yoke. Next, cut out the neckline you’ve marked. 

Sew the dress

Finish the dress 

Using a sewing machine, stitch and hem the rest of the dress to finish it. For a cut detail, you can stitch the cuffs together to make a back pocket!

Finished dress

Side view of the dress

Back view of the dress

This tutorial on how to refashion men’s shirt is one of the reasons I love upcycling. I love the transformation here and how cute the final product is. Never throw away old clothing, there is always something that can be made of it! 

Suggested materials:
  • Men's shirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments