Upcycle Two Button-Up Shirts to Make a Dress

6 Materials
2 Hours

I love a good trip to the op-shop! I was there the other day and I came across two, mustard button-up shirts. Mustard is one of my all-time favorite colors so I had no choice but to take them. Check out how I refashioned the two shirts into a gorgeous dress that I can’t get enough of!

Tools and materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Two button-up shirts
Shirt to dress refashion

Measure and cut 

The first step to this upcycle is taking measurements. You need to figure out how long you want your new dress to be. I wanted mine to reach just below the knee but choose a length that is suited to your style and body type. 

Measure from the top

If you have two different shirt patterns or colors, you want to choose which one will be on top and which at the bottom. My shirts were exactly the same so it made no difference. Measure from the top of the shirt to the bottom-most point where you can cut. You will then know how much of the other shirt you need to add to the bottom to get your desired length. 

Men’s button-down shirt refashion

Now that you know how much you will need to add in from the second shirt, take your measuring tape, and this time, measure from the bottom of the second shirt since that is the part you will be adding on. Before you can move on, mark both of the shirts at the points you have just measured and cut across each one.

Pin the pieces together

Pin and sew together

To get started on putting your cute, new dress together, lay down the top shirt with the right side facing upwards. Then grab the bottom piece and find the end where you made the cut. Place it over the top shirt so that the two pieces are right sides together and line up the two edges that you cut earlier. 

Sew the pieces

If you have two shirts that are different sizes, you may want to see if you need to take in one of the shirts at this point. I ended up sewing two darts into the top shirt to make sure it would fit better and look just right as a dress. Then you can go ahead and pin and sew the two pieces together. Try the dress on to see if you want to shorten it or make any adjustments. You can leave the dress as it is now but I decided to slightly modify it to suit my style and aesthetic. 

Measure the sleeves

Make a few modifications 

To cut the sleeves, you first need to know how long you want your new sleeve to be. I decided I wanted my sleeves slightly longer than a T-shirt. Measure on your arm where you want the sleeve to end, adding at least an inch for seam allowance. Then measure that on the shirt sleeve. 

DIY button-up shirt refashion

Once you have the measurement, go ahead and cut your sleeves. 

Open the sides

If you want to open up the sides of the dress to create a more flowing feel, measure on your dress where you want the opening to end. Mark that point and then pick open the side seam until you reach your marking. 

Fold raw edges

To neaten up the raw edges and get a professional finish for your new dress, make two small folds along the side openings. Pin the folds in place and then sew up along the openings. 

Button-up shirt refashion

When it comes to cleaning up the sleeves of your dress, first turn the fabric inside out. Then double fold the sleeve, pin the folds in place, and sew. 

Refashion button-down shirt

I absolutely adore the results of this thrift flip! What do you think about this upcycle? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
See all materials

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