The One Hour Dress – Refashion a Shirt & Skirt Into a Dress

I’m so excited that the weather is warming up here in Melbourne after a very long winter. I had a child free hour up my sleeve last night so decided to tackle two projects at once!

Clean out my wardrobe and make a new spring dress. Not really as ambitious as it sounds when you throw a little creative wardrobe refashioning in the mix.

I’ve had this business shirt in my wardrobe for years, it still fitted well and the fabric is beautiful quality (and was an expensive purchase) but it was a little too ‘corporate’ for my lifestyle today.

The maxi dress was a hand me down from my sister, nice fabric, but totally unflattering on. Both were on their way to the op-shop.

If you are keen to make a similar style dress for yourself and don’t have any suitable garments to refashion, take a visit to your local op-shop and see what you can find.

How to Refashion a Business Shirt into a Dress

You will need:
  • Fitted shirt
  • Long dress or skirt
  • 0.5cm (1/4″) wide elastic length = waist measurement
  • Sewing machine
  • Overlocker (serger) optional
  • General Sewing supplies
  • One Hour
Skills Required:
  • Confident beginner or intermediate sewing skills
  • Apply elastic

How to:

1.  Cut the sleeves off your shirt about 1cm (1/2″) from the shoulder seam.

2.  Fold the edge in twice to create a rolled hem and stitch to inside of sleeve. This creates a neat finish without needing to bind or face.

3. Mark waistline and cut, leaving a seam allowance of 2cm (1″)

4. Measure length of skirt desired and cut the dress, retaining original hem. On the raw edge, use a zig zag stitch to attach elastic to inside of skirt section. Stretch the elastic as you sew.

5.  With the top right way out and skirt inside out. pin skirt section onto top.

6. Serge or sew with a long zig zag stitch the 2 sections together.

It took me around an hour (not including photographing the steps), but take your time to get a neat finish, especially around the sleeves.

All done!

The hardest part for me was getting good photos of myself wearing the dress. I am no fashion blogger (ie. don’t have a talented boyfriend to take photos of me, hehe) so I spent a hilarious morning with a tripod and self timer. The photo shoot took me longer than making the dress!

Accessorize with a cute vintage belt, and enjoy wearing your new dress this spring.

Looking for other fun ways to refashion a shirt? You may enjoy:

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3 of 8 comments
  • Sha4814338 Sha4814338 on Jul 28, 2021

    Very cute! I might have to go shopping so I can do this lol. I don’t own any business shirts.

    • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on Jul 27, 2022

      Go to our nearest thrift store or salvation army..Many times, they have new men's shirts and ladies business style shirts...If I wore an outfit with mismatched design, my friends would offer to buy me clothes..You look very stylish...

  • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on Jul 27, 2022

    Sorry about that...The little model looks very stylish...You haven't made yours yet😊