The Neverending Dress Project

dress front

I have seen several cute men’s shirt makeovers on Pinterest and on Craftster and in books, so when a hole wore in one of the sleeves of my husband’s work shirts, I knew I had a project.

I put the shirt on my dress dummy and started working on it. I was terrified of cutting anything so I pinned it and repinned it, before I got out the scissors. A

fter I finally cut out the skirt, I realized that I am much more comfortable working with a pattern and following directions than winging it.

dress back

I made the torso of the shirt into the skirt of a sundress and used the tops of the sleeves for the bodice. It was looking pretty good and figuring some things out as I went along wasn’t too bad until I put in the zipper. The sides didn’t line up and I had to take the front off, cut it smaller and sew it back on. Eventually I got everything together and it looked pretty good. I threw it in the wash. Thrilled that it didn’t fall apart, I went to iron it.

I haven’t used the steam function on my iron in a while. As soon as I moved it toward the fabric, it shot black, rusty chunks at the fabric. Of course it was right in the middle of the front. Three washes and a soak in Oxyclean later, the stains were almost invisible.

However, the gathering in the front had come loose. Sigh. I restitched it and ironed the dress again. I hung it in the closet, thinking this time it was really done.

I tried it on. When I redid the gathering, it changed the neckline. And it would look better, if I changed it. I guess I’m still not done.

dress top

* all the pictures are from before the incident with the steam iron. I think the neckline will be more of a V than the curves shown in the picture.


  1. IT’s very cute! I don’t work without a pattern unless it’s Halloween costumes, curtains, or dust covers. You’re brave.


    1. There are definitely some wonky places around the bodice that a pattern would have helped. Next time.


  2. Very cute. Can’t believe it was a shirt. Congrats.


  3. Hey, you are very crafty person. You might consider working toward being on the new show, Fashion Star. Love this.


    1. I love Project Runway, but I wish they would show more of the construction process. That’s what interests me.


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