The Moulin Rouge dress from a men’s shirt

I purchased this shirt from Good will with the sole purpose of making it into something else, preferably a cute dress. It was a ordinary men’s button-down shirt. I did actually remember to take a picture before I started cutting, but my computer ate it when it crashed a couple weeks ago.

I found a pattern for an overlapped bodice that I thought I could cut out of the sleeves and use the torso of the shirt for the skirt.

The front pieces fit out of the sleeves as long as I ignored the grain lines and didn’t make the facing pieces. (This may be where it all started to go wrong.)

Back of dress

back of dress, showing cuffs and button detail from sleeves as well as the hip problems of my dressmaker’s dummy.

I used the top half of the sleeve for the front bodice and the bottom for the back. I cut off the cuffs to use as straps from the shoulder to the back of the bodice, since there was no extra fabric no matter what I did with the grain.

Red dress front

The front of the dress. The midpoint of the neckline ends up being about an inch above my belly button. I bought a black camisole. Maybe that will help.

With the addition of some black ribbon, the dress came out really cute. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit me. Since I didn’t make facing pieces, I folded the edges of the neckline over and stitched it, lowering the neckline at least an inch from what it was supposed to be.  On my figure this becomes rather low cut, although perfect for a Moulin Rouge dancer.


  1. I think it is really cute! You are so creative! Great job!! 🙂


  2. Very cute! Too bad about the fit though. Maybe you could take up dancing?


  3. It is very cute! Maybe even a long sleeved shirt would look cute and wear it like a jumper. Now back to Good Will to find another shirt!
    W.S. Gager on Writing


  4. […] it fits! It’s a bit Moulin Rouge, but since it’s pajamas, it doesn’t matter so […]


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