DIY, Thrifty fashion

Refashion: Men’s Shirts to Drop Waist Dress

The hardest part of this refashion? Finding two shirts that were the exact same shade of white to create a drop waist dress.

The inspiration for this refashion was the knee/midi-length shirt dresses I’d seen on various bloggers.

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Of course, to make the dress a decent length, I needed TWO button up shirts to make up the extra length. A discussion on the many and varied shades of white could easily take up another blog post, but let’s just say it took a little while to find two shirts that were the same or similar shade.

The one on the right is your bog standard men’s button up shirt, the one on the left is a Hugo Boss one.

I felt it a bit sacrilegious to cut up the Hugo Boss shirt but then I saw the yellow stained armpits and unidentifiable grey stains on the shirt. After treating it very liberally with some Napisan it was ready to be chopped up.

How I did it:

I decided to use the Hugo Boss shirt for the top part of the dress. I turned the shirt inside out, and using an existing dress I liked the fit of, I pinned around the dress and cut it to shape with a 1cm hem allowance. I also chopped off the curved part of the shirt to make it uniform – this would be the drop waist part of the refashioned dress.


I then sewed the sides and under the arms of the dress to size, using the pins as my guide. I initially sewed the top part to have some short sleeves but after trying it on it felt too much like a Florence Nightingale nurse’s uniform so I went sleeveless. I also chopped off the collar as it was far too big for my neck.

I then took the second shirt and chopped it off just under the pocket. I cut some of the curved hemline off as I wanted the final hemline of the dress to be straight.

I sewed a basting stitch along the top part of the chopped off fabric and gently pulled it to gather it and make it the same width as the bottom of the first shirt. Ideally the second shirt would have been considerably bigger so that I could create enough gather to make the bottom part of the dress more “ruffly”. However due to the white shade issue mentioned above the only shirt I could find wasn’t as big as I would have liked, so the bottom part isn’t as ruffly as I had wanted.

The ruffled fabric was then sewed onto the bottom of the first shirt, and then hemmed.

There were a few more minor adjustments to be made, mainly in the arm area, but the dress was pretty much done.

Like my button shirt to skirt DIY the fabric is a little see through, especially given that it’s white, so nude underwear is a must. Oh, and it creases rather easily.

Of course, now that the weather is definitely becoming autumn/fall in Sydney the dress has been carefully stored for warmer climes.

Wearing: refashioned drop waist dress | Forever New boater hat | Sportsgirl lace up sandals

Let me know what you think of this refashion by commenting below, I’d love to hear your feedback!

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