How to Upcycle a Shirt into a Dress
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Learn how to upcycle a shirt into a dress that is perfect for little girls! Keep the button placket for the perfect summer dress!
One of the most classic styles is a peasant dress. It’s very feminine, simple, and adorable on little girls. And peasant dresses are very easy to make especially when upcycled from a button up shirt.
Both men’s and women’s button up shirts can be used as long as there is enough fabric and a button placket.
I love working with button up shirts for refashioning. There are just so many things you can do with them!
what is upcycling?
Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.
Upcycling saves time, saves money, saves the environment, and saves memories.
Save time by reusing details from the original shirt. Save money by using something you already have.
Save the environment by keeping t-shirts out of the landfill. Save memories by reusing a favorite adult t-shirt for your toddler or child.
I really love the button placket combined with the peasant-style. It’s so cute.
The elastic neckline makes it really easy to to take it on and off, and I didn’t have to sew a single hem! That’s a win in my book!
This dress is still slightly too big for my daughter, but it’ll fit her soon. And It’s something that looks cute with diaper covers now, and leggings later. The dress will be able to go from a dress to a tunic to a shirt.
How to Upcycle a Button Up Shirt into a Dress
- Adult button up shirt
- Elastic – here are some ideas for finding elastic to reuse
- Sewing supplies
- A Peasant dress pattern – I used the free Peasant Dress Pattern from Once Upon a Sewing Machine
1. Draw on the hem allowance on the dress and the sleeves.
2. Button up (or snap) the front together. Fold the shirt along the center front which is the line of buttons or snaps. Line up the center front of the pattern with the fold.
I lined up the hem of the shirt with the newly drawn hemline. Since a shirt hem curves then the sides of the dress will be shorter, but I like this look and I like not hemming.
3. Fold the shirt along the center back line. Line up the center back of the pattern with the fold. Again, line up the bottom of the shirt with the drawn hemline. Make sure the hems will math up at the sides.
4. Fold the sleeves in half and line up the sleeve hem with the drawn hemline. Do the same for the other sleeve.
5. Construct the dress as the pattern instructs.
Find the big list of all the upcycling tutorials I’ve created!
Share any upcycle inspired projects for your children with the hashtag #upcycledkid!
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