Refashion: Men’s Shirt to Toddler Dress

In November I’m running a course called Upcycle: Sustainable Fashion; it’s all about refashioning textiles into something new. So recently I’ve been sewing up some ideas to bring with me. Here’s one!
A men’s shirt – which most people have lying around – to a girl’s dress.
My inspiration hunt began at Pinterest, and I found a nice tutorial so I actually just used that instead of my own brain… here’s the link to it!

I began with a lovely lilac shirt – not too masculine!

shirt to dress refashion

As per the tutorial and using a dress that fits Little A as a guide, I chopped the shirt up as shown in the photo below, unpicking the chest pocket also. I discarded the rectangle in the middle and the shoulders pieces, and only kept the upper part of the sleeve.

shirt to dress refashion

This is where my in-progress photos ended; but I basically followed the tutorial linked above. It took about an hour in total.

Here’s the finished dress!

shirt to dress refashion

Cute or what?!

Having used this as a practice-run, I then made a dress out of a little girl’s Dad’s old military shirt, as a commission. This is before…

shirt to dress refashion

I made it in a very similar way – I just also had to move some of the Velcro, unpick the zip that was in the way, and unpick the pockets on the sleeves. It was fun! And everyone apparently loved it!

shirt to dress refashion

shirt to dress refashion

Let me know if you have made or do go on to make something similar!

Beth x


Upcycled Men’s Shirt to Ladies Dress

I’ve done another clothing upcycle!

I started with a men’s shirt (that I picked up from the car boot sale for 50p):

men's shirt

And I turned it into this:

finished dress

I spotted the idea on Pinterest. I couldn’t find a tutorial so had to think for myself but it looked quite straightforward!

All I bought for this refashion was a piece of 3″ elastic, which I stitched into a ring to fit around my waist:


I sliced the snazzy shirt in two, saving the top section for another project:


I then gathered the top of the “skirt” – which is the bottom of the shirt:


And attached it to the chunky elastic waistband:


[This part was FIDDLY. I wanted to make sure the side seams were actually at the sides, and the front buttons were right in the middle, and the stitched section of the waistband was bang in the middle of the back. I’m happy to say that I succeeded in all this; but it took some time and a lot of deep breaths!]

So that’s the skirt done.


I suppose I could have left it at that – but I wanted a dress.

So I took a little top I was happy to upcycle (I actually bought this for 20p recently – of course from the booty!) and with a lot of patience managed to stitch that to the other side of the waistband. Easier said than done, because the top is stretchy… but I did it!


I didn’t even bother cutting the top. It’s comfy under the skirt!

All that was left to do was change the thread of the lowest button as someone had re-stitched it in white… and I was finished!

Accessorized with a lovely scarf my sister-in-law made me, which is just the PERFECT colour to match the shirt-that’s-now-a-dress.

finished dress side view

I think it’s pretty cool.

Beth x

Upcycle/refashion a men's shirt into a ladies dress