Friday, 20 February 2015

Refashion Friday: Men's Shirt to Toddler's Ruffle Neck Dress

I'm really pleased to be sharing this make with you today because I'm super happy with it. It's the second project that I completed as part of the recent KCW upcycling sewing challenge. Warning: this is quite an image-dense post. I got some real cuties of my little girl modelling this make whilst going about her business. Consider yourself warned!


After the success of my men's shirt to baby blouse refashion, I knew I had to crack out that pattern again at some point. It was such a great little basic pattern with lovely proportions, and by reusing a shirt and incorporating the button stand, most of the hard work was already done for you!

I used the baby blouse pattern from the Sept 2013 edition of Burdastyle magazine (pictured above). I traced the next size up from the last time I used this pattern, so this is the Size 80. I then lengthened and flared out the hem to make an A-line dress shape and omitted the sleeves. 

To finish the armholes I simply used my overlocker to neaten the raw edge, folded it over then top stitched it down. I did that after the shoulder seams had been sewn but before the side seams as I worried about the overlocker going round such a tight circle and accidentally hacking off a chunk of fabric! Inspired by this picture I found via Pinterest, I decided to extend the ruffle to make it more of a feature. 


I have a few lovely thrifted men's shirts in my stash that I was saving to make into blouses for myself. This one was probably going to be some kind of diner waitress-esque type affair. But it hasn't happened and the longer I leave it, the less likely I am to actually wear a candy-striped diner waitress blouse in my day-to-day life! So I decided to give up on that dream (for now...) and use it for a different project that will hopefully get used lots and lots. 

The shirt itself was in pretty good nick. There's a bit of fading from going through the wash a lot, but not much else up with it. Despite the wide white stripes between the coral ones, the fabric is pretty much opaque so I felt it's appropriate for summer wear when she might not wear anything other than a nappy underneath when it's really hot. 

It wasn't all plain sailing (sorry, more nautical puns) when using this shirt though. No part of the shirt was wide enough to cut the ruffle in one piece. I cut the ruffle length in three parts and joined them up by carefully matching up the stripes. Hopefully the joins are fairly unnoticeable. 


Aside from the fabric of the garment, I also reused the button stand to form the fastening on the back of the dress. The original shirt's pocket had a cute little embroidered boat, which obviously I was going to incorporate into the end result come hell or high water! 

Usually when I'm refashioning a shirt into a new garment, I try to reuse the existing hem. However this shirt's wasn't great as it kept rolling up, so I decided to avoid it and cut and hem the dress as usual. I think this has helped give the whole garment a nice, clean finish and makes more sense with the A-line silhouette. 


Ahh! I love this dress! There is a distinct possibility that some may think she's dressed as a clown, but I think that's a look that Dolores could rock: Nautical Clown! I'm really pleased with how the stripes have lined up at the side seams, and I am pleased to prove to refashioning-phobes that sewing something from an existing garment can still result in a neat and crisp looking garment!

Currently it is a bit big for her (she still fits into the original blouse which was Size 74) but that's fine. It is intended to be worn in the height of summer, which may still be five or so months away! In the meantime, I will probably try and get more use from it by layering it over other clothes, more or less like she is wearing it in these pics. 


Sewing by Shirley said...

Asolutely adorable....the shirt too! :) What a great make!

Catherine said...

Oh my those are some truly gorgeous photos - especially that last one :-)

Fab refashion ...

Knitlass said...

Fab refashion - love those stripes :-)

Terzi Begum said...

Oh, incredible dress, it's very pretty! And she's so cute :) (

JustSewJenna said...

She's so lovely!!! I love the sailor clown combo, looks fab!!

Unknown said...

Fabulous blouse, the ruffle is very cute. I love using men's shirts for refashioning. So much fabric.

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