Make a chic dress out of your boyfriend's old shirt

Edited by Karan Khanna, Eng, Lynn, Doug Collins and 3 others


Are you tired of wearing the same things day after day? Would you like your wardrobe to be unique? Do you wish you could add interesting pieces to your wardrobe without spending a lot of money? Well, if you are absolutely bored with your monotonous wardrobe, then you can add a hint of excitement to it with some very intriguing dress ideas. For instance, you can always make your boyfriend's old shirt into a chic and sexy dress. Yes! You read right, and, the idea isn't difficult either. All you need is an old shirt and a lot of patience. Still baffled about the proceedings? Well, the guidelines below are here to assist you. Read on to learn more.

Make a Dress From a Shirt

What You'll Need

Gather the things you will need. They are as follows:

  • An old long-sleeved shirt (preferably without pockets). Don't worry if it has pockets. We will get rid of those soon.
  • A pair of scissors.
  • A sewing machine - unless you are comfortable with a lot of hand-sewing.
  • A measuring tape.
  • Chalk or dark pencil.
  • A piece of old fabric.
  • A seam ripper.
  • A friend or helper.

Instructions For Making Your Dress

Proper planning is necessary to create this wonderful addition to your wardrobe. #Making a pattern. You need to put some effort into planning the type and pattern of dress you are planning to make.

  1. 1
    1. 2
      Look online at dress patterns you like to get an idea of the pieces you'll need to construct your dress
      Often you'll need to make two of every pattern piece - but in mirror to each other. This works if you have two layers of fabric - with the pattern back to back.
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    2. 3
      Take your measurements.
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    3. 4
      Using your measurements, outline the pattern for your dress on the old fabric with a dark pencil
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    4. 5
      Cut out the pattern pieces with the scissors.
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  2. Get the shirt ready.
    1. 1
      Get rid of its pockets (if any and if you don't want them) with a seam ripper
      ##Cut the sleeves of the shirt carefully.
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    2. 2
      Trace the pattern onto the shirt you are transforming.
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  3. Cutting. You will then have to cut absolutely straight from the back portion of the shirt thereby making a line like structure between the armhole areas.
  4. Now, lay the shirt down flat on a table.
  5. Pull out the cut section so that you find a square flap like structure sticking away from the head hole of the shirt in the middle.
  6. Keeping the previous measurements in mind, use a chalk to mark about 6 cm below the collar of the shirt. This will give your dress a crew neck structure.
  7. You have already chalked out the fabric measurements on the shirt and have also added the crew neck structure to it. So, your entire dress pattern is ready now. Carefully cut the "V" structure (6 cm below the collar) in order to get the crew cut of your dress.
  8. After this, you will have to use the sewing machine to sew the raw and open edges.
  9. Put on the shirt, and if you are totally comfortable with the neckline, then ask your friend to tie two triangles behind your entire dress. You will now have the haltered portion of the dress.
  10. After using the sewing machine to get your dress sewn according to the previous measurement that you had incorporated with your old piece of fabric, get rid of the loose and extra fabric with the aid of a seam ripper.
  11. You shirt is now almost ready. Try it on to check whether it is fitting your body or not.
  12. If the shirt fits you (which is very much likely) sew a long ribbon around the middle of the dress in order to make it appear like a chic belt. Make sure the ribbon color complements the dress color.
  13. Your dress is now ready. Surprise your boyfriend on your next date with this cool and chic dress.


  • Try to make the measurements accurately. Ask your friend to help you.
  • Handle the scissors and seam ripper carefully.
  • Cut out the fabric, the halter neck collar and the entire dress extremely patiently. Make sure that there's no blunder while making the cuts.
  • If you don't have some old fabric then you can always make the direct measurements on the dress itself. However, with the fabric, your measurement and dress shape will be more accurate.
  • Ensure that the shirt you have chosen is absolutely over-sized. The bigger it is, the more you can work on it.
  • Do not get worked up if you cannot make the dress in a single go. The job is simple yet tricky, and it needs lots of patience. So, keep trying for the perfect fit.

Questions and Answers

How to make a dress out of your boyfriend's long sleeves?

Make Layers.

One of the trending styles this year makes use of a boyfriend's shirt to style and make into a dress. This style gives a chic and classic look to women, while still giving an aura of being carefree and comfortable. So get a few of your boyfriend's shirts and sleeves. Here are some ways to make a dress out of them:

  • Layers serve as an excellent way to hide excess fat, and at the same time appear chic and sexy.
    • Create a new layer for your boyfriend's long sleeves, by putting it on top of a tube dress or a tank top. Make sure that the inside colors are neutral so it will match the shirt.
    • Pick an oversized long-sleeved shirt, and make sure that the shirt is long enough to serve as a dress.
    • Accentuate it with a nice pair of shoes or sandals.
Jmgf bfdress03.jpg
  • A belt is a chic accessory that adds figure and gives femininity to a dress. The belt will help accentuate your figure and help define the proportions amid the oversized long sleeves turned into a dress.
    • Choose belts based on your body's assets. For example, making use of wide belts will serve to add more bulk. The wide horizontal line across the middle is not flattering for women who wish to look slimmer. The more contrasting the belt is, the wider it appears to be, and the shorter and chubbier you look in the dress. Opt for a narrow belt if you are short, as well as neutral colors of belts, or opt for the ones that are in the same color as your clothing. Just make sure it complements the color of the dress.
Jmgf bfdress.jpg
  • Rolling the sleeves creates a totally new look for the one wearing the long sleeves. It adds personality to the dress and gives the long-sleeved-shirt-turned-dress a special and personal touch to the overall look. There are many ways to roll up the sleeves, and these are as follows:
    • Fold the cuffs up and over four times, push them up a bit above the elbow to give the look a short sleeve look.
    • Create a three quarter (3/4) look with the sleeves. Simply fold the cuffs of the sleeves up and turn them over three times. This look is great and complementing to wear with blue jeans, it'll help give a neat and casual look to the dress.
    • If you don't want the seams of the shirt to appear on the outside, fold the cuffs of the sleeves under instead of over the sleeves; repeat it three times in order to re-create a short sleeves look without any seams being exposed on the outside.
    • To achieve a unique look with the shirt-turned-dress, flip the cuffs of the unbuttoned sleeves one time only and leave the flipped cuff unbuttoned in order to give you the appearance of a sleeve with a winged effect. It's easy to achieve and at the same time creates a unique look to your outfit.
    • Want to give the appearance of short sleeves while keeping the cuffs visible? Then do the button one flip roll. Simply turn the cuff up and over one time and then button the cuff on it's side and voila! Enjoy a shorter sleeved effect with the dress, without leaving the cuffs out of the picture.
Jmgf bfdress.6.jpg

One alternative you can do to add more variety for the long sleeved dress is pair it with black leggings and a pair of great eye-catching sandals or shoes. If you're conscious about overexposed legs, or if you just want to make the appearance a bit more formal, adding leggings is the way to make it a less casual look.

Jmgf bfdress5.jpg

Use jewelry, accessories, shoes, hats and bags to create a definition and personality to go with your boyfriend's shirt/dress. Whatever will represent your style will work with the dress shirt. It's fun and easy to make and at the same time, and it's a personal way of saying you're taken. It's actually a sweet way to surprise your boyfriend or husband when you meet out for a date.

Don't you just love being a girl? ;)

It's very simple. You can make it a dress by simply adding some twists on the way you wear it. You could try to do a clean fold on the sleeve for about three times, and pinned all the buttons except the last button close to the neck, then put on a nice belt that compliments the color of the long sleeves.

What else can I do with my boyfriends old shirts?

You can make a dress out of it or cut it shorter and make a crop top.

Aside from making a chic dress out of your boyfriend's old shirts, you can make other things out of it. There are several crafts that you can make like:

  • bracelets and necklaces
  • bags and purses
  • scarf and headband
  • rugs, placemats, and pot holders
  • vests and skirts.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Fashion

Recent edits by: Maria Quinney, Jmgf, Doug Collins

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