Monday, April 12, 2010

Grandpas Shirts - Refashion # 2 - dress!

My grandparents own a timeshare in Hawaii, and every couple years we go with them. My grandpa had numerous 'tropical' shirts that he'd wear to Hawaii, so I'm going to be making shirts and dresses out of those to bring this year as a tribute to him.

This is by far my favorite refashion so far. I kind of made it up as I went along, and if I could do it over again there are somethings I would do differently! But overall I like it a lot. The color is bold and beautiful, and I just lOVE the big graphic chrysanthemum type flowers on it!

I started taking pictures as I went with this, but then my camera died and I lost my charger. So no pictures along the way :(. I'll try to describe what I did though!

First, I removed the sleeves and the very top of the shirt (mainly the collar), so I had a tube with some armholes cut in it. I straighted the edges out (trimming where the armholes end, if that makes sense) so I had two trapezoidal shapes. I used these for the skirt.

Then, I cut the bodice part out of the sleeves. This is where I really wish I had my pictures, as it's hard to explain! Basically though, the shape I cut out was about the same as what it looks like, only a little bigger. I gathered down the middle of the bodice, and then here's my favorite part - BUILT IN BRA! I always save old crappy bras for projects like this. I cut the bra apart so I just had two attached cups, then hand-sewed it into the front of my bodice. I then sewed a cotton lining over the top of it. Next, I smocked the whole darn thing from the bra all the way around the back, and even a couple rows on the very top of the bra (which give it that ruffled look).

I attached the top to the skirt and did some more smocking around the bottom of the bodice because it was a little too maternity-ish for my taste.

Finally, I added two straps of just plain white elastic. And they tuck down easily if I want to go strapless. I know this is a pretty crappy tutorial - let me know if you have any questions or comments :)


  1. I think this looks really cute & really cool! I would like to try something like it, but I was wondering what size shirt it was, and if you could possibly draw out a picture of where to cut?

  2. How did you do the scrunch under the bust, how did you get it fitted? Was the scrunch already in the shirt?

  3. Please make this again, but with pictures along the way? It's so fantastic, but I'm not sure I understand the directions whatsoever. I really want you to show me how to recreate this awesome summer dress!



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