Another Shirt Dress Refashion


I like thrift shopping. A lot. Last week I was in the little boys department looking for my favorite button-ups (for me) when I found the most adorable button up in greenish-teal plaid. I had to have it. It was a boy’s size 8, which is too small for me, and too big for Penelope. I bought it anyway. It was just too cute. Maybe Penelope will fit into it in 6 years?

After I brought it home, I knew that in 6 years not only would fashion be different, but she’d be dressing herself by then. I had to make it fit her now so I could take advantage of my great thrift find. So, what do I always do? Make it work.

Sorry for the crappy before & during photos. I couldn’t wait for decent lighting to work on the project. Here’s what I did in list form:

  • lay the shirt flat
  • cut out the sleeves
  • lay one of Penelope’s shirts over the new shirt
  • marked the waist & shoulder measurements & cut
  • cut the sleeve to 3″ long on inseam
  • cut a 1″ strip of biased tape – for sleeve hem
  • cut 2 strips out of sleeve remnants for ruffle
  • zig zag stitched edges of ruffle
  • gathered ruffle
  • attached ruffle
  • stitched sides up
  • gathered sleeves
  • sewed sleeves to the shirt
  • sewed biased tape to sleeve hem
  • cut strip of jersey fabric for waist tie
  • zig-zag stitched all seams

This project cost $1 to make & took just under an hour. I would’ve finished it sooner, if Chris hadn’t started watching Lost. Sheesh. I paired her new shirt dress with skinny jeans (Check out Susan’s tutorial on skinnies) and saddle shoes on Friday (below) and then paired the shirt dress with bloomers, leggings and saddle shoes on Sunday (above). I love this color on her so much, but not as much as I love her. Ooo, she’s such a cutie.

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    1. Shanna says:

      dear Melissa… please take all my old clothes that I hate and make super fabulous clothes for my kids. thanks!

      hehe. totally love this dress, girl. Penelope is a doll!


    2. valerie sallay says:

      That is super cute! And it helps you have a beautiful little girl. Thanks for always sharing your great ideas!

    3. Laura says:

      Oh, too, too cute. Way to upcycle! You make the best ruffles.

    4. Wendy says:

      Inspired. GOing to the sewing room right now. Will emerge, no doubt, halfway through. As usual.

    5. Sarah says:

      So cute! I am going to use some of my husband’s old shirts to make a couple dresses for my Lou!

    6. wow! that is too cute!
      i’m going to have to attempt this. but, this may be too advanced for my sewing skills.


    7. That is SO cute!!! Please teach me to sew??

    8. Emily H. says:

      I’m with Shanna…I’ll send you some old shirts, include some measurements and let you have at them! Adore the shirt dress and wish I could whip out something like that in less than an hour. It would take me all day!

    9. Kalleen says:

      I love refashioning clothes. It’s my favorite project. I will definately be trying this. BTW I love your blog, you have such great ideas.

    10. nicole says:

      so stink’n cute!

    11. Lili says:

      you’ve outdone yourself!

    12. genevieve says:

      i love this! i was just given an old white shirt and wanted to make a dress and i love this one- especially the ruffle! thanks for sharing :)

    13. even more adorable in person!

    14. Erin says:

      ACK! Love this!!

    15. kelly says:

      Wow! Brilliant and adorable! -kb

    16. Adorable! She’s looks like such a cutie.

    17. THIS is quite possibly THE cutest thing eva! Wow! Cute dress! SUPER DUPER cute kid! I hit the goodwill about every other Sunday after church…this is my next project! LOVE it – thanks for sharing!

    18. Alma says:

      I love you. We still need to get together and fix that dress I bought. Now if only I could find the pedal to my sewing machine…

    19. Meaghan says:

      This is so adorable! If only this was in MY size! ;) What a cutie you have!

    20. Are you kidding me? This is too darn cute!

    21. Jan says:

      Awesome!! How did you get rid of the pen pocket? Did you just unpick it or something?

      • Melissa says:

        I actually didn’t get rid of it. It’s still on there. You can’t see it, funny enough, but I’m still trying to decide if I want it on there or not.

        I’ve unpicked pockets like this before, and they don’t take too long to do.

    22. Lisa says:

      That is so cute! I love the added ruffles :)

    23. sara schmutz says:

      oh i am so in love! i think i might have to go make one for my daughter… your creativity kills me! seriously.. amazing!

    24. AmberLee says:

      oh my. that is adorable!

    25. Kenziepoo says:

      Are you serious? So cute!!! I need you to make my little Kenzie one!

    26. Glitter Toes says:

      Wow! I found your link from sara schmutz’s blog and I love it. I can’t believe that it came from an old shirt of your husbands.

      I am still unsure how you did the little ruffles in the front of the shirt. Amazing!!

      Thank you so much for the post! It helps us all out!

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