Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recykleer 14-dagen: Shirt to dress

Boomie is organizing an upcycle series. For two weeks she is featuring guests who make something beautiful from repurposed fabric and everybody can sew along and add pictures to the Flickr group. I read about the series a few months ago, and I liked the idea a lot. I love buying new fabric, putting beautiful pieces in my digital cart is exhilarating (I enjoy this high often, because usually I empty the cart at the end again, and can have the experience again the next day for free). Making a beautiful outfit from beautiful new fabric is great, but making a beautiful outfit from cloths you did not want to wear anymore,  gives me an even bigger thrill. Your fabric is free, you have to be more creative because you had to work with existing shapes and in my case I usually do not have to hem (as much).

We have a big pile of to-be-upcycled clothing and these series are a great way to decrease this pile (and make space for new fabric). In the past I have upcycled some outfits, but usually I made trousers from trousers and I made a coat from an old coat, not very creative (altough I also made this onesie and dress). My goal for these two weeks is to push my upcycle creativity level a bit.

To warm up, I started with the easiest dress ever. I took a dark blue shirt from my husband (this time I did not forget to take "before" pictures), cut a A-line dress from it keeping the collar intact. I drew new sleeves from the bottom of the old sleeves and sewed the whole thing together on my serger, using four seams, done! No hemming at all. My daughter loves her new dress, she claims she now looks like a grown up ( I might have to dial down of the happy fabric for her). It is her new favorite and she loves to tell people it was her fathers shirt. Normally, when I would be making such a dress I would cut the bottom a bit round. This time I did not do that to keep the original hemming. The dress is not very wide and it does not show that the sides are slightly longer than the middle. The fabric is very dark, and because we have to make pictures inside due to the weather it was hard to show of the dress well in the pictures.

The second dress I made is from two existing garments, one from me and one from my husband. I love knitted clothes but they take so much time compared to sewing. I find it hard to buy nice knitted fabric (the warmer type, bit bulkier knit, not the jersey fabric). I owned a blue sweater which had become a bit too big (and boring) of which I loved the knitted fabric and color. The shirt was screaming: "upycle me please". I was inspired by a beautiful dress from Probably Actually (this blog is so great, this pictures alone gives me tons of inspiration). I loved the color scheme and the vertical stripes of the dress in the middle.

I cut the bodice parts from the middle of the sweater to be able to keep the neck line. The neckline was not stretchy (and a bit high) so I also upcycled the button strips from the shoulders. Then I took the remaining lower part of the shirt as a whole for the ruffled skirt part. I again used my shoe lace trick to make elastic (empty) pipping at the waist, this time I used my sewing machine and regular zipper foot. My middle daughter wanted to wear the dress immediately, which is the sign of success at our house.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian) 


  1. Wat zijn ze keuk gekukt, de dochters zijn er duidelijk blij mee

    1. Dat zijn ze zeker Francina en dochter blij=mama blij

  2. Replies
    1. Dank je Nat!, Die Lisa jurk die jij eerder deze week maakte komt misschien ook nog wel voorbij bij mij de komende twee weken.