DIY Men's shirt to an off the shoulder dress

I'm having a bit of a love affair with off the shoulder dresses this season- as clearly evidenced from this recent post. 

When I saw Pair and a Spare's men's shirt to off the shoulder dress DIY I knew I wanted to give it a go. Men's striped shirts are a little too preppy for my style though, so when I came across this floral western number at the thrift store, I knew I had the perfect raw material. 

Transform a man's shirt into an off the shoulder dress
easily transform a men's shirt into an off the shoulder dress
DIY off the shoulder dress created from a Man's shirt

I made some changes to my dress (of course) that aren't in the original DIY.

First, I was in love with the cuffs on the original shirt, and didn't want to roll them up and lose that detail.

As a fix, I cut the sleeves off above the elbow, and then cut the cuffs off the sleeves. Then, I reattached the cuffs to the newly shortened sleeves- easing in the excess fabric to create a gathered puffed up look.  

off the shoulder dress DIY created from an old men's shirt
DYI a thrifted Men's shirt into an off the shoulder dress

I was also felt like the sides of the dress went up a little high- every time I raised my arms, I was in danger of flashing side tush to the world. 

To remedy that, I took the fabric from the discarded sleeves and created an inset ruffle. {Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the step by step for how I created it.} 

Turn an old men's shirt into an off the shoulder dress
Off the shoulder shirt DIY- made from a thrifted men's shirt!
turn a thrifted men's shirt into an off the shoulder top and dress

Another thing thing I love about this dress, is turning it into a flirty top. Simply unbutton the bottom of the dress and tie up the ends in front. 

off the shoulder shirt dress ruffle DIY

Making the inset ruffle

1) Cut two long rectangles from the discarded shirt sleeves. Try to get the width to fill the gap of the rise at it's greatest point. The length is up to your discretion- the longer it is, the more full your ruffle will be.

2) Hem the length of the two pieces to match the hem on the original shirt. I simply folded over  the ends and pressed before sewing. Most- if not all of the sides will get cut off after the ruffle is attached, so there is no need to hem them. 

3) Run a basting stitch along the top edge (the side that will be sewn to the dress.) This can be done by hand, or simply set your machine on it's longest stitch setting without backstitching at the beginning and the end. 

4) Mark the center of the ruffle with a pin- so you can line it up on your dress more easily in the next step- and then pull the ends of the baste stitch thread to create your ruffle. 

5) Pinning the ruffle to the dress- this is where you'll get a little creative based on the shape of your dress. I pinned the middle (remember how you marked that in the previous step) to roughly the highest point in the rise on the side, and then pinned both sides equal distance from that point along the edge of the dress. Then, I fussed with the ruffle insert, pinning as I went, until I got the look I wanted. 

I found it helpful to flip it over to the right side of the fabric, so I could see what the finished result would look like. I didn't worry about lining up the top of the ruffle piece with the hem of the dress on the back side. 

6) Once everything is pinned in place, stitch the ruffle onto the dress, right side up, along the original stitch line of the shirt hem.

7) You'll see on the photos that I had a lot of excess fabric on the right and the left on the back side after attaching. Take a scissors and simply trim the excess off and you're done!

You can also serge or overlock that seam for a cleaner inside finish. I wasn't super concerned about that, so I left it raw. 

And there you have it. What do you think? Is this a DIY you think you would do? Let me know in the comments!

Post, Photos and diy edits by by Sarah Ehlinger. Original DIY by Pair and a spare.