Thursday, February 21, 2013

Corduroy Shirt Dress

To make this dress, I started with a men's XXL corduroy shirt, and and men's L sweater.

Cut away the shirt collar, leaving the neck band.

Use part of the collar to create an extension for the future sweater collar.  The buttonhole on the collar tip will come in handy.  Be careful not to stitch over the existing buttonholes, you will use them.

Cut away the sleeves.

Carefully pick out the side seam stitching of the sweater (which should give you edges that don't unravel.)  Cut 5 1/2" off the bottom edge of the sweater front.  This will give you a collar piece that is finished on three sides.  Serge the unfinished cut edge. 

Pin the right side of the collar to the wrong side of the collar band and extension, easing if necessary.  Stitch in place.

Button up the collar band and mark where the button should be placed for the collar extension.  Since the fabric is kind of thick, sewing the button over a pin, and then removing the pin, will make it easier to button through the thickness.

Fit the shirt to your size and take in the side seams.  Cut your new sleeves from the bottom of the original sleeves, retaining the cuff detail.  I opted for a straight edge, dropped sleeve so that I didn't have to mess with cutting the upper curve to a new sleeve.  Stitch the sleeve in place.

Cut about 9" from the bottom of the sweater sleeves and take in seams as needed to fit.  Serge the unfinished edge.  Place the sweater sleeve into the dress sleeve, matching side seams.  Pin and stitch in place.  I left the shirt cuff unbuttoned to give me more ease in wearing.  You may have to hand stitch the sweater sleeve in place.

Square off the front and back tail of the shirt.  Retain these scrap pieces incase a waist inset is needed for added length.


Open the side seams of the leftover upper sleeve pieces.  You can do this by unpicking the stitching, or in my case, they were flat felled seams and I just cut close to the edge.  Overlap the sleeves and stitch in place.  Since I cut close to the flat felled seam, I didn't have to finish the slit edge.  If you have a raw edge, finish it before overlapping and stitching.  This will become the back slit of your dress. 


Square off the top edge of the upper sleeve pieces, pin and stitch this bottom band to the dress.  (As a side note, I stitched down the back pleat of the shirt before adding the bottom band.  I also duplicated the front plaque detail with buttonholes as you can see from the second picture.)

Front plaque detail of bottom band, with added buttonhole, made to match original plaque detail.

The dress wasn't quite long enough for me, so to get some extra length I added an inset waist piece, turning the front edges to the inside.


Stitch elastic to each seam, stretching the elastic as you go.

When complete, the inside should look like this.  Add a button and buttonhole to the waist.  (I had to piece together various scrap pieces to create the waist inset.  But, I didn't worry too much since it would be covered by a belt.)  All that was left was to hem it with a simple rolled hem.

So there you have it, a corduroy shirt dress!  You can view the tutorial of the sweater purse here.


  1. This is so admirable! Nice work, nice finishing!

  2. Nice job!! I've always loved the layered look and this looks great.

  3. I'm really liking the sweater underneath. I am having a hard time figuring out the collar though. Do you have any other pictures or more detail on how to add it?
    Thanks so much!