How I Upcycled White Shirts into a Dress, perfect for the COVIDSafe Summer

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion
Hello December! And that also means a big hello for the summer!

I’m very happy today because not only that I will share with you another upcycled dress that I made recently, but because as of today is VIC State’s 32days of no new COVID case and no death.

And you know what that means?!

Victoria State is proudly welcoming the COVIDSafe Summer!

Queensland and New South Wales also opened their borders for us Victorians and that means, we can now enjoy more extended local travel to these two States. 

Woot! Woot! What great news to celebrate 😊





Let’s talk about my DIY project, shall we?

What is the perfect way to repurpose those outgrown school uniform white shirts?

The best is to upcycle them all!

This COVID-19 restriction gives me so much time to enjoy sewing, designing, and creating content for my blog and for my wardrobe as well.  I am not sure how many dresses I’ve made recently, some of them I’ve already shared here in my blog, others are still waiting to be flaunted. 

This isn’t my first-time to upcycled outgrown school uniforms, and my previous upcycled dresses received a lot of great appreciation. And I am so grateful that many of you inspire to upcycle their clothes as well.


sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

Months ago, my husband’s children released their outgrown uniforms. Some of the white long-sleeved shirts have stains on their sleeves, an occupational hazard. But the rest of the shirt’s fabrics are still good. And I don’t have the heart to just throw them into the bin, so I kept them for months until I got a clever idea to upcycle them.

I had twelve (12) pieces of white long-sleeved shirts, but in this project, I only used four (4) shirts.
I spent the day just removing all the buttons (they are still usable), and unstitching them.

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

Although I admit that unstitching them is quite a tedious job. But as the old folks always say “no pain, no gain.”

I picked a shirt that still in a good condition and removed its original long-sleeved. I used a lace fabric on-hand and decided to create a puff-sleeve for a more fun look. For the pattern, I used the one I found on Pinterest. 





sustainable fashion, recycled fashion
This is my sleeve pattern and I made it wider for a bigger sleeve.

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion
I kept the front pocket and the collar, then attached the laced puff-sleeved. Then added an elastic to the ends of the sleeves to create a puffy look.

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion
Then for the skirt, I patiently unstitched the shirts’ fabric and connected them all, together with my lace fabric for an unconventional look. I needed to create three (3) layers and connect them together to create a full skirt. 

Pardon me for not explaining it step by step like a PRO, coz it is much easier for me to demo it in person than give direction in writing, lol.

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

As you noticed, the white fabric doesn’t look the same (proof that it came from different sources), but that’s alright coz that’s the point of upcycling.

And here’s the final dress!

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

This is the first time that I made an upcycled dress with sleeves on, and I think I managed to reach my goal. 

And of course, here’s my OOTD look!

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

sustainable fashion, recycled fashion

Now I am ready for the next summer afternoon tea party! Pairing it with my pear-studded mules made this whole look more lady-like. 

For the rest of the long white sleeve shirts, I’ll make another dress very soon.

Don’t worry, I made sure that I didn’t wrongly cut their new uniforms, LOL. 


What do you think of this dress?



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66 comments :

  1. Oh wow, that's so clever. I love what you did is such a pretty, feminine design. Great idea!

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  2. such a wonderful transformation and it's a great project! I love the mix of lace and thanks for showing us how to do it too. - Knycx Journeying

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    1. You're welcome! I'm glad that it turned out well.

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  3. This is absolutely fantastic: So environment-friendly....and it suits you so well, too!

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    1. Thanks dear! I have more shirts ready to upcycled :)

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  4. That's a very cute dress, I am so amazed with your talent! how did you learn how to sew your own clothes? did you take any class related to fashion design?

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    1. My mother taught me how to sew! I started manually by hand, then learned to sew using the pedal-type sewing machine. And also back in primary days, our teachers also taught us how to do embroidery.

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  5. Outstanding! Your stitching is ability is fabulous. I can't image to make a dress from a shirt.

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  6. I’m really impressed with how it turned out. You can truly do a lot of things with a plain white shirt!! I love how you added that other fabric to spices up the sleeves and the skirt as well!

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  7. Oh my G! That dress is soooo beautiful :) I'm really amazed!! You turned a boring white shirt into a beautiful masterpiece!

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  8. I used to do this a lot when I was still a musician, refashion an old piece of clothing. Or I would buy something within my budget and create something new out of it. Though I don't sew. I bring it to a seamstress with a drawing of how I want it changed. Pretty dress you made there!

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    1. Thanks, May! Iba talaga kapag sustainable fashion.

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  9. You are truly talented. The transformation is amazing.

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  10. galing! I had no idea that you can turn a simple shirt to this cute dress.

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    1. Yes, pwedeng pwede! May okay kapag malaki yung shirt.

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  11. This is so cute. I would totally wear this. Of all the dresses you have made this one is by far my favorite!

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  12. What a lovely dress! the shirt has got such an awesome makeover, the dress looks so ethereal.

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  13. woow...I love this DIY white dress from a white shirt, amazing creative DIY sewing talent you have. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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  14. how cute! it turned out perfectly and you definitely nailed the effortless summer here.

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  15. Hi, Blair! Another beautiful masterpiece! I especially love the laced puff-sleeves! It adds an extra feminine touch to the whole look!

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  16. This looks really nice! I wish the sleeves are a bit more puffier but the shape works for you! I hope to create my own dresses and tops soon, but I think I'll be doing them handstitched as I don't have any machines with me. Have you done a whole project by just handstitching before?

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    1. Yeah, I used to hand-stitch all my dresses! But now that I'm using the Brother sewing machine :)

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  17. wow its the second time i saw you put an article like this,,,it almost like a hack,,the last time i saw you make a fitted bed sheet into a dress...great ideas

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  18. That's a very smart idea, loved the outcome. Beautiful dress.

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  19. ang cute cute mo in this outfit!! super love the lace detail na ginawa mo. imagine this was just a plain white long sleeves top!! bongga ang kinalabasan talaga niya!!

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    1. Thank you dear! Even the kids are surprised for this transformation.

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  20. I so love your idea of upcycling old dresses and not just throw into the bin! You are so creative, learned so much and an idea came up again! Will find my not so wearable ones and turn them into something pretty, too!

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    1. Upcycling teaches me to give value and respect our old things that served us.

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  21. That is such a cute look! I am continually amazed by your sewing skils and your creativity. That is a fantastic piece.

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  22. That dress is so cute. What a great way to reuse white shirts

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    1. Thanks dear! I am always feel accomplished whenever I managed to give life to old clothes.

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  23. What a super cute and super neat idea! This dress is so beautiful and I always love recycling!

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  24. I'm not a native speaker and first time I hear of the term "upcycle" I get it from this post it means taking a piece of clothing and turning it into something else.
    Am I right?
    Wonderful dress, btw.

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  25. WOW! You’re very talented! That’sa super cute dress.

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  26. What a fun idea! I love repurposing things and this came out so well! You look great.

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  27. Wow your creations are always so pretty!

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  28. Hey this is so cool. A shirt converted to such a pretty cute dress. You are truly talented and skilful. My mother will love this, she loves sewing and stitching.

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  29. Great way to upcycle old clothes. You have been very productive this COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you can do a year-end posts on all upcycled clothes you have created. Tag me!

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  30. oh wow, you're so creative!!! The dress looks amazing, I love it!!!

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  31. Good for you Blair, you are super talented! That dress is beautiful and I love the sleeves.
    Elizabeth O

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  32. I wish I have creativity like yours! I like how you upcycle the clothes. Your dresses are unique and very fashionable!

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