Fashion is a great way to express your personal style and creativity. When you wear clothes that you love, you feel more like yourself. And with warm weather fashion back in season, you can incorporate new designs into your wardrobe. One way to create a cool and comfortable look is to refashion a “once loved” men’s button-down dress shirt into a stylish tank dress. This design mixes sundress vibes with athleisurewear for ultimate comfort.
Today, we are going to take a men’s button-down dress shirt and create a one-of-a-kind tank dress using only a Serger!
- A men’s button-down dress shirt
- Jersey knit fabric or old t-shirt
- Tank top pattern
- Fabric Scissors
- Rotary cutter and straight edge
- Straight pins
- An iron
Make the Tank Top:
Using a basic racerback or regular tank top pattern, cut out the jersey knit material.
You can even get creative with this and use an old t-shirt for the tank portion of this dress.
Cut two pieces for the front and two pieces for the back of the tank to construct a fully-lined tank top. Alternatively, you can use one layer of fabric and finish the armholes and neckline with bias tape trim.
Continuing with the self-lined tank top, line up the shoulder seams from a front piece and a back piece then serge the shoulder seams together.
Do the same with the two remaining front and back pieces. You will have two sections made up of a front and a back piece.
Line up the neckline so the front pieces are on top of each other and the back pieces match with the right sides of the fabric facing each other. Pin the neckline in place and serge around the neckline.
Take one layer, front and back piece section and pull them through the neck-hole to turn the material right side out and show the finished neckline. Press the finished neckline.
If you lay the tank top flat, you will have the neckline finished with unfinished armholes and sides.
To finish the top, pull the two layers of the front section apart and over the back. Wrap the back pieces together with a rubber band or clips so they stay out of the way when you are pinning and sewing.
Pin the armholes and serge. Be sure to leave the sides of the top open. Do the same on the other side turn it right side out.
Using the same technique, finish the back pieces of the tank top. When you pin the armholes and serge them together it will connect to the seam from the front piece meeting at the shoulder.
Turn the top right side out. And the result, is a self-lined racerback tank top.
Prep the Button-down Shirt:
Deconstruct the button-down shirt before attaching the tank top.
Cut off the sleeves at the arm holes.
Cut across the shoulders under the neckline to remove the collar using a straightedge and rotary cutter.
Be sure to remove any buttons that are in the way.
Finish the tank dress:
With the button-down dress shirt right sides out, place the wrong side of the front of the tank top, along the top edge of the front of the shirt.
Pin in place and serge the two pieces together.
Do the same with the backside of the tank top. With the right sides out of the button-down shirt facing out, pin the backside of the tank top to the top of the shirt with the right sides facing each other. Serge the two pieces together.
With the new tank dress inside out, pin the sides together and taper the sides in at the arm holes. Trim the sides to fit. Serge the side seams.(photos 30, 31)
Turn the dress right side out and give it a press with your iron to smooth out the seams.
You can even add an embroidery design to the dress now too.
And there you have it, a refashioned button-down dress shirt turned super cool tank dress. With a little imagination and some inspiration, you can make stylish warm weather fashion. Don't be afraid to experiment with this project and use other materials to refashion and reuse, but most of all, have fun with your clothes. After all, fashion is supposed to be enjoyable.