How to Make a Shirt Dress with Clothes You Already Own | Mary Colmar | Skillshare

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How to Make a Shirt Dress with Clothes You Already Own

teacher avatar Mary Colmar, Fashion Designer SaladBowlDress

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction to The Class

    • 2. Easy Projects and Tools

    • 3. How to Choose Two Pieces

    • 4. Project 2 Includes Lesson 1, 2, and 3

    • 5. More About Flat Measurements

    • 6. Add SA and Prepare to Sew

    • 7. Sew One Seam

    • 8. Sewing and Style Tips

    • 9. Dress Samples

    • 10. Final Project and What We Learned

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About This Class

In this 20 minute class, you’ll be able to make a dress and go through your closet looking for clothes that might be more useful than just taking up space. The process behind teaching how to make a shirt dress was developed from years of owning Salad Bowl Dress a hand-tailored deconstructed clothing company, . The mission is to keep clothing out of the landfill. Get Your Dressing On!

Check out how designer Mary Colmar shares her insights, and permission to be as creative as you want while sewing garments. Sometimes we are intimidated by the accuracy necessary for sewing but this particular project offers a lot of forgiveness and tips for preventing any mistakes. This is a beginner course for anyone who has too many clothes and nothing to wear. The first project is a detailed entreaty to inspire choices for choosing two pieces of clothing to make into a shirt dress.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mary Colmar

Fashion Designer SaladBowlDress



I am part of the Slow Fashion movement dedicated to making better fitting, longer lasting sustainable eco-fashion. My business is about making deconstructed clothing and home goods named Salad Bowl Dress. We use simple practices to remake what we already own. We bought it once and now we can deconstruct and customize it into something fun and utilitarian for everyday living.

My background is in the fashion industry working as a Patternmaker in NYC and LA with iconic brands. It wasn't until I had kids that I became obsessed with all the clothes in our house.  I believe we have enough clothing in our closet to create new looks rather than giving them t... See full profile

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1. Introduction to The Class: Hi. My name is Mary Colmar, and I am the creator of Salad Bowl Dress, a sustainable fashion line. We're on a mission to keep clothing out of the landfill. My background is in fashion design, technical design and petr making from both coasts from New York City to California. Today, I hope you'll join me in making your very own shirtdress from clothing that you already on Project One is about choosing the clothing that you'll need to make your shirt dress. Download the pdf and it will have some tips on which closed two twos. Project T. We're going to lay those pieces flat on a table so that we could take some measurements. And your final project is making your very unsure dressed. So I hope you'll join me. It should be a lot of fun. Can't wait to see what you make to see you soon. Thank you 2. Easy Projects and Tools: how to make a shirtdress with Close You already on the Skill share class by Mary Colmar. That's me. The Class and Projects Project one will download a pdf How to choose your clothes. It will help you choose a sure in a skirt bottom from your closet. Project to is to photograph those two pieces on the flat from above, laying them next to each other. Post for class discussion and Project three will be your finisher Dress. How to prepare for the class. You will need a tape measure or carpenters measuring tape, some pins or safety pins. Chalk is helpful and no pad to write down measurements. Sharp scissors near the end, when we will dual, are cutting a needle and thread to sew your one seem or a sewing machine to stitch one scene and to choose to piece of clothing from your closet. Next, we'll talk about the abbreviations HP s That's high point shoulder, where the shoulder meets the neck. When your piece is lying flat on a table, you want Teoh measure were the fold and the neckline me, and that is a really popular point of reference to measure all your length C F is center front CB is center back. Assess this site C s a seam allowance w l is waistline, for our purpose is so our measurements will be from high point shoulder to the new waistline. We'll decide where you want to make the cut on a sure the width of that shirt at the waistline on the flat and the overall length. 3. How to Choose Two Pieces: How are you going to choose those two pieces? Basically, find any button down shirt that you never wear. Find a skirt bottom if you find a dress wherever we cut the dress, you can usually save the top part as a top, and it's so much more wearable that way. Another tip is that we gravitate towards similar colors or fabrics and her purchases. Do you use that knowledge in your decision from picking your two pieces? Project one. Download the PDF thes are instructions for how to choose your clothes for the top of the short dress. It should be a button down hence the shirt, but not absolutely necessary. Choose a shirt that fits somewhere through the shoulders. Last for waste. Don't worry if it's a little tight or if it's a little big, it still will. Work is great. You can cut off the frayed color neck, lying shoulders or cups with a skirt bottom of the shirtdress. Choose a dress for skirt that has some fullness at the bottom. Never mind if the rest is not fit. Weller's fitted will cut across the fuller part. If you want to use fitted dresses, we might want to cut up to tap into your design herself will be combining the chosen to pieces. Do not be afraid to combine prints on prints or complementary colors, solid color, color blocking or lights with darks, the clothes will be sewn together. They can contrast, match or simply go together. Pick a contemporary look with the contemporary print or a bohemian with the faded piece. My personal favorite is combining checks and Platt's of a similar color or hue, but not necessarily the same. The best are combining stripes with florals. This will be harder for something for others. Think about all those clothes that are sitting in your closet that you never actually wear . You might ride them on but never go out the door in them. Remember, we can remake them into something wearable with the new silhouette rager closet, your boyfriends or girlfriends, your moms, your kids, your dads, your friends. And then ask these questions. How did I feel the last time I wore this? It fits, but I will like it better as the top of a new shirt dress. Is this a representation of my fantasy self, or will I actually wear it as the bottom of a new shirt dress. Do I need to be a certain weight to wear this piece and feel good in it? We will cut off the too big or too small parts. Some thoughts keep a donation ban close by so you can say later, too close when the mood strikes that way, when you get in the habit of parent down. So it's not a huge feat to tackle every six months. Always a good idea to pare down. But this time you can remake something. Fear is usually the driving force, keeping us chained to our stuff. We rationalize that we may need that dress for a future costume party or holiday event, but reality tells us that we have never needed it. So I say, Why to keep it except to make it into something wearable, We can remake the close to give them another chance at a fun new life. Do not cut out designer clothing. It's a no brainer. Sell or donate the expensive designer pieces and get the tax write off. If you're looking for a bigger investment, why not try buying stocks for the brands you love? And this is a clickable link to see how to do that onto project to I can't wait to see what you picked out. Remember, this is just fun dress. Next, I'll show you some examples of clothing I put together where I would narrow it down to just two pieces. This is a blue and green and purple story that I found. That's kind of a burnout velvet skirt, a line skirt and blouse with little delle api. Print it husband couple, um, on it that could be used at the waist of hard drives we wanted get really fun a plaid shirt and it looks like a blue greens purple scars. I'm just messing around with them on the table there. Here's a pink story with a little girl's dress. Have a calico print horizontal stripe shirt that probably never really looked that good on , but with a flowery skirt at the waste, it could be really fun. The flannel sure is beautiful, and I think that would look great with a dark pink, black and white rent on the right, so practically anything would go that flannel shirt. This is kind of a black, red, gold and green story print in the middle would go great with that black shirt, which I think would be the focal point of this or dress. You wanted to use the gold, blue and flower print top, and it's not big enough I could see combining the other red and white flour. 4. Project 2 Includes Lesson 1, 2, and 3: project to all you need to dio after you have chosen your pieces is see how they look on the flat, take a photograph of them from above and posted to the class to share with others for insights on the variety of options. By laying them out flat, we're positioning them to make our flat measurements. Just, you know, a few flat measurements like the length and width Lesson one. The shirt length from high point shoulder to the waistline that you have chosen after trying the shirt on, holding it up, holding a skirt from the hem up to see where you might want it to fall could put a pin or a mark at the waistline that you have chosen. In this case, we're using the whole shirt. Our length is something like 26 inches. Once you get your length, you'll measure straight across from that point to get the wet, and eventually we will use the skirt length measuring up from the original home to save you a step of having two AM the garment. So after we measure straight across at the waistline that we've chosen, this will be your across waistline measurement. Keep in mind where the buttons fall and make sure that your waistline is between them. Also, this opening will be how to get you into the dress, and the one shown here uses the whole shirt. As I said, there's an overall length that's more or less. A guideline skirt kind of determines how long it will be. If you don't want something like at your near over your knee, go ahead and cut it in a more fuller place, a shorter length. 5. More About Flat Measurements: more about flat measurements. This is a flat sketch showing how the measurements are really straight and perpendicular from high point shoulder to the waist, and then the cut line is winning. Below that with Seema loans and the dress that we've used in this example, we've held it up and decided that the waistline will be where it's shown, and then the cut line is one inch above that. And if these were superimposed, you would see the dress, and you would save the top of the dress for a little talk to wear all by itself. So the skirt What is the same at this point where the tape measure is as the width of the shirt? When we went up from the ham, that was the highest. We could go on this a line skirt, and it's only 11 inches, and with similar, it's 12 inches, but the shirts long. It just so happens that there's enough skirt above that, another 12 inches that we can cut off, and we're going to add it to the bottom at the skirt. So once you have determined the wit of your shirt or the length of your skirt, you need to make a line straight across, measuring up from the ham plus one inch on this skirt. We have to actually, so a ham, which won't be that much fun. It's so much better when you just use your original ham and you don't have to do that extra step of sewing and made a little equation about finding your skirt length overall length that, you know, is something like 37 or 39. You'll subtract the shirt high point shoulder to your waistline. Ours is 26 years. Could be 21. You'll subtract that from your overall length and you'll get the length of your skirt. Then you'll measure up from the ham the length of your skirt, and it will be the overall length that you want on ours. It is 12 inches with C. Mylan's 6. Add SA and Prepare to Sew: So here I've shown how I'm adding the top of the skirt to the bottom of my skirt to make it fuller. This is very sheer fabric, so it's going to help in its overall look. It won't be a sheer looking. Then we'll cut it straight across and said that up and get it ready to sew onto the shirt, adding one and two seam allowance to the top and the bottom. But in ours we have used the whole shirt, so we were just going Teoh. Keep the originals shirt ham and gather the skirt under the original your ham of this particular dress. Prepare to so well both pieces. Air on the flat mark with a pin notch or chalk at centre front and center back, and you find the center friends centre back by folding each exactly in half. From the site seems to the middle. You'll place one inside the other with the right sides together. Pin the two sides seems at the side scenes. The center fronts at the centre fronts. The centre backs at the centre backs, and you might end up with gaps between the pens or markings of the larger skirt side, which we will gather isn't or plea make little folds to fit onto the shirt. Half 7. Sew One Seam: Now it's time to. So the same sets all pin to secure. But you might want to add more pins in between your four points appends. It doesn't have to be perfect. You'll bunch pleat or isn't as you. So it's easier to have the bigger piece on top when sewing to finesse the fullness into the smaller piece. And then So this seemed together. You can hand sew it on this example. We've also used the edge of the shirt and so laying on top of the skirt, the skirt and the shirt of this particular one with the same exact with. So we just top stitched the shirt onto the skirt and you can kind of do both. It looks like I have its own with the Seimas well, and in our example, we are following the curve of the shirt and leaving that same curve for the skirt part that we've just gathered and sewn on. And I think it looks great 8. Sewing and Style Tips: sewing and style tips. There are a few extra things that you can dio and things that will help you eliminate some problems of common. One is that if you have ah, men's shirt with the placket on the bottom for your shirt dress, the men's placket differs from the women's. And so you either have to turn over the part of the men shirt that you want to use completely. Turn it over and you'll have to, you know, Hammond, or you can cut the placket away a few inches from the button. Done, placket turned that part over and sew it back on, so the buttons will go in the same direction. Another thing you can dio is at elastic. If your waistline seems to boxy or not fitted enough, measure around your body where the waistline hits. Cut the elastic that length minus a few inches because it'll stretch, and so it on inside the seam by pinning the elastic. Fold it in half to get side seams and again to get a center for under center back point mark. They lasted and pin on the at those four points, then pull as you saw the patch pockets are always wonderful thing. To have an easy way to make sure they turn out great is when you're cutting out of pocket from a garment cut away from any big seemed judges at least one itch. It'll be easier to fold under an edge to John. They're here where we added some pockets, and I recommend adding trends at the waist if you want some something like friends or grow green ribbon or a fabric plants to add into the scene for some interest and fun. And here we have added Cem flat, well, pocket that we cut off a pair of pants that are navy blue went really well with this whole look. We just pin them on in place, being careful of the gathered skirt kind of ease. The gathers in a little bit, just folded the edge under an edge stitched with the machine 9. Dress Samples: next we have some finished dresses. The far a white one is kind of a comfortable, boxy style that I think men would love. The left one has a fabric flats that you can't see that will in the photo, but it moves really well when it's on. Both of these styles are all the way but down. You know, if you have these also have pockets that were built into the garment, the crisscross white and black shirt. We just used that shirt, cut off a shirt tail and found this bubble flouncy elastic skirt and just said it on. And it's really cute. The plaid and gingham dress. The plaid shirt was a men shirt that we cut off the neckline and became a really cute, casual kind of summer dress. And the middle went was a drab beige shirt that wasn't getting a lot of wear, but with the black Mexican cause. Skirt it, give it a new life, and it could look really great with ah vest or Bill 10. Final Project and What We Learned: So your final project. Try it on, see how it looks. See if you like the length if you want it shorter, taking a bigger seam allowance. If it looks good, take it off and iron the seam and the overall dress. Post your final project. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Thanks until next time what we've learned. We just made some tea. Constructed clothing means taking parts of garments and recombining them. Like Frank Gehry is known for his deconstruction and architecture and fine art. He adopts materials of all types to use and surprising the configurations by making a shirtdress with close three RD On. They're applied design principles such as complementary colors and monitoring colors, mixing Platt's prints and textures to make something original and stylish flat petr making skills by lane are pieces out flat on a surface. We took some basic measurements. Cut along. Those measurements, sewed up the new design. We give ourselves permission to embellish the garment with pockets or trims, and we learned how to shop in her own closet To invigorate some of your extra clothing. You can take the first step towards keeping clothing out of the landfill, saving the planet and having something fun and new to wear