DIY: Combine Two Thrifted Button Up Tees to Make a Dress


I’ve been dreaming up this piece for a while now and waiting patiently to find the right two oversized tees to combine. Then one day the thrift shop gods delivered and I found two button up tees in my favourite colour - Mustard!

This tutorial shows you how to be resourceful by combining and transforming existing garments into a piece you might be more likely to wear.

Find the steps outlined below in both written and video format!


The Essentials

- Two oversized men’s button up tees

- Matching thread

- Scissors

- Pins

- Sewing machine






Measure how long you’d like the final dress to be. Start from the top of your shoulder and down to where the bottom hemline will finish. Note this down.

Then lay out the two shirts and if they’re different patterns figure which one you’d like to sit on the top. On the one that will feature on the top measure down from the shoulder to the most bottom point where you can cut a straight line (if the bottom hem is straight it’s fine to leave it at that but most shirts have a curved/style design). Cut along this point at the bottom where you can make it straight.

Minus this measurement you just found from the top piece from the full length you found at the beginning and the left over amount is what you’ll cut off from the second shirt.

With this number you just calculated start from the bottom of the second shirt and measure up to this point then cut straight across and if possible leaving a couple of centimetres of seam allowance.



Now that you’ve got both shirts cut straight and to the measurements that will make up the final length it’s time to join them!

Lay down one of the tees facing good side up and then lay down the second one good side facing down aligning the edges you just cut. Pin together along this edge where you’ll be sewing the pieces together.

You might find that the tees are actually different widths at this point which is fine. Make any adjustments by taking in the existing seams so that the width ends up matching.

Once everything is equal and pinned in place sew along the straight.



If you’re happy with how those first two steps have come together then leave it as is. Otherwise follow these next steps to make it look how mine ended up.

On the bottom half that you attached there should be two side seams. Figure out how much of a split you’d like to add and unpick to this point. Then just double fold the edges and sew a clean hem in place.

Because mine was a midi length I wanted to balance it out with shorter sleeves. If you want to do the same measure from your should down to where you’d like the sleeve to finish and add 1 inch for seam allowance. Then on the shirt start from the shoulder seam and measure down the sleeve to this point and cut across. Replicate on the other sleeve and double fold the edges and sew a clean hem in place.


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If you need any clarifying of the above steps check out the below video version of the tutorial which dives deeper into the details of each step.



Hope this was helpful! As always, let me know if you give this tutorial a go and how it turns out. Hashtag the outcome #essentialsclub on social media.