Friday, November 15, 2019

Hawaiian Shirt Dress Upcycle


I am Michelle Paganini, owner and designer for Paganoonoo, an upcycle fashion design company.

I was recently preparing for a vacation, looking over my wardrobe (northern California), and thinking I wanted something different.  I'd just finished sewing up 33 upcycled flannel shirts and we were heading to a tropical location, not a match.

For quite some time I've been considering transforming a collared shirt into a kimono style by replacing the placket and collar with a band like the kind found on kimonos.  This was the perfect opportunity!

I started with a rayon Hawaiian shirt my husband no longer wanted.  It was quite oversized on me, but rayon drapes so nicely I thought I could make it work.

I cut away the placket and the collar such that adding on a 2" band would result in a good fit.  The band was made using scrap fabrics is the same color palette as the shirt. I pieced together various pieces to add interest.

I wanted a dress more than a tunic so I looked through my (HUGE) stash of garments ready for upcycling and found the perfect piece to add.  A dark indigo gored denim skirt wide enough to match the bottom of the shirt.  Added bonus - it had decent draping qualities, did not wrinkle easily, and the color was a good match.

Intending to use the preexisting hem, I cut off a bottom section of the skirt.  This skirt panel was added to the bottom of the shirt.  So far, so good, however, I had a sack dress at this point. Having recently lost some weight, I wanted a bit more of a fit.

An elastic waist with an inside casing seemed like a good solution and it was.  The only thing left to add was closures.  I liked the way the band looked and did not want to add buttons or ties or frogs.  The solution was large snaps and a hook and bar waist closure. I added a flower for fun!

Current upcycle sewing instructions are available at   Upcycle sewing made simple!

This design could be translated into a new Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instruction.

Would you be interested?

P.P.S.  Create simple upcycle sewing projects with free video tips!  I show you how to add a double color to a dress shirt, combine color and pattern with confidence, shorten sleeves to ¾ and add a decorative cuff, and more!  Register for free today!