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Made it to Round 2 - Pattern Review Surprise Sewing Bee Contest

Hooray I Made It

How exciting!! Right,  I was 1 of 56 chosen to move onto Round 2 of this contest. Not a bad deal when you consider 140 sewers were in Round 1. It also show how tough the judging is, which means Round 2 is not going to be easy. 


Read my sewing review for this challenge. 

The Challenge 

Using Men's Button-down Shirt(s), sew a garment for an adult.  We are keeping this round very open so you can explore your creative side and show us the possibilities.


Sewing Bee Week Two - Re-Fashion Men's Button Down Shirts into a New Garment 

What new garment did you make? A casual holiday party dress.

How many shirts did you use?

I used 4 shirts in total

2 black (B1 and B2)

1 white & 1 maroon

Did you use a pattern for your final garment or "wing it"?

I used a combo of pattern winging.

It's so Easy - It's Simplicity A2884

McCalls' M6842

Describe how you utilized each shirt. 

I used the maroon shirt for the bodice front and side back, also used for the front yoke of dress

B1 - was used for the midriff, back panel of the bodice and back yoke of dress.

B2 and the white shirt was used as the skirt portion of my dress

Did you include any other components (buttons, trim etc.)

I included an invisible zipper and hook and eye for closures. 

Describe construction details and any special sewing methods you used (i.e. pintucks, pleating, embroidery, applique, etc) 

With the number of shirts I had and the sizes used, my cutting had to be precise. For parts of the bodice that took less fabric, I used the sleeves and/or back yoke. 

Simplicity A2884:

I followed the instructions pretty much all the way with two exceptions. 

1. I did not add the boning to the back

2. Placed the zipper in the back of the dress instead of the side

The boning was left out because I knew I wanted to add a zipper to the back.

McCalls M6842: Only the front and back yoke was used from this pattern. I attached it to the bodice, aligning the notches and waist line mark.

With my remaining two shirts, I wanted to add a little volume and keep the integrity of the shirt hem. I was not sure how to do this, especially with the white shirt being an xxl while the black shirt B2 is a large. I cut the white shirt under the armpits and the black shirt was cut along the side seam all the way up to the neckline (because I wanted to salvage the embroidered panels in the front).

Looking at this jigsaw puzzle I created, I felt pretty challenged. I created the skirt piece by stitching bottom up to make sure my hems were even, also alternating the shirts. Once this was done, my panels looked L-shaped. 

(I hope my process examination for this step makes sense) The long ends of each L-shaped piece were flipped and stitched. See attached diagram in the photo section of the review. Almost forgot to mention, that the bodice is completely lined.

To attach the rest of my shirts to the yoke portion of the dress, I lined up the hem and gathered it to fit the bodice. Leftover roses from a previous project were used to embellish the dress.

Overall, I feel accomplished, as I would have never thought about making an entire dress from men’s shirt. This challenge was pressured fun and I may have to add up-cycling to my sewing rotation. 


Thanks for visiting,


Happy Sewing!

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