I had so much fun on this DIY project!
I was able to partner with the uber-talented Veejay Floresca on a challenging, but fun, thrift-flip. Veejay is a Filipino fashion designer based in LA who does custom work and makes everything from streetwear to bridal!
She challenged me with transforming a men’s blazer, dress pants, a button-down shirt, and a sweater into something I would wear.
I saw the below inspiration and new that I had to make a chic DIY checkerboard dress.
This was an opportunity to expand upon my patchwork experience, give old garments a new life, and practice sustainability while flexing my creative muscles.
I hope it’ll be the same for you.
So, let’s dive in!
Tools & Materials
Just a reminder that my original video is in the middle of the page. You can watch the entire process and read the entire transcript there if you’re interested ♡.
Before we start, we need to prepare our materials. This involves seam ripping all the items so we can start fresh. This process might seem tedious, but it’s a necessary step to ensure we have a clean slate for our project.
Once the items are seam ripped, it’s time to decide on the design of the dress. For this project, we’re going for a checkerboard shift dress – a simple yet stylish design that’s perfect for showcasing our creativity.
Creating the Checkerboard Pattern
The first major step in our project is creating the checkerboard pattern. This involves cutting the fabric from the pants and the blazer into squares. This step requires precision and patience, but the result is a visually striking pattern that will serve as the main design element of our dress.
Once the squares are cut, they are sewn together to create the checkerboard pattern. This process might take some time, but it’s a great opportunity to practice your sewing skills and create something truly unique.
Modifying and Using the Dress Pattern
Next, we need to modify and use a dress pattern. For this project, we’re using a basic shift dress pattern as our base.
However, we’re making some modifications to fit the design of our dress. This involves adjusting the side seams, lowering the armholes, and modifying the section where the straps are sewn on. Once the modifications are made, we cut out the pattern from our sewn-together squares. This step brings us one step closer to seeing our dress come to life.
Sewing the Dress Together
Now, it’s time to sew the dress together. This involves sewing the darts on the front and back bodice of the dress, which helps shape the dress and give it a more fitted look. Then, we sew the front and back pieces of the dress together along the side seams, leaving the top section open. This open section will later be used to attach the ties and the straps.
Adding the Ties and Lining
The next step is adding the ties and the lining to the dress. The ties are made from strips cut from the shirt, and they’re sewn onto the dress to add a stylish and functional element.
The lining, made from the same shirt, is then sewn in. This step not only gives the dress a clean finish but also adds an extra layer of comfort.
Attaching the Straps
Finally, we attach the straps to the dress. The straps are made from the hem of the sweater, giving them a unique look and feel. They’re attached to the back and front of the dress, completing the transformation of our men’s wear items into a chic dress.
And there you have it – a stylish checkerboard shift dress made from a men’s blazer, dress pants, a button-down shirt, and a sweater.
This project is a testament to the power of creativity and the potential of upcycling. Not only have we created a fashionable dress, but we’ve also given new life to old garments.
So, why not give it a try? Grab those old clothes, dust off your sewing machine, and let’s create something beautiful together.
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As always, thank you so much for reading, and happy upcycling!