Men's Dress Shirt Apron DIY

June 7, 2019


Mens Dress Shirt Apron Upcycle

I'm not exactly sure when my apron obsession began, but at this point, I don't think that really matters. I just know I'm hooked. There's something very romantic about the idea of cooking with an apron tied around your waist.

Perhaps, it brings me back to my childhood, when everyone cooked with an apron and a set of pearls.

Well, whatever the psychology behind it may be, the fact remains that I've become an apron aficionado and, lately, I've been making them on a regular basis out of some unorthodox materials.

My most recent creation involves and an upcycled men's dress shirt.

I'd seen this one online, in various forms, for a few years and always wanted to try it. Then last fall, I found this men's dress shirt at the thrift store. Of course, it's taken me several months to find the time to transform it.

Mens Dress Shirt Apron Upcycle

All in all, it was very quick DIY. I think it took me about fifteen minutes, including the stitching. If you don't sew and you like the idea, you could use iron on tape or fabric glue to hem your ragged edges. Either way, the results will be the same.

One day, I'll have to do a non-sewing tutorial, since so many people ask about it, but you can get the idea, from my skirted chair makeover if you're curious.

In the meantime, let's get back to this apron, shall we?

How To Make A Dress Shirt Apron


Now, as I said, these aprons are all over the place online. I'm sure there are great patterns out there, but I'm a wing it kind of girl, so here's what I did and it worked out very well. The key here is to find a shirt that's large enough and long enough to fit as a full apron. My shirt was a men's 3 XL.




1. Cut Off The Sleeves


Cut Off Sleeves For Apron

I began by cutting the sleeves off the shirt. I cut as close to the seam as I could get. I wasn't really all that careful, because I knew the back was going to be cut away completely. I also didn't make myself my crazy about a super straight edge on the front, since I was going to cut that away, when I shaped the apron.

2. Cut The Seams At The Shoulders


Cut Seams At Shoulders

Next, I began the process of removing the back panel of the shirt, by cutting the seams at the shoulders. Again, I wasn't too fussy about these cuts. I sat on the floor, listening to a little James Taylor with my trusty Fiskars. I didn't have a rotary cutter or board. I just snipped along the straight seams and stopped at the neck.

3. Cut Away The Fabric From Collar


Cut Away Fabric From Collar

Which lead us to my next step...removing the back panel of the shirt, by carefully cutting the last of the fabric away from the back collar at the seam. Keep in mind that the back collar usually has a very strong support, so it's easy to get very close to the seam and if you do it properly, you won't need to hem anything. Just cut and go...

4. Creating The Apron Shape


How To Make An Apron

I don't believe in reinventing the wheel. I'm also a crafty cheater, so when it came time to cut the shirt so it would fit properly as an apron, I grabbed the bunny apron I made earlier this year, and used it as my pattern. While the men's shirt was considerably larger than my dish towel apron, I folded both of them in half, set the the bunnies on top of the dress shirt and used it as a guide.

5. Stitching It Up


Cutting A Full Apron

The final steps in my process involved the sewing machine. I was too busy stitching to take pictures, but basically, I cut about a half an inch above my pencil line. Then I rolled the fabric over twice and ironed it down to create a finished seam and stitched it up. I repeated the process along the sides -where I separated the back of the shirt from the front - to create clean edges there, as well.

Then I added two ribbons so I could tie it closed and I was done!

Men's Dress Shirt Apron DIY

It was infinitely more feminine as an apron than a shirt. I knew that the gingham pattern would be perfect for spring and summer barbecuing. I actually can't wait to put it on.

Not bad for four bucks and fifteen minutes, huh?

**UPDATE** I decorated it for July 4th with a little bit of paint!

Patriotic BBQ Apron

Now, one last thing before I go. IF you wanted to make this a dress, rather than an apron, it's an easy fix. Just leave that back panel in place. Don't remove it at the collar and cut the back and front into the apron shape. You could also make it into a halter dress, but that would require a little more finagling.

Like removing the top of the back panel from the collar to the waist.

Or like me, you could just throw your apron on over a tank top and shorts and you'll look like you're wearing a darling dress.

Much easier.

Just don't forget the pearls.

Make An Apron From A Shirt DIY

34 comments:

  1. Very cute. The gingham is such a nice choice. Nice re-purpose. It would be fun to do one from a favorite shirt belonging to dad or grandpa.

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    1. Thanks Lorri and I totally agree! My dad had a pink short sleeve button down that I kept for years after he passed. At some point it disappeared, but I wish I had it now. What a great keepsake piece it would've been!

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  2. Awesome job. I'm in no way a sewer. I would love one of these goes straight around my waist. I'm thinking it defeats the purpose of using a shirt.

    Thanks for sharing

    Cindy

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    1. It's such a cute pattern, Cindy, I think it would darling either way! And thanks so much for the kind words.

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  3. Super cute. You should make these and sell them. I wish I could sew but NOPE!!!! Have a good day today and wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! Maybe one day when the girls are on the road and I have a little more free time. Ha!

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  4. Very cute apron Kim. I admire your sewing skills. I just don't have the patience with sewing. Lots of possibilities with making these aprons. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. I started sewing out of necessity, Linda, and truly I used to hate it. I’ve grown rather fond of it, but only when my machine behaves and if it’s a quick project! Happy weekend!

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  5. Love this!! I am a sucker for checks. This is adorable.

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    1. Me too, Penny! When I saw it in the thrift store I had to have it...and I am not a thrift store clothes shopper. I have issues with that, but those checks were too sweet to pass up! And thanks!

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  6. WOW that is a great idea. I love aprons. Wished Hubby wore shirts, He loves his t-shirts.

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    1. I found this one at the thrift store, Betty. I was looking for housewares to upcycle and that shirt just called my name! And thanks!

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  7. This is tooooo cute!! I love it and what a great idea! I never think of turning anything into an apron so I'm thankful that you show me some options for this! Perfect! Love and hugs! Have a great weekend!

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    1. I hate to cook, Benita, so when I'm dressed in an apron, it makes it a little easier. Plus, on days I'm making an apron, I'm usually too busy to cook, so we order in. That's even better! 😜

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  8. You made the cutest apron Kim from a mens shirt. I would love that if it was a dress too! So cute and summery. :)

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    1. You know, Julie, once I saw it on the dress form, I thought the same thing. Now, I’m on the hunt for another shirt. Something in a pink would be nice…😉

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  9. What a fabulous way to reuse/recycle! As I have not yet found an apron that give me the coverage I want in the bust, I love that you can cut this to fit your needs!
    Thanks for the wonderful idea!

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    1. Bobbie, I’m so glad that you like this idea! I’ve always been a believer that more coverage is better when it comes to aprons. I’m sloppy in the kitchen, this comes up around the neckline and protects me fully. I also just really like the cut, very feminine. I hope you’ll share if you make one. I’d love to see other versions! Happy Weekend!

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  10. I too am a cheater....if I can do things with a little effort and not a big effort I am all for it. Loving this. I had seen pics of them but never paid attention on how easy it is. Thanks for sharing! Christmas presents maybe?? Yep, gotta get mom's sewing machine out.

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    1. It's so easy, Pam. I was little bit afraid to start, but once I thought about, I realized that there wasn't much to it and I was right. I love the present idea. I might have to start shopping for more shirts!!

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  11. This is a darling idea Kim! You did a fantastic job! I love the idea of recycling/repurposing! And it definitely feels fun to don an apron, it seems to make work in the kitchen a little more special! :)

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    1. It is infinitely more fun to cook with an apron on, Marilyn. I totally agree! And thank you for the kind words.

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  12. What a cute apron! You are a very talented. I wish I had more patients for sewing.

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    1. Thanks Linda! I don't have a lot of patience for it either and sometimes halfway through, I wonder what I've gotten myself into, but the result is usually worth the toil.

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  13. How very cute!!! And I do love gingham!!! In fact, I had a blog post awhile back about my love for it:) AND...I love aprons! My DIL gave my granddaughter and I matching aprons with our names monogrammed on the front because we love to cook together. My husband gave me another one with my "grandmother name" monogrammed on it. But my favorite apron is one that belonged to my husband's grandmother. She handmade and embroidered it. One of my favorite photos of my granddaughter is her in my kitchen, wearing that apron, and mixing up our favorite DUMP SOUP (I also did a blog post on that!!!) Hope you enjoy this cute gingham apron while mixing up fun recipes:)

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    1. I’m a sucker for gingham, Cheri. I don’t love used clothes, it’s a pet peeve, but I couldn’t walk away from this shirt, it was just too stinking cute!! And thanks for sharing your apron stories with us. They really do making cooking special.

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  14. Kim,
    You amaze me. I love this idea. A perfect flower apron for me.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Carla

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    1. That WOULD BE a perfect flower apron, Carla! Daisies on the pocket perhaps? 🌼

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  15. Very clever, Kim. And thrifty, as well. I'm always amazed at the price of aprons in specialty shops, so you've hit on a great solution for apron lovers. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I've wanted to try this for a long time. I'm glad I finally gave it a shot. It turned out better than expected, especially with my meager sewing skills!!

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  16. This is truly beyond brilliant! I adore the style and gingham is always a good choice.

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    1. Thank you so much! What a lovely compliment. ☺️

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