Mandarin Collar Blouse = Boat Neck Shift Dress

A white or cream shift dress has always been on my want list, but I could never find one that was just right. Actually, I’ll retract that. I did find a lace one once at an antique store that was perfect (and less than $30). Unfortunately it had underarm stains that I feared I couldn’t remove. So, at the antique store it stayed.

Recently I saw Kate looking super cute wearing one and I was like, that’s it. I’m getting one.

Thanks to the thrift store I had an oversized white blouse in my closet. The intention was to wear it underneath an ugly sweater for a funny Christmas picture. Not anymore!

Step 1: Cut off the collar. Starting with the back, I drew a line as a cutting guide first, just in case.

Step 2: Continue cutting off the collar. This is a little trick Brit showed me. After cutting halfway through the front, cut up and through the collar. Fold the collar over and use it as a guide to cut off the second half.

Step 3: Cut a facing for the front neckline. I just placed the blouse onto the facing fabric and cut around it.

Step 4: Cut a facing for the back neckline. For this one I used the collar that was cut out in step 1.

Step 5: Sew on facing.

Step 6: Topstitch the neckline. It’s best to shift the facing a little lower than the blouse fabric so that it’s hidden from the front. Maybe the picture will explain better.

Step 7: Make it dress length appropriate.

In order to add length, I was going to simply sew on a band of fabric to the bottom hem of the blouse (and in black! That would be a cute touch AND you could wear it to a black & white party). Instead, I wanted a layering effect and decided to create a whole lining that would extend past the blouse hem. To do so, I needed to cut out a piece of fabric like this (purple line) and sew up the sides and to the facing (green dotted lines).

Step 8: Cut off cuffs.

The final product:


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