How to Make Your Own Shirt Dickeys

Lots of people like the look of a shirt under a vest, sweater or sweatshirt, but the style itself is bulky and often, too warm. That’s why dickeys are the perfect solution to the problem. A dickey is a partial shirt – just the collar, the shoulders, and a couple of buttons – that’s worn under the outer shirt.

Make a quick dickey pattern by cutting an old shirt. The shirt should be a button-down type with short or long sleeves, and a collar. Make sure the shirt was one that fit you well so that you’ll get the best pattern. Lay the shirt out on a table, making sure it’s not wrinkled or creased, especially on the back where small wrinkles may go unseen. Begin cutting the shirt, at the shoulder seam, a couple of inches from where it meets the armhole seam.

Cut the shirt, down below the third button, rounding it as you cut to go back upwards. Stop cutting at the opposite shoulder seam, a couple of inches from the armhole seam. Fold the shirt piece in half, then trim to make sure both sides are perfectly even.

Disassemble the shirt piece by removing the buttons and collar. Use a seam ripper to undo the placket and shoulder seams. After each piece is separated press them with a warm iron until previous folds lay flat.

Lay the old shirt pieces onto the new fabric and cut each piece. You should have 2 collar pieces (one for the topside, one for the underside of the collar), one front piece and one back piece. You should also have 3 new buttons, unless you want to use the buttons from the old shirt.

Stitch the 2 collar pieces, right sides together, leaving the neck part of the collar open for turning and attaching it to the shirt. Set aside for the moment. Stitch the shirt front to the shirt back, at the shoulder seams. Make the plackets down the front and position button holes and buttons to align. Pin collar in place and stitch onto the shirt.

You can make a different kind of dickey by cutting a tee shirt from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, then using it as a dickey or using it as the pattern for new dickeys. You can make them in all sorts of colors and patterns to wear with solid-colored sweaters, or solid colors to wear under patterned sweaters. The dickeys are perfect for men or women, as well as children, too.

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