Lately my son has been fascinated with science experiments. He’s asked me to make several items for his dress-up bin, including a lab coat like Dr. Doofenshmirtz. I hate making buttonholes and I’m not a big fan of collars either. Luckily, I had a brainstorm to repurpose a men’s dress shirt instead. The result was an adorable lab coat in about an hour and I didn’t have to sew any buttonholes. Score!
Men’s Dress Shirt (I purchased this one at Salvation Army for $1.50)
Step 1: Cut down the shirt
Lay a pattern on top of the men’s shirt. I used a police officer shirt from our dress-up bin. A robe or jacket would also work well. Fold the arms of the pattern in and then cut up the sides of the dress shirt, including arm holes. You’ll also want to cut across the bottom of the shirt.
Step 2: Cut down the arms
To be sure the sleeve and body of the coat match up, I used the body as a guide. Just lay the body over the sleeve and cut along the edge. I also cut a little off the bottom of the sleeve to make it skinnier, but left the cuff intact.
To cut the 2nd sleeve, lay the first sleeve face down on top of the 2nd and cut along the edge.
Step 3: Sewing the Body
Now pin the sides of the coat, right sides together. Be sure to leave the arm hole open for the sleeve. Sew together.
Step 4: Sewing the Sleeves
Turn the sleeves inside out and pin the seam, right sides together. Sew from the cuff to the edge.
Step 5: Attaching the Sleeves
This is the hardest step. Turn the sleeve right side out. Turn the coat inside out and pin the sleeve to the armhole. After pinning, turn the coat back right side out to be sure it’s pinned correctly. Pin the sleeves so that the buttons by the cuff are in the back. Sew around the armhole. Repeat with the other sleeve.
Step 6: Hem the Coat
Finally, hem the bottom of the coat. I turned it twice so the raw edge was hidden.
You can stop here and be proud of the adorable lab coat to add to your child’s dress-up collection. I used fabric markers to write my son’s name and draw a beaker on the right side of the coat, opposite the logo. You could also sew velcro in place of the buttons.