DIY T Shirt Dress


A Summer of No Pants.

I love this idea.

Not sure I could pull it off  but, I’d like to honor this movement with a refashioned t- shirt dress.

I started with this thrift store shirt which I had already taken in to fit before I took the picture.

Oops. But believe me, it was huge.

I love the neckline and of course the stripes.

I bought a yard of black knit fabric for the bottom of the dress. Cut it to size being sure to leave room for gathering, seams and a hem.

Then, on your shirt, measure and cut where you’d like the skirt of the dress to start. Be sure to leave a quarter inch for the seam.

Next wrap a piece of elastic to desired tightness under your bust and cut to size leaving a half inch for a seam.

Now stretch this elastic out to full stretch to measure how big you want your casing pieces. Cut two pieces of the black knit that are twice the width of your elastic. I used 3/4 inch elastic so my casing pieces were 1 1/2 inches wide.

Sew 1/4 inch seams at the end of each casing piece.

Sew your skirt piece together at the side then mark the sides and the middle of the front and the back. Also mark the sides and the middle of the front and back of your shirt.

Now, gather the top of the skirt using the highest tension and the longest stitch on your machine. Leave nice long threads at the ends so your gathering won’t slip out when easing the fullness to fit onto casing pieces.

Sandwich the gathered skirt between the two casing pieces, ease to match sides and middles, pin and sew.

This is where it gets a little tricky. Right sides together, sew bottom of shirt to the top of the front casing piece only.

When you turn it right side out it will look finished.

Then turn the dress inside out, fold up the inside casing piece, pin and sew along the top edge to form the casing for the elastic. Leave an inch or so open to thread the elastic.

Use a safety pin to thread elastic through the casing.

Measure the length of your dress and hem.

This dress really needed a belt.

So I checked out the belt section in the thrift store and found some perfect refashioning opportunities.

I started with this buckle I had saved from a previous project.

I removed the buckle from this pink elastic belt.

And combined the two for a great new look.

The great thing about black and white, you can accent with almost any color.

I think yellow would be a nice accent color, too.  Maybe that will be my next refashion project…. a yellow belt.

I used this same technique when making this outfit last December.

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About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've just recently joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
This entry was posted in DIY, Reconstructed clothing, Sewing, Thrifting, Tutorial, Upcycled clothes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to DIY T Shirt Dress

  1. Claudia says:

    I love this dress ! I also like two-toned garments and comfy clothes. Very classy with the touch of pink too ! And I also like your pin box in form of a flower – So cute !

    • Thanks so much. I’m all about comfort these days, too. I think this dress could be dressed up or be worn very casual. I wish I could remember where I got the pin box. Enjoy your day!
      Beth

  2. Very cute, great idea

  3. blankenmom says:

    You almost lost me on the pink belt… but it looks great! You’re making me wish I liked to wear dresses! (But you’ll never change my mind on pink…. looks great on you though. ;P )

  4. Cara Olsen says:

    A very pretty color combination, Beth! I love bolds with a stripy print.

    • Thank you Cara!
      I had out some lime green, tangerine and yellow fabric to make a belt for this dress but time got away from me so I quick put on the pink belt since my fashion photographer (AKA 14 year old son, Cooper) Had to go to football camp. :) I see a belt post in my future….
      Hope all is well with you!
      Beth

  5. Cathy says:

    Can you be my new -actually 1st, fashion designer? Love the dress- Thrift stores here I come to find stuff for you to help me with:)

    • Cathy,
      Let’s do a PHP run next Wednesday. All clothing is 50 cents. Linda and I went last Wednesday and we found some treasures!
      I’ll help you anytime!!!! It’d be fun!
      Beth

  6. prttynpnk says:

    Oh, a pantless summer sounds fab if I can have a bunch of dresses like this! Love it!

  7. Leilani says:

    This rocked my world!!! I already have a good idea of how to use some old pieces and turn them into what I cannot get enough of: t-shirt dresses! Thanks for to how-to.:)

  8. A summer of no pants… it took me a moment to figure out what you meant as where I come from in England, pants means underwear! Love the dress, I love the idea of dresses but never seem to actually wear them, maybe its time I changed that.

  9. Your talent is just unbelievable! I made a big mistake on my bleach pen shirt – so I must try again….never use a new red T-Shirt……just a tip from someone who knows! :) When I finally get a nice turn out – I will post!

  10. As I said… you must offer a Craftsy course, write a book or do something with all of these cute upcycles! Great dress and belt!

    • Now Sarah, that would SO be right up my alley. Each time you tell me that, I’m tempted…… Sewing, teaching, creating, and computers???!!?! All the things I love to do!
      Thanks for all of your encouragement!
      Beth

  11. I echo Goodbye Valentino above. Another fabulous upcycle :-)

  12. ooobop! says:

    lol… not brave enough to ‘go commando’ but then again, pantless does mean something entirely different over here! Great refashion and I love the styling. Black and white with a touch of colour is always a winner in my book!

  13. Kelly Y. says:

    Awesome idea. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Joen says:

    Really cute dress. I love the pink belt!

  15. jenyjenny says:

    beautiful work! Great success!

  16. Love you blog! So, I nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award!” check out this link for details: http://bumbleberrylane.com/2012/06/28/one-lovely-blog-award/

  17. I love this dress! I adore the belt too! Well done – you are an inspiration!! Thank you x

    • Thank you! I got mixed reviews on the belt so I created a couple of new options. I’ve also shortened the dress to make it a little more casual and summery. I’m hoping to post the changes today.
      Have a great day!
      Beth

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Love how you create fashionable clothes that are modest. I am in desperation turning 50 this year and trying to find clothes that are fashion forward, comfortable and modest. Seems like clothes are either too short, too see through, too tiny, too much cleavage showing…..or you can buy modest clothes that make you look like a frump. I am going to learn to refashion and sew. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • I totally agree about the clothes dilemma in our 50’s. I am 52 and had the same trouble finding appropriate, well fitting clothes. It’s amazing, how a good fit can change the whole look and feel of an outfit. That’s the exact reason I started to refashion and sew again.
      Good luck and let me know how it goes!
      Beth

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  25. nvgefresabulg1988 says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Greenelsh Blogs.

  26. Brittanyj says:

    I love it!! But one question… how do you know how much fabric to use for bottom… how do you measure for that? Thanks!!!

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