UA-59651954-28 Crafty Allie: T-Shirt Upcycle into Dress

Monday, July 28, 2014

T-Shirt Upcycle into Dress

If you saw my post on Texas Rangers T shirt dress, well you get to see it again. And if not well then yay, you get to see it now. 

Actually this is a new dress I did back in March for a new customer.
The last time I made one it was for a girl I work with, this time it someone one I didn't know at all who randomly found me. Needless to say I was way nervous about making it. I would have preferred to take her measurements, have her try on the shirt and pinned it to her size, etc. But since I couldn't, I had her measure from arm pit to arm pit, her ribs, and then waste and hips. 

With those measurements I was able to make sure it would fit her like a nice fitted dress instead of too loose or too tight. 

First I bought an extra large Rangers shirt. This way you can get the length of the shirt. Also I might add I bought it in the mens section. The girls will be shorter.

 With the main t-shirt  measure it on yourself or the person you are making it for. If you can't then have them take the above measurements and then measure it on to your shirt.

If you notice my markings are going further out. This is because you want it to be looser on the hips, pin it as you go.

Then sew it,  actually ended up sewing mine twice.

At the top get as close to the collar as possible make your line.

Then cut and fold down about 1/16 inch and sew. Then flip it down again about 3/4 and inch and sew again. Sorry I was tired and forgot to take pics of this process. 
The reason I say to sew 1/16 first is so that there will be a nice finish. Its hard to fold it under and have it stay put. Its easier and quicker to sew it and then go back and sew again. When you sew the 3/4 fold be sure to start at one of the side seams and when you make your way all the way back around stop about on the other side of the seam, leaving a pocket to insert the elastic in.

Once you have done that, get your safety pin and pin it to one of the 1/2 inch elastic. Feed it all the way through, making it as tight or loose as you desire. Then sew the two end pieces together and then sewing back the elastic opening.

Now put the top on you or on your model and decide where you breast end in the shirt. 

You should add your second elastic about 1/4 inch below that mark.

Then again at the same seam you started your top piece, began sewing in the elastic but immediately start tugging on it so that it will be tight and gathered.

This will make the gathered look under the breast area.

Continue holding and tugging on the elastic the entire time you sew it on, don't let go at all while you foot is on that pedal.

Now to add your bottom t shirt ruffle. It can be with the same color or another one. I chose a blue color at the end.

Measure the shirt, and when you make your bottom ruffles make sure you cut it accordingly to how long you want the total length of the dress to be. Based on that then cut your bottom piece. I did mine 6 inches. The dress was 22 inches long before the bottom part. And I cut an extra 2 inches to have room to make the ruffles.

If your using a t shirt material then you'll need to stretch it about twice the width of your dress, so that you it will be the correct width after ruffling it.
Then starting at the seam, (if there is one) go around using the highest stitch. I set mine on 9. And slowly go around about 1 1/2 inches down from the top. Remember when you start sewing not to back sew, you want to be able to pull on those threads. When you end it, then you should back sew so it won't unravel. Remember not to cut the beginning or the end threads after you sew it.

Then pull on the threads slowly pulling the ruffles down as you go, until the entire piece has been ruffled. Then take your threads from the beginning and then end and tie them together, this will keep your starting point from unraveling.

Then sew it onto the dress going above the stitch but high enough to where you can't see the ruffle stitches. Then after that add your trim or ribbon to complete it. 

This ribbon was already ruffle and stitched like that. I was just able to stitch again along the bottom stitch of the ribbon.

And here is the end result...

Thanks for tuning in!
Until next time...


  1. What a great tip! Hello, my name is Misty, from The LadyPrefers2Save at, and I'm one of the new co-hosts for the Merry Monday Linky Party! Thanks for linking up at the Merry Monday's Linky Party this week. Have an awesome week!

  2. How creative!!! This is just gorgeous.

  3. I could never pull this off... I can't sew :( But wow, awesome job! Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.

  4. Love this upcycle. Such a great job Allie. Big hugs! You rock!!

  5. Okay... I can't sew but this dress is too cute! Pinning! Please share this project at my Show-Licious Party on Saturday morning!

    {big hugs}
    ~ Ashley

  6. Sporty and cute! Love this project. Thank you for linking at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  7. What a fun dress! So cute.Pinned. I'm always impressed with your creations. Please join us tonight at 7 pm. I can't wait to see what you have been working on!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  8. You are very creative with your upcycle T shirt dress. Great tutorial and perfect for this time of year. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  9. I love this dress! One day, I'm seeing so many cute projects around blogland that one day, I may have to break down and learn to sew! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. :)

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