Tshirt Dress Tutorial…

Tshirt Dress Tutorial

Tshirt Dress Tutorial

My BFF has waited what seems like an eternity for this dress! And she paid for it! She actually ordered a shirt, but I ordered the wrong size. So she decided on a dress instead. I think that was almost 8 months ago. I even told her recently that I just couldn’t make it, no motivation to sew. So true…but, even so…c’mon! I didn’t want to make it, not even for my bestie!! Never, not once did she ask me about the dress. So thanks Steph…for letting me be such a flake and waiting so long without ever a complaint! Finally, yesterday out of nowhere I got inspired to knock this out. I figured since I was gonna do this, why not do a tutorial also? This is going to be a picture heavy post. I like to include as many close up images as I can when doing a sewing tutorial as I think it helps to follow along.

tshirt dress tutorial

This is a very easy dress to make. You can make it in under an hour.

Supplies:

  • tshirt {I like to use a boy cut or boy tshirt. Size down if you do, as they run bigger}
  • 1/2 yard – 1 yard of fabric {how much will depend on size of dress}
  • rotary cutter, mat, and ruler

Optionals:

  • scrap of different patterned fabric for appliqué
  • heat n bond or wonder under for appliqué
  • interfacing for appliqué
  • stabilizer for appliqué
  • gathering foot {optional, but will make this project easier. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to gather by hand.}
  • serger {optional, but gives a nice, finished edge on the inside of the dress. You could substitute pinking shears or a zig zag stitch, to limit and fraying of the fabric}

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

tshirt dress tutorial

thsirt dress

tshirt dress

tshirt dress

Instructions {based off dress made for an almost two year old. you’ll need to make adjustments according to size, height, and age}:

  • Start by aligning your tshirt with one of the guidelines on the cutting mat. Trim off approximately 1 1/2 inches {This could be more, depending on size dress you are making. To get an approximate cutting line, hold the tshirt up to the back of your child. Mark where you want the skirt to start. All of mine start just above the hips, but below the waist} Also, cut off any inside tags if they are going to be in the way.
  • Next rough cut two pieces of your main fabric 10 inches L x the width of the fabric {Again, this is variable depending on the child. Remember the tshirt is hitting pretting low, so don’t add two much length in the skirt or it will be too long when put together. Allow for 1/2 seam allowances at the skirt/tshirt attachment and 1/2 inches at the hem.}
  • Press fabric, then with your rotary cutter, cut the fabric to size. {9 inches long x width of fabric. I don’t use an exact measurement for the width, I just trim off right before the selvage edge on both pieces.}
  • Pin right sides together the length of the fabric, then sew a 1/2 inch seam, serge seam {or use pinking shears/zig zag stitch}, then press seam to left or right.
  • With right side of fabric up, attach your gathering foot and gather the fabric. {I crank my stitch length to a 6 and my tension is set around 7.5. You might need to adjust this based on your machine and size of skirt you are making. I come from the school of I’d rather gather too much, then not enough. I feel like it’s easier to let it out, verses pulling strings to gather more. If you don’t have a gathering foot, you’ll need to gather by hand. I don’t miss those days. Note: this could also be done on your serger. You can gather and serge at the same time. But, I personally don’t like to do that. My friendship only runs so deep with my serger.}
  • At this point I lay my gathered fabric at the bottom of my tshirt to use as a guide. This helps to determine how much of the gather I will need to let out. You want the skirt to match up to the width of the tshirt. Gently adjust the gathering until you have a match. Don’t be tempted to let out more than you need. It can be a problem when you sew up the other side.
  • With right sides together, match up top of gathered fabric to bottom of tshirt. Align fabric seam with one of the tshirt seams {Insert a pin through the seam of the fabric, then guide the pin into the seam of the tshirt. This helps keeping the seams together.} Continue to pin all the way around the tshirt, leaving an inch unpinned on either side of the other tshirt seam.
  • Starting on the open side, sew 1/2 inch seam all the way around stopping 1 inch before the seam. {Sometimes, you’ll need to flatten the gathers or straighten the skirt. Do this by gently tugging on the bottom of the skirt until it’s adjusted.}
  • Pin your open seam side, sew 1/2 inch seam allowance, serge seam, and press to left or right. {Before you pin, if it looks like you are going to have too much fabric on either side of the seam, adjust your gathers {gently pull on strings} as much as possible, until the seam appears that it will line up. Do the reverse if you don’t have enough. Let out some of the fabric until the seam will match up.}
  • Using the pinning seam method I listed above, align seam of skirt with seam of tshirt. Pin on either side, the remaining 1 inch of fabric. {Some adjusting might be necessary here. If you have too much skirt…just carefully bunch it up into a gather. You can only do this with a little bit. Too much will make it too bulky. If there is too much excess, I will trim off a bit using the rotary cutter and my ruler. Be careful your tshirt or the rest of your skirt is out of the way when doing this.}
  • Sew the remaining part of the skirt/tshirt closed.
  • Flip skirt into tshirt and serge all the way around. {I prefer to serge on the tshirt side, because I’ve ruined one too many dresses when my serger cut through the tshirt when I didn’t know it. Adjust as you go, making sure the layers are flat and the skirt is not in the way of the cutter on the serger.}
  • At the bottom of the skirt, fold and press 1/4 in seam and then fold over 1/4 inch again and press. Topstitch with coordinating thread.
  • If you are going to do the appliqué and not sure how, please refer to my Part 1 and Part 2 appliqué series.

This dress is perfect for summer! It’s easy to get off and on, works well over a bathing suit. They are awesome to layer over leggings, pants, jeans, capris, long sleeve shirts! If you have any questions, just leave a comment…I’m happy to help!

 

 

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