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Shirt to Dress refashion

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Shirt to Dress refashion

I’ve been seeing all of these t-shirt refashions on Pinterest lately and decided to do one myself. We have a TON of t-shirts in this house. A ton. But most of them aren’t terribly cute. They’re just solid colored shirts, some of which have some sort of logo or saying, etc. But I found one that I had worn just after giving birth to the little monkey. You know, before I was back to down to pre-baby weight. It  had a little more style and was striped! (And definitely too big for me now.) So I decided it would make the perfect dress for the Little Monkey.

Now, had I been smart, I would have found one of the tutorials out there that gives step by step instructions for turning an oversized t-shirt into a dress. But who said I was smart? I mean, how hard could this be, right? First, I started off by cutting the top of the shirt off right under the arms.

I wanted to use the bottom hem of the shirt as the hem of the dress. You know, save myself a step. Plus my hems never come out as nice as the factory ones. Especially on knits. And I was thinking I would do a sort of braided band at the top. Maybe make it kind of a boat neck dress. So I tried that. And it just came out a bit silly. I should have taken pictures of it on the Little Monkey so you could see. But I didn’t. But this was my process, in case you were wondering.

So I cut some fabric off the sides and then cut in at the top. I hemmed the top cut in part (thinking it would be my arm opening) and then sewed the sides together.

Then I attached the band and sewed it on. Ta-da! Ummm, not so much. I realize now that I probably could have just cinched my fabric in on the front and back and given up on the boat neck idea and it probably would have been fine. But I don’t like to do things the easy way. Ha!

Anyways, what I decided to do at that point was just use the existing neckline in some way. So I took the top part of my shirt (I had already cut the arms off at some point thinking I might use those for something) and made a neck opening that would work for the Little Monkey.

It’s hard to see, but I stitched it right across the shoulders there.

So at this point, I took the braided band off of the other piece. Then I took this piece, lined it up with the other piece, and cut it down to size. I then hemmed the arm hole openings, just as I had done on the other piece. I fitted this piece into the other piece and sewed it on. Then I took it in on the sides so that the arm holes weren’t ginormous. I thought I was done, but I didn’t really care for the seam across the front. And then I remembered the bands that were around the arms on the original shirt. So I cut one off and sewed it across the front. All done!


I know, not the best pictures. But by the time I got it all finished it was dark outside. So boo for night time lighting. And boo for a model who refuses to stand still! I’ll have to try to get some better pictures at some point because it did turn out pretty cute after it was all said and done.




Daddy Shirt Refashion

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Daddy Shirt Refashion

Several months ago, my husband (finally) went through his closet and purged some clothes. This is huge in our house. Like major event. Worth throwing a party over. Because the man owns enough shirts to outfit a small third world country. But in the donate/throw away pile there were a few dress shirts that I salvaged to eventually use for dresses for the little monkey. I did a simple white sun dress a few weeks ago from his favorite old dress shirt that he had worn  so long there was a hole in it. And today, I did this little number.


(Pardon the terrible picture, but it was night and she wouldn’t stand still.) I had seen several different tutorials online for making dresses out of shirts, but I just wasn’t in love with any of them for THIS particular shirt. I already have a shirt in mind to do this dress, which I love, but nothing was screaming “Me! Me! Me!” for this shirt. So I decided to just wing it.

First, I found a dress that fits the little monkey fairly well and I traced the bodice to start my pattern. I usually trace onto wrapping paper because it’s big enough and flimsy enough to work well for a pattern.

Then I just drew the skirt the way I wanted it to look. A simple A line is always a win in my book. Be sure to add 1/4″-1/2″ seam allowance before you cut it out. Oh! I folded my paper and only traced half of the dress so that it would be symmetrical. I don’t exactly trust my tracing skills very much.

Then I pinned my pattern to my shirt, being sure to center it with the buttons, and cut it out. You could also trace the pattern onto the shirt and then cut, but that’s just an extra step in my opinion, and I usually skip it.


I went ahead and cut out a couple of facing pieces and a couple of pockets.

At this point I sewed the shoulder seams of both the dress and the facing. Then I pinned right sides together and sewed around the neckline, attaching the facing to dress.

Be sure to clip around the curves so that it lays nice and flat when you turn it. Turn it right side out and iron it down.

Pretty, right? Of course I realized at this point that I had sewn the top closed so that the buttons wouldn’t function. Oops! So I went onto plan B for an opening. Because lord knows that neck hole certainly wouldn’t fit over the little monkey’s noggin. (I also decided somewhere in there to use bias tape for the arm openings.) This is what I decided to do on the back for an opening/closure.

“How did you do that??” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! First I cut out a small rectangle of fabric. About 3”x6” or so. And I zig-zag stitched around all four sides. You could also serge it. That would probably be ideal. And one day I’ll dig my serger out of my garage and finally teach myself to use it. But not today. So I zig-zagged.

I then pinned the little piece of fabric to the center of the back, right sides together. Draw a line right down the middle, stopping about 1 1/2” from the bottom.

At this point, sew down one side of your line, about 1/8″ over, then across the bottom and up the other side, moving your seam slightly further out. About 1/4″ or so. Stop about half way up and place a little loop of elastic (loop side in, towards the line). Be sure your loop isn’t too large (or too small) for the button you are going to use. Pin it in place and then finish sewing the seam. I always backstitch over my elastic, just to give it a little stronger seam, since it will be pulled on. Once you’ve finished sewing your seams, cut right down the line you drew.

At this point, flip the little fabric piece to the back and iron it down nice and flat. I like to do a little top stitch, just to hold it in place. It should look something like this.

Okay, now that I fixed that little problem, I decided to do my pockets. What’s that you say? Wouldn’t that have been easier to do BEFORE you sewed your front and back together? Well, yes. Yes, it would have. But I am not one for doing things the easy way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. So, I took my pockets that I had cut out and decided to do a little gather on them before I attached them. To do this, I set the stitch length and tension each at their highest setting. Then just sew and like magic, the fabric will ruffle. So easy!

I happened to have some white bias tape lying around the house, so that’s what I used for the tops of my pockets. Just pin it on, then sew.

Then I folded the edges of my pockets under, making them the shape that I wanted and ironed them down. Next, I pinned them to the front of the dress.

Then sew them down.

So the front and back of the dress are all finished at this point. Except the sleeves. So I attached some bias tape around my sleeve openings. I didn’t take any pictures of this step, but I did it just like the pocket. Pin the tape in place, then sew.

Now it was time to finally sew the front and back of the dress together. So I pinned right sides together (making sure to line up the underarms so the bias tape would match up on the finished garment) and sewed. After I sewed the seam, I zig-zagged the seams. Again, serging would be ideal.

Turn your dress right side out and press. Now it’s time to hem the bottom. Just turn up and press about 1/4″ all the way around. Then turn it up and press again to hide the raw edge of your fabric. Now sew. (I didn’t sew the bottom together.)


And here’s the little monkey modeling it. Forgive my less than stellar photos. By the time I actually finished it and got it on her, it was rather dark out so I had no natural light.

It took me pretty much all day to finish this little project, although it wasn’t difficult in the least. What with feeding kids and reading books here and there and stopping to referee the inevitable fights, it’s a wonder I finished it at all! But I must say, I’m glad I did. This might just be my favorite dress I’ve made to date.

T-shirt Dress

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T-shirt Dress

So the other day I decided to dig around in one of the boxes in the garage labeled “fabric.” Turns out I had TONS of stuff in there that I completely forgot I had. And some of it that have no recollection of ever buying. Is that the sign that you have a problem?? In any case, I dug some of it out and washed it up (because I have no idea if I washed it the first time around). Who would have known that I had so many knits in there?

If you’re familiar with Goodmama diapers, you’ll recognize a number of those prints. I’ll admit that when my son was a baby I got all caught up in buying trendy, cute, and EXPENSIVE cloth diapers. This time around with my daughter, I went more for convenience and function. Bum Genius for the win! I sold off most of my Goodmamas and made a pretty penny (that’s a whole OTHER story), but I still adore so many of the old prints. Good thing I bought a bunch of this fabric years ago, huh? So, what to do with it all? Some of the prints I only had very small pieces, so I decided why not make a t-shirt dress. I had recently seen this tutorial and figured I could do something similar with the fabric I had on hand.

First things first, I found a t-shirt to use that would coordinate with the fabric I was using.

Then I cut the bottom off the shirt.

Next I cut my fabric into strips and decided in what order I wanted them. At this point, I went ahead and attached the first layer to the shirt. Mostly because I wanted to make sure it was going to fit okay. This shirt was a little tricky to work with because of the pleats. The darn fabric just didn’t want to lay flat.

I forgot to mention that I switched to the satin stitch foot on my machine and used a zig zag stitch.

Next I sewed the front layers together and the back layers together, then sewed my side seams.

At this point, I slipped the top of the dress inside the skirt and pinned right sides together.

Now sew it together, flip it right side out, and ta-da!

I left a raw edge on mine because the bottom knit is SOOOOO thin it’s really hard to work with. Next time I attempt a project like this, I will definitely be sure that my knits are a little sturdier. All but the white knit with roses and swords on it were really light weight. So as hard as I tried, there is definitely a little puckering going on. I will probably go back and topstich each of my layers, but the little monkey hasn’t wanted to take it off long enough for me to do that.

I know it’s a little less than perfect, but it still makes my heart happy to see all of those prints I loved so much on my son’s diapers. Kind of sends me back a few years. Awwwwww.