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Making a T-shirt Dress

Updated on September 5, 2016
5 stars from 1 rating of T-shirt Dress

Here's a tutorial on turning a boring t-shirt into a cute little dress. It's super simple and takes minimal materials. It's a great way to up-cycle your old wardrobe.

You'll need:

  • 1 T-shirt
  • fabric for skirt
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • needle and thread, (of a matching color)
  • pins
rectangle of fabric for skirt
rectangle of fabric for skirt
The finished product should look something like this.
The finished product should look something like this.


  1. Measure the hem of the T-shirt you're going to use. Write it down. The skirt will need to be at least as long as the circumference of the hem with a 1/2 inch or so for seam allowance. The more pleats, ruffles or volume you want in the skirt of the dress will mean more length in the original skirt fabric.
  2. Measure the fabric you're using for the skirt so that it is the length of the hem with 5-10 extra inches depending on how pleated/voluminous you'd like the skirt to be. Measure the length from where the t-shirt ends on your body to where the finished hem of the garment should hit on your legs. Write that number down.
  3. Use the two measurements you wrote down to make a rectangle out of your skirt fabric. The length should be long enough to go around the hem of the T-shirt, plus more for some volume. The width should be long enough that it is far enough down your legs to be comfortable. Add an extra inch for seam allowances on the top and bottom. Mark the backside of the fabric and cut it out. You can create a matching sheer layer on top if you'd like a different look.
  4. Wrong sides together sew the short edges of the fabric together to create an inside out circle.
  5. With the T-shirt turned inside out, pin the circle of fabric to the hem of the shirt matching seams on the side and spacing material evenly around.
  6. Optional: Creating Pleats or Ruffles: If you want pleats or ruffles in your t-shirt dress you will need about twice as much fabric as the measurement of your t-shirt hem. For pleats, carefully fold the fabric over itself in even increments so that the length once folded is the same or a little longer than the t-shirt hem. experiment with making the folds face right or left towards the center to see what looks best to you. For ruffles, pin the fabric evenly around the t-shirt hem leaving gaps between the pins where the fabric doesn't match up evenly. When sewing gather the fabric so it bunches up to match the length of the hem's length in between the pins and sew over it that way. When finished it will have a ruffled effect.
  7. Sew the skirt to the T-shirt being careful to keep the fabric spaced evenly around. You can make careful pleats if you like by folding the fabric over in segments and pinning and-or ironing it down before sewing over it. It will look nice and flowing if it's just loosely gathered as well.
  8. Turn the finished garment right-side out and finish the hem of your skirt if you need to.


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    • Alexandria Joy profile image

      Alexandria Taberski 5 years ago from Loveland, CO

      Thanks Mama Kim.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Very cute! I just might have to make some of these ^_^ Thanks!

    • Alexandria Joy profile image

      Alexandria Taberski 5 years ago from Loveland, CO

      You're very welcome peachpower, I'm glad you liked it:)

    • peachpower profile image

      peachpower 5 years ago from Florida

      Voted up and useful. Neat idea, and so very glad to see that directions are there... Easy ones, at that. I'm going to downcycle for my daughters one of these days :) Thanks for a simple tutorial!