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T-Shirt Dress

Make use of old T-shirts with a clever upcycled dress craft from Cheri Heaton, author of the I Am Momma Hear Me Roar blog.




  • 6 different worn T-shirts
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Stamps and fabric paint, or fabric markers (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Fabric chalk or disappearing fabric marker


  1. Step 1

    Choose a T-shirt for the top of the dress; cut off bottom 2 inches below the armpit.

  2. Step 2

    Cut 3-inch-wide horizontal strips from 5 different T-shirts. (Tip: Cut strips, then trim off side seams to make two 2 strips of each T-shirt -- one for front, one for back of dress.) Cut one strip from the bottom hem of a T-shirt to make the bottom of the dress.

  3. Step 3

    Optional: Embellish the strips with stamps and fabric paint, or draw and write on the strips with fabric markers.

  4. Step 4

    Place one strip on top of another, wrong sides facing, and sew together strips with a 1/4-inch seam allowance; repeat until all strips are sewn for the front and back. (The seam will be exposed.)

  5. Step 5

    To cut the A-line shape of the dress, layer and center the strip panels below the dress top. Mark each side of top of strip panel, 1/4 inch out from sides of shirt. Measure straight down to hem and mark bottom strip on left and right 1.5 inches out from each point.

  6. Step 6

    Making sure dress bottom pieces are centered and matched, cut each side from top to bottom point.

  7. Step 7

    Sew the front and back together with side seams, with right sides facing. Start sewing at the bottom of the skirt to make sure the sides of the hem line up; take time to ensure that the exposed seams are laying correctly and matching up as you sew.

  8. Step 8

    Invert the dress top inside the skirt to sew the two together. (The seam will be exposed, matching all the other seams.)



Reviews (3)

  • winkblink 24 Jun, 2012

    Even using the stretch stitch setting ( the offset zigzag on my singer) and the top dial on auto, as soon as my daughter put it on, the thread broke in a few places and she had a big [filtered word]. Is there something I'm doing wrong with my settings.

  • Sonally 12 Jun, 2012

    I made one this morning! I used a tank top, and three men's T shirts all bought at a thrift store for less than 5 dollars total. I did not sew the layers with seams exposed, and I gathered a few tiers. It is a sundress for my son's girlfriend.

  • Eleanor Govan 31 May, 2012

    That is an awesome idea for young and not so young. It reminds me of a project our 4 H club in Penzance, Saskatchewan was required to do. Make an existing garment into an outfit. I made a jumper out of a full red corduroy full skirt my Auntie had sent we girls on the farm in a care pkg. I got top ribbon for it. Amazinly, a few years later one of my best friends made THAT jumper into a beautiful little dress for her little girl Cindy