Simple T-shirt Dress

| Apparel, For Kids, Tutorial

Yesterday I posted a “patchwork princess” dress.  Today, I’ll show you how to make one.  I didn’t actually take any pictures when I made it, so I made another one this morning — very simple.

simple tshirt dresssimple tshirt dress

The fabric I used on the patchwork princess dress was already pieced together.  You could do that to by piecing together 3.5 inch squares of fabric to create a 3″ x 3″ patchwork, but the basic dress is very simple.

simple tshirt dress

Start with a t-shirt (plain or embellished).  For this version, I was inspired by the fabric I used on the bottom of the dress.  I saw this little bit on the fabric

simple tshirt dress

and started by making an open heart shape using freezer paper and fabric paint (you can download my heart shape from here).

simple tshirt dress

Then I added some orange dots by hand.

simple tshirt dress

(To see a full tutorial on how to use freezer paper to paint on fabric go here.)

simple tshirt dress

I cut off the shirt at about the length of the elbows and set it aside.

simple tshirt dress

You’ll need about 1/4 – 1/2 yard of fabric, depending on the final length you want. I used 1/2 yard of Summer in the Nest line by Free Spirit.  The fabric was a very light corduroy which had a beautiful feel to it.  I used the full 44″ width of the fabric.  Since we’re going to gather it, it will work for various sizes.  It will just be more or less gathered.

Next I hemmed the bottom of my fabric. To hem the fabric, fold up 1/2″

simple tshirt dress

then another 1/2″ and iron in place.

simple tshirt dress

Sew along the edge securing the fabric.

simple tshirt dress

Put the side edges together, right sides together.  Sew along the side of the skirt with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Finish the edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch.

simple tshirt dress

Set your machine to the longest stitch possible.  Along the top (unfinished) opening, sew two parallel lines of stitches.  Do not backstitch.  

simple tshirt dress

Pull the bobbin threads to gather the fabric.

simple tshirt dress

Place the t-shirt inside the skirt (right sides together).

simple tshirt dress

Sew around the opening, with your serger or use a narrow zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.

simple tshirt dress

Turn it right side out and you’re done!

simple tshirt dress
simple tshirt dressPatchwork Princess uses the same technique.


Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Patchwork Princess uses the same technique.

9 Comments on Simple T-shirt Dress

  1. CraftCrave
    February 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM (7 years ago)

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [15 Feb 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Sandy
    February 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM (7 years ago)

    You don’t know how timely this post is – I have a long-sleeved shirt and some fabric on hand to make one of these, but have been too scared to try it on my own. Now I can follow your tutorial and get it finished! Thanks so much 🙂

  3. ecreech81
    February 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM (7 years ago)

    My girls went crazy over the patchwork dress. Guess I’ll be busy this weekend! 😀

  4. Monica
    April 3, 2011 at 7:20 PM (7 years ago)

    I couldn’t wait to try these! My nieces wore theirs today and everyone loved them 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial! I just blogged about it if you want to check it out!

  5. Alicia @ Sweet Ava Kate
    February 21, 2012 at 9:42 PM (6 years ago)

    Just make this today with a short sleeved shirt and fabric I had on hand! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. Tedi
    March 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM (6 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this! So sweet and simple. I made one today for my little one!

  7. Sonja
    October 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM (4 years ago)

    This is my first dress that I ever made – in fact it’s my first thing that someone could wear! I just made this dress for my 4 year old – we both love it. Going to make two more for my younger girls! Thank you so much for this tutorial!


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