Tutorial: Summer Maxi Dress, t-shirt refashion

T-shirt Maxi Dress Refashion

I got an idea to make a girls maxi dress from a t-shirt. Last Summer after I made my daughter this dress... she “requested” another one but this time with JUST fabric on the bottom… So to keep my little fashionista happy, I drew it up in my sketch book and promised to make her one this summer.

I decided to make it from Voile this time.  I love the light airy fabric and thought it would be perfect for summer.

T-shirt Maxi Dress Tutorial

I saw that Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy has a tutorial on her site for an Adult size made from a tank top-   If you’re looking for an adult size of this dress, she uses a different method to attach her skirt to the top.

To make this dress you’ll need the following:

– t-shirt.  It needs to fit snugly, but not tight- if you’re not sure of the size, go down a size. Mine is from Old Navy.
– 2 yards of Voile Fabric- You could also use Velveteen- but try to stick to something light and airy, otherwise the dress will get heavy- if you want to make it for a taller than a size 10 you’ll need more yardage.
– 1/2 yard of Voile Fabric for waistband

Make a girls maxi dress

The measurements for this dress will make approx a size 10- but you can adjust them easily to make other sizes.

Seam allowances are 1/2″

On your t-shirt make a mark  approx 2″-3″ down from the bottom of the arm holes.

Cut off the bottom of the t-shirt.  You don’t need it so you can save it for another project if you like.
Take the waist measurement of your model.  Then double it- My daughter has a 25″ waist… in her case each piece would be 50″ wide- and the Voile is 54″ wide… I decided to just “go with” the extra fabric- and not cut off the extra 4″.
To figure the length, measure down from just under their armpits to the floor-  Add about 1″ for hem and seam allowance.  It turns out that 36″ was the perfect length to use on my daughter- if yours is taller or shorter adjust here.
You’ll want 2 pieces of fabric that are double the waist measurement by your height measurement.
In my case they were 2 pieces 54″ wide by 36″ long.
Stitch the 2 pieces together along the 36″ sides. Press seams open.
Run 2 rows of gathering stitches along the top edge.
Fit the skirt into the t-shirt, right sides together- adjust gathers so that the skirt portion fits into the t-shirt portion.
Pin well.
Stitch skirt portion to t-shirt portion, being careful not to pull on the t-shirt as you sew (you don’t want it to stretch out too much)
Turn right side out, and press well.

To make the sash.

Cut a piece of fabric 6″ wide by 54″. (it was 54″ wide since it was a Voile fabric).

Fold in half, miter corners. Stitch together leaving a 2″ opening in the center.

Turn right side out- slip stitch opening closed.  Press.

Summer Maxi Dress

Be sure to send me links to your t-shirt projects!! I’m going to do a round up at the end of the month! (thanks to those of you that have already sent them).
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  1. says

    I love this – it would be perfect for my 7 year old daughter, so I’m going to have a go! Just need to get the right fabric first. Thanks for a great idea!

  2. says

    Love it! I’m going to make one for my grand daughter. She requested a ruffle on the bottom. I’ll send you a pic after. Laura

  3. says

    I made one. You can see it at reidgirlshandmade.blogspot.com
    I included a link back to your tutorial.
    Thanks for the idea. It was fun to make. Laura

  4. says

    This is super cute! I want to use it to make a dress for myself from a t-shirt that fits my shoulders but is too short for my comfort.

  5. says

    So adorable. Love this tutorial!! I referenced you on my blog. Hope that’s ok. ☺http://tayfamilynews.blogspot.ca/2012/09/project-monday-asian-silk.html?m=1 I made this dress last summer and kinda wish I would have seen all of these tutorials out there to help me out. So many great versions. My daughter would love one like this too!

  6. says

    I just loooooove it!!!!! So sweet and cute! I’m featuring this tomorrow on my weekly round up!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Cami @ TitiCrafty.com
    Sunday Bewitch Me & Titi {Link Party}

  7. says

    I want to do this for the two youngest granddaughters. but we are in the middle of moving and my sewing in packed up.
    I would be sewing instead of packing, if it was out. thank you for the pattern
    Hope to make it soon


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