November 02, 2010

Upcycled T-shirt Dress

I had so much fun working with all my old t-shirts when I did the Upcycled Boy Hats.  This time around I thought I'd give girls a try.  (Don't worry, I'll do a boy version of it later.)  Let me introduce the Upcycled T-shirt Dress. 


Now right off the bat you might be thinking, "That's nice but I don't have any cute t-shirts or knits."  Don't you fret or frown.  I've got an extra little step for you.


After rounding up my t-shirts, I felt like some of them needed something extra.  I bought these foam stamps from Hobby Lobby.  There were 12 little stamps and I think the pack was less than $2.  I painted my fabric paint onto the stamp and pressed it onto the fabric.  I did this until it looked like a funky knit fabric.  (Don't worry about each stamp being perfect.  They won't be, but it'll still be really cute.  It'll look more vintage.)


I did another one using a lip stamp from the same pack.


To add a little variety, I took another fabric and drew "XOXO"s all over it with my fabric markers.


For the top of the dress you can cut off any shirt.  Maybe you can find a shirt that has a stain on the bottom half that you would have gotten rid of.  Or if you're using a new one, save the bottom to make my Anti-layer Tube Top.


Next I aligned all my different strips and sewed them together.  I wanted the seams to be on the outside, to give it that messy, patchy look.  You need two of these pieces - one for the back and one for the front.


I trimmed the edges carefully.  I wanted the dress to be a-line and I made sure the top of the skirt was about a 1/2 inch wider then the bottom of the shirt, so that after I sewed the from and back of the skirt together (using 1/4 inch seams) they would be the same width.


I sewed the front and back together, but I didn't want those seams on the outside.  (Tip: I like to start at the bottom of the skirt to make sure the two parts line up.)  I also made sure to use the bottom of a t-shirt for the last layer so I wouldn't have to do my own hem.  Clever and lazy, yes.  Lastly, I sewed the skirt to the top.


It was a fun project and I was happy to give my dull old knits some extra life.


I hope you're enjoying the Refashionista event.  There's lots more fun to come.  Thanks for dropping in!

105 comments:

Heather said...

Oh I love this! It is so adorable - I can not wait to make a few of these for my girls. It would be a good way to use up the t-shirts sitting in my stash. I am loving all the posts this week!

Kristy said...

So cute! I want to make an adult one for myself.

susan@tickledpaisley said...

Absolutely LOVE it!! Can't wait to make some!!

Heather Hurt said...

I don't typically leave msgs but I can't bite my tongue and longer! This is tooooo cute! I have so many kids in mind for this and I CAN'T WAIT for the boy version! I have one of each and this is too cute. i bet it'd be cute for arm warmers or leg warmers, too! OMG! THANK YOU!

Jonathan and Raechel said...

Hahaha, I love when you try to disguise the fact that you are putting little girl clothes on a boy! Too cute! Thanks for the fun idea!

Jo said...

What a cute dress! It's nice to see a little girl's dress that isn't princessy for a change (although those are nice too).

Traci said...

I love it! I know you have boys but I wish you'd post more girl things! :) THANKS!

Tiffany said...

Seriously..Seriously...I was just wondering if I could get away with putting the seams on the outside and if it would look as cute from a machine (vs. a serger) It does! Definitely in my near future. Definitely!!!! Ummm. You forgot to add your signature floss. I wont forget on mine, cause I'm ADDICTED :)

Amy said...

This is so cute...comfy and perfect for playing in!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Jami Nato said...

ok, i'm learning to sew. i have to make this!

Kim's Treasures said...

Too cute!

Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

Is that your nephew again? You need some little girls in your life, bad. I would volunteer mine for photo shoots, but we are about 3.5 hours away from you. Not very feasible. :)

Sweeter Hours said...

love these~ very creative. I think I will make two for my nieces :)

Disney said...

Adorable!! I want to make one in shades of white and ivory.

Kari Sweeten said...

Cheri, I. LOVE. THIS! Seriously adorable!

Jessica said...

This dress is adorable! I loved how you just painted on some designs to the plain t-shirts. Very clever! I am going to put this on my long to do list. :)

justenoughstyle.blogspot.com

Maria said...

Oh! It's amazing. What a great idea! Your little girl looks adorable inthat dress. I'll have to make one for my little girl too. Thanks for the inspiration and the tute.

Bina Ross said...

I love these! I am totally making one or twenty for my daughter. I can not wait to see your boys version!

Beth Tunnell said...

I love love love LOVE this idea! I have a four year old who will wear nothing but dresses. She will be sporting some of these very soon. Thanks for all the great ideas :)

Suzan said...

Great idea! Cute and easy!!

And I love your "little girl" model!! ;-) You should get a picture of "her" from the front next time!!

Suzan said...

Great idea! Cute and easy!!

And I love your "little girl" model!! ;-) You should get a picture of "her" from the front next time!!

Tai Bender said...

that is SO adorable! I love all the time you put into making each "layer" special!

taidye original

Rosies said...

Ok at first I was thinking ahh man she has such cute tee shirts my shirts are so boring! I LOVE THE FABRIC PAINT ON THEM! seriously soo stinking cute! I am doing a linky party on Friday if you want to link it up!

Unknown said...

Boy! My sewing machine is going to get a workout this week! I love it ~ and the model *wink*.

Unknown said...

Cheri-I love that you created your own patterns! That is genius. It makes me want to make my own wallpaper or something. Very fun refashion.

Unknown said...

LOVE this!! I have two little sisters and, since I don't have my own family, I plan on making them some of these ASAP! Thanks for the darling idea, Cheri!


Felicity @ Simple Elegance

Unknown said...

I have seen a lot of upcycled t-shirt dresses out in blogland, but this one is by far my favorite. Very, very cute. :)

Rochelle Barlow said...

I was just thinking as I saw the first picture, I don't have all these cute T-shirts that most people seem to have. Then I kept scrolling down! Great idea! Now I can do this too! My little girl, almost 3, walked by and saw the dress and said it was beautiful and she wants one too! I guess I know what I'll be doing this week!

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

What a fab idea. I've made a quilt from significant tshirts but this is a great recycle project :-)

Thanks for sharing

Benta

Benta@SLIKstitches.co.uk

ladydazy said...

This is adorable. I definitely want to try and make this!!!

Twins Squared said...

Hold the phone. Is that your cute little nephew again? Hee Hee. Love the dress and thanks for the tutorial.

Jennifer said...

What a fun project! Since i don't have a little girl, I may have to make one for myself...LOL!

Mika said...

I looked at the "xoxo" pattern, and love it straight away. Then I thought, "I would never find that fabric"....then like the others, I scrolled down, and found I could make it myself. Genius!

Pickled Pink said...

I love this recycling project!! I can't wait to get started...

Unknown said...

Very cute little dress. I love the stamping you did on it. I wanted to follow along, but a lack of old t-shirts and a serious lack of little girl held me back. So I did this instead: http://everythingniceblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/refashionista-day-2-in-which-i-do-not.html

Patti said...

I think I know this cute little girl :)

Eve Mitchell said...

So, I have not much experience with sewing, but I am dying to make this dress!! Did you use a sewing machine or sew by hand???

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

What a great idea to use the stamps!

Jayme said...

I love it!!!

Jayme said...

I love it!!!

Kristin said...

L-O-V-E this so much I just made one! I will post back when I get a picture of it on my blog - right now the little one is sleeping!

Kristin said...

Here is my version! Thanks for the tute! http://meldrimfamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/upcycled-t-shirt-dress.html

Momma Roar said...

What an adorable dress!!! I hope I can give your cute idea a try - I need to sort through old clothing this weekend anyway!

Twins Squared said...

This tutorial inspired me to finally get on a t-shirt upcycle project that I have been meaning to get to. Here is the my post about it http://twincess.blogspot.com/2010/11/t-shirt-refashion-and-bye-bye-mullets.html
Nothing as snazy as yours but still need to be done.
Thanks for inspiring.

Heather said...

What a great idea! Thanks for thinking, crafting and sharing thrifty ideas.

THE.PAINTED.STUDIO said...

I made a version of this dress for my little girl thanks to you!!! Your idea was cute. I even blogged about it.

http://paintedstudio.blogspot.com/2010/11/over-at-i-am-momma-hear-me-roar-made.html

Cheryl

MusicalMommy said...

Jumped on board and made one too. I even copied your color choices since I enjoyed your end product so much. I happened to have stamps and paint on hand too. Can you tell I liked your project! :)

http://karascreativeplace.blogspot.com/2010/11/upcycled-t-shirts-dress.html

margarette said...

this really is cute..thanks for posting!

Unknown said...

Fabulous! I want to make one now.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the amazing idea! i finally gave it a try.. http://imakestuff.typepad.com/i-make-stuff/2010/12/upcycled-t-shirt-dress-.html

Coffee@3 said...

Great idea, we gave it a try and I'm so happy with the turnout! My niece loved it, they are very "green" and into recycling so it was a huge hit. Here's the link
http://coffeeatthree.blogspot.com/2010/12/upcycle-dress.html

Bitchy Bloggy Mom said...

This dress couldn't BE any cuter!!! I will be making matching ones for my girls and post it on my blog, Upcycle Mama. I love your blog! I'm a new follower after seeing this for the first time. Thanks for sharing!

Shannon said...

What a great idea for all of my girls' favorite little t-shirts that have become midriff tops!:) After my daughter's Dorothy costume, this will be next, and I'll post it on my blog: www.fiveminutesmoreplease.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

I am one of your many fans. I love what your doing and was hoping for a little help. I am the mother of a 4 year old , 2 year old and pregnant with twins due in May. My engery level is dropping really fast. So I am begging you to help me out by guess posting for me. It can be a old post or new, it is up to you.

Sewing, crafts and Kid stuff welcome!!!! I want to feature my followers and blogs I follow during May, June and July. Please check out my blog and let me know if you interested.

http://www.couturiermommy.com/
evaharp@msn.com

Unknown said...

LOL! i was just thinking 'What a cute haircut that little girl has!' til I read through comments! I'm new to your blog, and I'm loving this outfit! Adorable! I have a 4 month old baby girl after having 2 boys, so I'm craft happy right now and ready to make her all sorts of things! :)

TK said...

This is amazing and adorable! Awesome!

Shay said...

thanks for the inspiration! i made 3 just last night from a bunch of shirts that are a tad to short on my girls! brilliant! check them out if you want!
http://shayandco.blogspot.com/2011/03/up-cycled-t-shirt-dress.html

thanks for the fun ideas!

Stitch.Knit said...

So very, very cute.

Well done & great pics too.

Jill said...

I've just stumbled across your blog and found you're in the midst of upcycling too! I love this dress - I like the way to stamped and printed to brighted up the plain fabric!

I would love if you came and linked this project to my clothes upcycling page. It has a long term linky, so your project would stay there for more than just the week of a usual linky. We have over 60 projects linked up now – some fantastic ideas – and this month I’m upcycling lots of clothes and trying to feature lots of the links too!
Do come and take a look!
http://jembellish.blogspot.com/p/clothes-upcycling-projects.html

Brittany@Love Stitched said...

I don't even need to tell you that you are amazing! You are so creative and think of the cutest ideas! love this! thanks so much for linking up to the CSI project this week!
xoxo

CJG said...

I have been looking for a way to turn a bunch of concert t-shirts from a particular band into a dress. I've seen them several times and have a bunch of shirts that I can use. I love the idea of stamping on them or using fabric markers because it'll help me to add in some coordinating fabrics so I can solve the problem of not having a shirt wide enough for my hips ;) I saw this over on CSI and knew I had to check it out! Thanks so much for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

really cute refashion, thanks for sharing

*kate said...

I've had my eye on this for awhile and finally made one for my daughter. I'm actually jealous of it and wish it fit me. ;-)

Here's the link: http://cominguprosemary.blogspot.com/2011/05/favorite-t-shirt-dress.html

Thanks!

an. said...

So cute!!!!

Lana Hardy said...

I can't wait to try this.. thanks for the post!! My granddaughter will love it!!

Oly Momma said...

Thanks for the great idea! I am a beginning sewer, so I started a little simpler, but I got my inspiration to use a t-shirt as a dress top from you. I can't wait to try out your complete tutorial with dad's t-shirts some time.

Here is my post on my dress: http://olymomma.blogspot.com/2011/07/going-rogue-and-pattern-free-t-shirt.html

Thanks again for the inspiration! Jess (at) OlyMomma

Photos by Christie Lynn Stanek said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! THANK YOU!!! IM SO GONNA DO THIS!!! THANK YOU!!!

dawn - Mi rincón de mariposas said...

I love it!!!

SHELL said...

Thanks so much for this post and your fabulous blog. As a newcomer to the sewing world you are giving me so much inspiration and guidence.
You can see my version of this dress here http://siblimeshamblesofashell.blogspot.com/2011/08/up-cycled-dress-for-my-little-miss.htm
It's the first ever dress I have put together for my little girl and I am very thankful you made the steps for a very funky dress so easy to follow. Thankyou again ox

*kate said...

I love this! I made one for my daughter (you can see it here: http://cominguprosemary.blogspot.com/2011/05/favorite-t-shirt-dress.html).

I was wondering what stitch you used for the seams? My daughter's is falling apart a bit and I was wondering if you had any suggestions - I'm not too experienced with knits.

Thanks!

tinymadman said...

i love t-shirt recons (esp. those for the little ones). my girl has those awesome froggy boots and sports them w/ dresses and tutus (well, just about anything and everything come to think about it)and it is so damn cute! thanks for the tute! ;)

hillary (tinymadman)

Anonymous said...

Another tutorial I love... I made it into a rainbow dress
http://wp.me/pK2DW-o0
and I am sure I'll make some more of this kind of dresses!!
Thank you so much!

maarnietvangrijs said...

Great tutorial, thank you so much! Both my girls are very happy with their new dresses:
http://maarnietvangrijs.blogspot.com/2011/09/deze-week-zag-ik_29.html

Love, Sacha (maarnietvangrijs)

Sartain Pictures said...

Thank you for this tut. I have am inspired to do one but maybe out of sweaters since we are in that cold season here, yuck. Thank you very much. When I get it done I will post back to your blog for the idea, if thats ok with you.
Thanks again,
Katrina
www.afloat-in-the-deepblue.blogspot.com

Good Earth Quilting said...

Really cute idea and fast I'm sure to make. Thanks for sharing.

Janice (YaYa) said...

Couldn't be any cuter or more fun to make! THNX!!

Kammy's Korner said...

Couldn't love this more and can't wait to make it!!!! I'll link back to ya WHEN (not if, haha) I make one!! :)

kewkew said...

New to your blog. I saw a link to this at Valerie's Reviews and had to come and check it out. I have pinned this, great idea.

Anonymous said...

This is so cute! I just included it in my "Top 10 Things to Make Out of T-Shirts" post @ www.cheapcraftymama.com... feel free to stop by and grab a "featured" button!

Unknown said...

I love this. Would it be crazy for me to make an adult version of this? I think I would love to have a summer dress like this.

I just found your blog and LOVE IT! I will be fallowing now:)

Constanze said...

I love the great Idea and reported on my blog (http://erstlingswerke.eu) tomorrow. Thank you for the tutorial.

Jessie said...

What a terrific idea! I have two boys so I think I'll need to make one of these for myself! :)

Jessie said...

BTW, I pinned this on Pinterest...

Papgena Made It said...

Hi Cheri, I use your tutorial to make a valentine's dress to my daughter! you can see it here: http://papgenamadeit.blogspot.com/2012/02/vestido-de-s-valentim-valentines-dress.html

Anonymous said...

Love this dress. I made some myself and they turned out get. Wonderful idea!

Adele said...

Hiya babe, just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog this morning. Hope that's ok. Go and check it out and feel free to grab a featured button from my sidebar :)

Mammy Made: Mint Stuff I've Seen

Kellyinflorida said...

Found this on Pinterest. Made 2 of these this weekend for gifts. (Second one went much faster- less than an hour!) Only had to use the seam ripper twice b/c I sewed the wrong sides together. D'oh. Planning on making a small version for one of the girls' american girl doll. I still have some scraps left - thought I would just do some spaghetti straps since I don't really have an AG size tshirt for the top part. Thanks for the idea!!! Love it.

paknitter83 said...

Making these today for my girls!!<3 this! Been wanting to find some ways to upcylce their old shirts!

a mom's view said...

Help! Ive been trying this all day and the fabric keeps getting bunched up under the darning foot. I am using a scalloped stitch because it looks so cute. Should I use a specific stitch or something? Please respond anybody :)

iammommahearmeroar said...

I wouldn't recommend a fancy stitch here. Usually I use a zig zag for knits, because it allows the fabric to stretch. However, I have always used a straight stitch on this dress because I make it loose fitting, meaning that is won't need to stretch. I find the straight stitch is the easiest one to do successfully on knits. Just sew it slowly and be sure you aren't stretching the fabric as you feed it through your machine. I hope this helps!

Cheri

a mom's view said...

ok,you are so right. The straight stitch works :)I need to hit up some garage sales for some age right t-shirts for tops. Making a couple for my grandaughter. thanks for the tip!

redjanfan said...

Very cute and perfect for my littl 2 yr old Diva. Caught a link to your blog from another called "Creative Tryals".

hurley thurston said...

Super easy! I just pinned it! Thanks!!

Alex said...

I can't sew. This is one of the reasons I want to learn to sew. So I can make fun cute adorable dresses like this!

Amanda said...

LOVE it!!

Unknown said...

I just made this for my daughter. It's adorable and it only cost me $1.00!

Tina said...

How clever and cute! I need to make some of these for my granddaughters. Thanks!

Unknown said...

SO cute! Thanks for inspiring! :D

Mao Mao said...

I'm really doing this project too... you are always a good inspiration, thanks for sharing the love :)
www.maomaocrafts.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

this is awesome!! Your projects are so frugal and yet so cool! First time on your blog and love it! Love from India

Connie Rawlins said...

This dress is just too stinking cute!!! The model is adorable too.

AllieB said...

Me too. I think this is a cute idea to use Cardinals baseball t-shirts to make a dress for trips to Busch Stadium.

Niki said...

Just made this and love how it turned out! I now have several more to make for my nieces . . . :)

Unknown said...

you are so right, I also want to do this.
enigmashairstudio.com

Liz said...

Super cute!

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