I’m a huge fan of the tee-shirt dress. It’s casual yet incredibly cute at the same time, and can be accessorized like no other piece of clothing. It’s also just as comfy as wearing pajamas. It’s perfect for throwing on over a swim suit for a trip to the beach, or dressing up with heels for happy hour. You can even add some tights and style it into the cooler fall months!
Once I set out to make myself a new gray version (the blue one I own has literally been worn 10-100 times), I knew I needed to show y’all how to make one for yourselves!
If you follow this tutorial you will make the perfect little tee-shirt dress using a simple tee-shirt as a pattern, something I know we all have at home. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I love mine!
Tee Shirt Dress Tutorial
Cotton Stretch Fabric 3′ x 5′ (the ~3′ side is the width of the fabric that comes standard on a roll so mine was about 38″ versus 36″ and I just asked the saleswoman for 5′ of length)
Thread to match fabric
Tee-Shirt (for sizing)
1. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise and cut along the fold (the fabric should now measure 3′ by 2.5′ in two pieces). Grab an old comfy tee-shirt. It should fit you, but not be super tight. Take your tee and lay it over the fabric that is layered one on top of the other. Pin around your tee-shirt about 1″ from the edges, also extending sides of the shirt down to make the length of the dress.
2. Cut about 1/4″ around the pinned lines. Use your sewing machine to sew along the pins. Try your supersized smock on and relish in your potato sack of a dress. Lookin good, am I right?
3. At this point we start to make some moves on styling. Fold the dress in half so the sleeves line up. Mark a point about 5″ from the center of the dress on the neck on both sides of the fabric with pins. This will be where your v-neck goes. Unfold your dress and pin from each point on the neck downward about 8″ to a point to make a V. Also pin along your sleeves to make them square. Cut along all of these lines, making sure that you only cut the v neck on one layer of fabric (the back of the dress will stay round).
4. After having tried on the dress, chances are you’ll realize it needs to be taken in. I took mine in about an inch on each side. Pin in an inch from the original seams all the way down the sides of the dress and sew along the pins. I also took the sleeves in about an inch as well, as you can see in the picture below.
5. Fold the hems of the sleeves and neck over about a 1/4″ and pin. Sew along these folds. Fold the arms and neck over another 1/4″ and sew again. This gives you nice clean hems.
6. Flip the dress right side out (finally!) and check out the arm pits. Oh yeah. Those babies need some help. Chances are you have puckering going on like I did (see below on the left). To get rid of this, cut small triangles to allow the fabric to move away from it’s bunching pattern. Check out that magic!
7. The last step is to hem the bottom of the dress. I wanted the overall length of mine to be 33″ (I’m 5’9″ and I thought this length looked the best on me) so I cut the length of the dress to 36″. Fold the hem over a 1/4″ and pin. Sew along the pins. Then fold the hem over 2.5″ and pin. Sew along the pins again. Dress hemming done!
Accessorize and head out to show off your new look! How would you style your tee-shirt dress?
I love this dress in gray because it goes with basically everything… Black, brown, or otherwise, but you could make it in any color! This dress could also easily be made into a maxi if you just purchase more fabric and continue the length of the skirt.
Also, accessory details below:
Black and Brown Sandals – American Eagle || Floppy Hat – Forever 21 || Sunnies – Urban Outfitters || Black Sling Purse – Forever 21 || Scarf I made from old cloth and bracelet is vintage (sorry!) ||
Brown Strappy Heels – H&M || Peach Drop Necklace – Forever 21 || Watch – Kate Spade New York || Gold Bangles – H&M || Purse – vintage (sorry!)
4 thoughts on “The Perfect DIY Tee-Shirt Dress Sewing Tutorial”
I truly appreciate this blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Thank you so much!
Love this one Julia! Looks simple enough to do, but can be dressed up too. Just took our sewing machine to the shop for an adjustment and can’t wait to get it back so Emma and I can give this project a try.
That’s great news! Hope they can get her back up and running 🙂