I taught a class a few weekends ago to the girls in my Relief Society on how to make my t-shirt dresses. I created a handout with step-by-step instructions, and showed them how to cut out and attach each of the pieces. I created this dress in the class, and figured that I would share it with you all as well.
Since we are now in full fledged winter mode, I decided to use a long-sleeve black top, and paired with with some gray linen I picked up at the LA fabric district.
I added some ties to get a more fitted look around the waist.
I know I've posted some tutorials for these dresses before, but I think this one is a little more comprehensive.
If you don't know how to sew, or know the basics but are interested in learning more, Merrick
and I have created The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing
, online sewing courses that teach you everything you need to know about clothing construction. You can take our Beginner Course
or our Intermediate Course
, and learn how to follow tutorials like this one! Make sure to check out moderngirlsewing.com!
Get the tutorial below....
- about 1 1/2 yards of fabric
- coordinating thread (elastic thread / wooly thread optional)
* I taught 2 different classes, so I had enough material to make 2 different dresses. I didn't have time to make the second one in class, so I made it at home, and took pictures along the way. I used a stretchy knit for the skirt portion.
also taught a fabulous class on re purposing shirts. She never ceases to amaze me at how talented she is with a sewing machine. She introduced me to this life changing thread:
It's called wooly nylon thread, and you use it just like you would elastic thread (use it only in the bobbin). Its not quite as stretchy as elastic thread, but it lays flat, for a great finished look. It is used on pretty much all stretchy tops. The best part is it comes on a huge spool and will last forever.
(but now I am addicted to it.... so it might go faster than I think)
Try on shirt and mark where you would like the top of the waistband to hit. Measure 1/2” down from
that mark and cut across shirt. The added 1/2” will be for your seam allowance.
Measure across the width of the shirt to get the measurement for your waistband. Add on 1” to this
measurement to allow for 1/2” seam allowance per side, and cut out 2 strips of fabric that are the
amount you calculated long, and 3” wide. Surge or zigzag stitch around all of the edges of both waistbands to keep from fraying.
*The finished waistband will be 2” wide. You can adjust this however you would like.
Now it is time to measure for the skirt portion of the dress. Double the width of your waistband to get
the width of the skirt. The wider the width of the skirt, the fuller it will be. So feel free to make it 2 1/2 times the width of the shirt if you would like a fuller skirt. Have the length of the skirt hit at least 5” below your knee (make sure you hold up the fabric where you want the top of the skirt to hit). This will give you plenty of fabric to work with when creating the hem of your skirt at the end. Cut 2 of these pieces (one for the front, one for the back). Surge or zigzag stitch along the top and sides of these 2 pieces to keep from fraying.
Take your 2 skirt pieces and place them right sides together. Sew up the side seams with a 1/2” seam
allowance. Set aside.
Place your 2 waistband pieces right sides together and sew up the side seams with a 1/2” seam allowance.
Sew 2 rows of basting stitches along the top of your skirt. Sew the first row 1/4” away from the edge,
and the second row 1” away from the edge. Now, pull on one side of the thread to gather your fabric. Gather it so that it becomes smaller than the width of your waistband. With right sides together, place the top of the skirt on the bottom of the waistband so that the raw edges meet. Match up the side seams and pin. Now gently loosen the gathered skirt so that it becomes the same size as the circumference of your waistband and pin in place. Make sure that the gathers look even.
Sew the waistband and the skirt together with a 1/2” seam allowance, in the middle of your two basting stitches. Pay close attention as you sew so that the gathers are staying in place and that the sewing machine doesn’t flatten them out.
With the skirt portion of your dress still inside out, slip your shirt (facing right side out) down into the
waist of the skirt. Match up the side seams of the shirt with the side seams of the waistband and pin in
Sew around the waistband with a 1/2” seam allowance. Flip the skirt right side out.
Almost done! Now try on your skirt and mark where you want the bottom of the skirt to hit. Add on 1”
to where you marked for your hem, and cut. To hem, surge or zigzag stitch along the bottom of the
skirt, iron 1” under, and sew 1” from the bottom. If you don't have a surger, you can also iron the
bottom under 1/4”, then under again 3/8” and sew in place.
Labels: sewing, skirt, tutorial