Thursday, June 28, 2012

Make a XXXL Mans T-Shirt into a Summer Dress

I don't know about you, but it seems like all the super cute clothing ideas are for the little ones.  Right?

Several weeks ago on Prudent Baby I saw them upcycle a t-shirt into a cute little girls summer dress, pinned here.  Ugh, I want one!  I need summer dresses too.  :-(

That's when it struck me.  I've had the intentions of downsizing a man's t-shirt into a fitted woman's t-shirt (still on my list), so why can't I alter a mans t-shirt into a dress?  I've seen t-shirts and dress shirts made into skirts and other types of dresses, but I wanted one similar to the one on Prudent Baby.

This was one of those projects I didn't think I'd ever get over procrastinating.  With no exact tutorial to follow on the style I'd wanted (that I could find) how would I proceed?  Well I didn't let myself have too much time to think about it yesterday, and just did it. 

It took me a little over two hours to make, but this includes the thought process of me walking in the door from shopping then deciding this is what I was gonna do, including the time it took to take photos.   

Here we go.

The rare blog photo of me modeling the XXXL mans shirt I purchased from Ross Dress for Less (I liked the button snap closure).  You might be in luck and could steal an XXXL t-shirt from your man.

 I have an itty-bitty dress I use for the pool that I roughly used as a guide along with a tank top, for the top of the dress.
Itty-bitty dress for guide
Tank top for guide.
 To start I cut off the sleeves.  No turning back/returning now.

 Then the collar and the top of the shoulders got cut.  At first I thought the collar would make good straps, but it wasn't long enough for two straps.

 Next I traced the top using my tank top as a guide.  Only going down to below the bust.

Not photographed, I cut the sides of the shirt from under the bust, and angled out to the bottom corners of the shirt.  Remember to leave seam allowance.  I used 1/2".

Like the back of my tank top, I cut the back of the shirt straight across, mid bust.

The front was cut out, and sides(side boob) of the front and back were folded down 1/2" and pressed to hem.

The center front hemmed as well.  I used a contrasting burnt orange thread since the shirt was already accented with this color.  (Photos taken after completion, so you'll see straps already attached)

Then up both sides of the dress, no picture.

Straps were made from remaining fabric, 1 1/2" wide x 17", much longer than needed.
  I have to say this was a huge chunk of time, since knit material doesn't hold it's crease. I had to slowly fold in the fabric, like if you were making bias tape(sorry for the very bad picture below.  Your construction time can be reduced dramatically if you use another technique, like ribbon or actual bias tape.
 Then sew the straps, and onto the dress. 
 And voila!  You have a summer dress.  It's even longer than the actual t-shirt since the neckline got lowered by the straps. 
Silly smile.  It's hard to smile for a camera on a timer. 
Whew!  Glad I got that out of the way.  Maybe I'll be doing a few more.  The guys shirts always have the cooler screen prints, minus the shiny glitter stuff that girls t's have.  :-)

So whatcha think?

I'm linking up to Ta-dah Tuesday over at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.  


  1. WOW! I'm not going to say you make it look easy, cos it would bring me out in hives - but the result you got in two hours is amazing! And it looks really cute on you. Thanks for linking up xx

  2. Love it! Great instructions as well:)

  3. Catching up on months of not reading blogs and I love this dress! Awesome job. You may find that one of the accessories in your sewing box may make creating those rolled straps easier...not that I sew garnments but my mom and aunts did.

    I also like your head bands. How did they work out?