Brooke and Her Refashioned T Shirt Dress: A Tutorial

Talk about being a versatile kind of gal.

Hunting for elk with mom and dad one minute and playing dress up the next. Our little Brookie loves to be the star of the show, so with out further adieu,


Brooke modeling her new T-shirt Dress.

Ya just gotta love her! 🙂

Brooke’s mom, Heather, showed me the beautiful Hanna Andersson website. REALLY nice children’s clothing. I fell in love with the little girl’s dresses and I wish I could buy all of them for Brooke. But, alas, on a teacher’s salary that’s just not gonna happen. BUT, lucky for me, I’ve got a stash of thrift store sweaters and t-shirts just begging to become dresses for a budding little refashionista.

Here’s the how to for this t-shirt dress:

I started with two thrift store t-shirts. I used the bottom of the brown shirt awhile ago for some other project so I was thrilled to use more of it for this dress. I loved the brown and turquoise color combination.

Lay out a well fitting t-shirt on top of the shirt you want to use for the bodice. Use this for your pattern. Cut around it adding a half inch for a seam. You’ll be using the existing neckline. YAY! One less step to do. That’s the beauty of refashioning!

Measure how long you’d like the bodice to be and cut off the bottom of the shirt. Put that aside of course, to use for a future project.

Next, cut off the sleeves of the shirt you want to use for the skirt part of the dress. Put the sleeves aside for later.

Cut off the bottom of the t-shirt to the desired length of the skirt part of the dress plus a half inch for a seam. When you add this length to the length of the bodice, it should add up to the desired length of the entire dress. Here again-the beauty of refashioning-there will be no need to hem because you’re using the existing hem!

I just wanted a slight gather on the dress, so I cut the sides a few inches wider than the bodice.

Right sides together and because knit stretches, start your side seam at the bottom to ensure an even hem.

Now, sew the sides seams of the bodice.

Mark the middle front and back.

Use the longest stitch on your machine and sew all around the top of the skirt, this will become the gathers as you pull the thread of the basting stitch.

Right sides together, and matching the sides, front middle and back middle, ease the top of the skirt to fit the bottom of the bodice by pulling on the basting stitch. Pin and sew.

You can topstitch this seam to keep it flat if you like.

Next, measure and cut the sleeves to fit. Here again-the beauty of refashioning-take advantage of the finished sleeve edge. 🙂 Saves loads of time!!

If the sleeves are too wide, just sew and trim a seam down the edge to fit your little girl.

Right sides together, pin and sew the sleeve into the armhole, matching the top and bottom. My sleeve was a little larger than the armhole, but no worries, just fold in a few places to create small pleats at the top. Adds some visual detail on the sleeve.

The little girl in your life can wear this with leggings and boots for a perfect fall or winter dress. And of course, no one really needs to know, that it only cost pennies to make, wink, wink. 😉

Checking out our neighbors little miniature horse that lives on the other side of the fence.

I gave Brooke the choice of buttons or fabric flowers to put on the front and she chose these fabric flowers:

Good choice Brooke! We thought three across the front would look great! Check out the tutorial for these cute flowers here.

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About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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30 Responses to Brooke and Her Refashioned T Shirt Dress: A Tutorial

  1. Beth says:

    Awesome tutorial!

  2. alicecarman says:

    Look at her working the dress…LOL She’s too cute!!!! Loving the dress, you’re so crafty!

  3. Greg & Jan says:

    Hi Beth, what a cute idea and what a cutie of a granddaughter!! * I didn’t get a chance before you left yesterday to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful day with your family! See you on Monday. jan

    • And a Happy Thanksgiving to your family as well, Jan!!!! You are definitely right up there on my “Things to be Thankful For” list!! I’m one lucky gal to be able to work with you!! Thanks for moving, Patti 🙂

  4. Valerie says:

    SO cute, Beth! LOVE Hanna Andersson, but it’s out of my budget, too…this is absolutely adorable & looks just like a HA 🙂 good job!

  5. ooobop! says:

    Yet another winner! I really like the colour combo and oh my!… what a gorgeous little model! 🙂

  6. This is wonderful! The picture of Brooke where she is resting her chin on her shoulder with her head tilted? She looks exactly like her beautiful grandmother! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Here’s a secret for scoring Hanna Andersson clothes at great prices. They have weekly unannounced sales. Just call the 1-800 number and ask what’s on sale that week. Have your catalog in hand. The sales person will tell you what items are on sale and what pages they’re on so you can see a picture. I often bought items for my daughter in larger sizes for the next season. The clothes are incredibly soft, well made, and last for several years. Worth every penny. Another great refashion, Beth. I love the aqua and brown combo, too.

  8. Jo H. says:

    What a cute dress and cute model! You did a great job. Love the flower tutorial too.

  9. Love this! I will have to try this one out…after the holidays 😉 Thanks for another great tutorial!

  10. Great tutorial! I’ve pinned it to use later when the little girl I’m now expecting is big enough to wear it.

  11. Donna says:

    This is darling – what’s so nice is the thrift part – Little girls grow so fast! It costs very little to make it! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  12. Laurie says:

    What a great idea and what a darling granddaughter! Love her attitude!

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