Kids Fashion

Turn a T-shirt into a Party Dress!

What do you get if you take one t-shirt + one fat quarter of fabric? A party dress! This is a great upcycling project – and is endless in its possibilities- using up any leftover fabric in your craft stash & updating a plain t-shirt instantly. The sizing for this project is to fit a toddler around 18-24 months.

You will need:

  • a T-shirt to fit your toddler (I used a size 2-3 years, a size bigger, so the top part of the dress isn’t too fitted)
  • a fat quarter of fabric (or piece of fabric approx 55×55 cm)
  • pins
  • fabric scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron

Approximate time needed: 2 hours

you will need…

1.  Cut the fat quarter in half  so you have 2 pieces approx. 28x55cm (these make the front and back pieces for the skirt part of the dress).

2. Hem the bottom of each of these pieces by folding over 1.5cm, folding that again, press, (and pin if you need to) and sew the hem using the left side of the presser foot as a guide to keep your sewing straight. (This, I know, really isn’t very technical but it’s these little hacks that keep things simple – as I like them to be!)


3. Cut the t-shirt to the desired length, I went for 15cm from the middle of the neckline. This is going to be the ‘bodice’ part of the dress.

4. Right sides together, sew the side seams of the skirt front and back pieces together, using a 1.5 cm seam allowance (or the edge of the presser foot as a guide). Press seam open.


5. Turn the t-shirt inside out and keep the skirt panels wrong side facing. Align the bottom of the t-shirt with the top of the skirt pieces, then match together and pin the side seam of the skirt to the side seam of the t-shirt. (Remembering to pin right-side to right-side). Do this on both the left and right side seams so that they are secure. Then start to gather the fabric and pin as you go along (you should get about 6 gathers on the front and 6 on the back). This part can be a bit fiddly as you also want to make sure the gathers are evenly spaced.

6. When you are happy with the gathers, sew them in place with a 1.5 cm seam. Try to sew in the direction of the folds as this will make it easier to glide over the gathers and stop the fabric getting caught under the presser foot.

7. Give it all a little press & turn the right way round and you are done!


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