Instructables

Make a toddler dress from a t-shirt.

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This Instructable will show you how to easily make a long sleeved toddler sized dress from an adult sized t-shirt.

I have a hard time finding winter dresses for my girls, that are not too fancy, and not too expensive. I have a lot of t-shirts, none of which fit me well, so here is a great way to use them. 

These dresses go great with leggings, are nice and warm, and the kids love to wear them.

You will need:
A toddler.
A t-shirt that currently fits your toddler.
An adult sized shirt to make into your dress.
Scissors
A sewing machine.


 
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Step 1: Try the t-shirt on the kid.

Picture of Try the t-shirt on the kid.
Have your kid try on the t-shirt. Make sure they are not scared of the logo, or think it's ugly or itchy, or what have you. This is also your chance to check the length, collar and sleeves. The length will be about an inch shorter than it is now. You can make it as short as you want, but you can't make it any longer. The sleeves will be the same length they are now. If the collar is too big, see the last step on this instructable, but it does make the project a lot harder. My advice is to pick a different t-shirt, or find a bigger kid.

Step 2: Cut the pieces.

Now take the t-shirt, lay it flat, and smooth it out. Take a shirt that already fits your kid, and lay it on top, lining up the top seams of the shirts. If the shirt you are using as a pattern flares out at the bottom, adjust it so it goes straight down. Now cut straight across, about 1/2 inch down from the bottom of the pattern shirt. This piece will be your skirt. You can make it shorter if you want, but leave the finished edge on the bottom alone. Cut along the rest of the shirt, leaving about 1/2 for seam allowance.
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HollyMann1 year ago
wow i love it so much - way adorable!!!
cs7011 year ago
Have been looking at this for a while now and was like, "just do it, lady!" and I did. I took one of my (ahem) smaller shirts, like a women's S and cut it for my 5T/6 daughter. It is a mini-dress, she wears it with leggings and it looks adorable! Only took about 45 minutes, which part of was dawdling. The sleeves were a bit skinny and had to go and the head hole was a bit small, but it looks great! Such a good idea! Repurposing and fashion unite!
julieernak2 years ago
I made this t-shirt dress out of an old t-shirt that I was going to throw away. I know it is a super dark color. She is extremely fair skinned and has hot pink shoes and an electric blue head band (same blue that is in the shirt) to go with it. I made some modifications because I wanted an inside out seam at first but one area I felt didn't look 'perfect' (I am a perfectionist if my daughter is wearing it) so I added a belt and a cute bow with a button. She loves the skirt. She is super petite so I had to redo the neck hole, sleeves and take in the waist a second time because it hung off of her too much. All in all it took me about 2 hours. It was a lot of fun. I cannot wait to make another one!


Here are the pics.
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i love it
goingon2 years ago
so impressed, love your ideas and your little girl

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www.dresses-shopping.com
lizzyanthus2 years ago
Thank you for a great tutorial! I'm going to send your link to my daughter in law, who we just gave a new sewing machine to, for her birthday. Shes new to sewing, but I think this will be a great project for her, that will be easy and help build her sewing confidence! Oh, and I was looking at the t-shirt in Step 2, and thought, Why not use the left over sleeves and body fabric to make a dress for a dolly? You could just sew the two halves together, and finish off the neck and hem?
domestic_engineer (author)  lizzyanthus2 years ago
cute idea. dress for a dolly. or maybe a scrunchie
jujulie_f2 years ago
Wow! Such a good idea!! And great instructions too!
I love this! Thanks so much for posting clear and concise directions :) -I'm a novice at sewing still.
mary candy2 years ago
I love this awesome ible!
This has become my go to dress for my daughter. She has about 10 of them with different embellishments, lace, buttons, ruffles, ect. Thank you!
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cheeriokate2 years ago
I love this idea! I'm thinking now how I can use this design for adults... thanks for a great instructable!
domestic_engineer (author)  cheeriokate2 years ago
if you had 2 t-shirts, you could keep one as is, and make a skirt out of the second one, and attatch it. it would work well if the 2nd t-shirt was really big, and a coordinating or same color.
That's what I was thinking. I'll have to try it :)
bluenebe4 years ago
What a wonderful idea. Thank you! It was fun to make and the result made both me and my little one happy.
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domestic_engineer (author)  bluenebe2 years ago
wicked cool!
missesbozo3 years ago
absolutely awesome instructable! i got 5 awesome t-shirts for 25c each at a garage sale, and made this one in 20 minutes...just like everyone else said! it is great as my daughter is tall and slender, and if things fit lengthwise, they don't fit around, and vicea versa. thank you, thank you, thank you for makin' it simple! i've posted this pic on my FB and put a link to your instructable so all my other crafty mommy friends can check it out as well. now on the hunt for good condition Journey or Metallica t-shirts! ;)
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domestic_engineer (author)  missesbozo2 years ago
cute!
Noymira3 years ago
Thanks for the instructable! This is the first thing I've sewn in years, it was really easy!
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domestic_engineer (author)  Noymira2 years ago
love it!!!
xstitcher663 years ago
i was just about to donate a bunch of clothes, including a huge # of t's when I came across your Instructable completely by accident. Needless to say, those t's are no longer in the donation box and my Granddaughter is getting a bunch of "new" dresses.

Thanks for the great (and funny) instructions. As per #1 on your needed items list, I do not have a toddler myself, but I am going to borrow one. :)
aleena093 years ago
Love this I will start making my daughter one Tomorrow morning this is an amazing idea and also great instructions thank you fo sharing: D
This is a wonderful idea. I've been throwing so many old t shirts, not knowing it would make this cutie Little Girls Dresses Now i know what to do with them.
Adhoss3 years ago
Thank you for the wonderful idea. My daughter told me that Santa was brining her doll clothes. I had seen this pattern a week ago and just tweaked it to make a toddler shirt into a doll dress. It only takes about 10 minutes to make the dress from start to finish. The neck is a little big for the 18" dolls, but it looks great on Cabbage Patch Kids. Happy Sewing!
hollyml4 years ago
It occurs to me that if you want the dress to be longer, all you need is a second shirt! Use the top part of one t-shirt, and the bottom part of a second t-shirt (in a coordinating color, natch) and you can pretty easily adjust the length of both parts. I have to think about these things because my daughter is TALL. But I can't wait to try this, thanks!
juci554 years ago
 this really is the greatest.  i just bought a t-shirt at marshalls for $.50 and whipped this up in 20 minutes.  i could have gathered the skirt better, but the shirt was a small and fitted t-shirt and didn't know how much material i had for the skirt.  i barely know how to sew and this project was fun, fun, fun.  thank you so much.  can't wait to make more.
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domestic_engineer (author)  juci554 years ago
that is really cute.
I  <3 Smurfs too!
i love the smurfs too, lol, sorry, completely unrelated comment. these are really cute dresses, and a good idea. i've been looking for a way to do that.
She looks so agonized. :) Awesome instructable! The little sister will soon have a sweet dinosaur dress.
Exxxxxxxxxcellent!  where did you get the Instructables logo?
thanks
that's the t-shirt you get if you win a contest. the purple shirt was grey, but i dyed it.

You are brilliant-I will sit here in awe
awe, thanks. :)   (blush)

Rockin' idea--I was just looking at my too-full t-shirt drawer this morning and shaking my head.....

I just posted a kid-leggings-out-of-adult-sweater instructable that would really compliment these t-shirt dresses.  Very cool, and so much fun to remake unused adult clothes into useful (and cute!) kid clothes.  Cheers!
joymama4 years ago
A 20 minute dress!!! I made 3 already!  What crazy is I have been looking for dresses like these to buy!   THANKS SO MUCH!
poepadoe4 years ago
 This inspired me.  I've made three of these in the last day and a half (on top of all the other mom/wife/student duties I normally have).

Thanks so much!
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wicked cute. just in time for st. patty's day. I almost considered turning my "kiss me i'm punk" tshirt into a dress, but i can't part with it. but it would be SO CUTE!
good job!
 Thanks, even my teenager thinks they are cute and offered some of his hardly worn "not his style" tees for more.  I love how simple this idea is, using existing hems really cuts down on time, I joked that I did one while itunes loaded.  But there are a lot of things you could add to personalize one.  My girls are all about pockets, using the bits of left over sleeve would make that a snap.
-And yeah, I briefly considered cutting down a few of my own "collection" for dresses, but I am saving up for a t-shirt quilt in the not so distant future, so I gathered all my patience and decided against it.
domestic_engineer (author) 4 years ago
So I just realized if you have a boy toddler, you can make this into a long sleeved shirt instead of a dress. Just hem the bottom and don't add a skirt. 

(We have twin boys coming in May, so I've been thinking about what I can make them.)
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