Upcycled T-shirt Sleeping Beauty Dress




Introduction: Upcycled T-shirt Sleeping Beauty Dress

About: I’m a lucky wife and loving mom to three, living in the ‘burbs of Chicago. This blog is about our adventures, and my love for photography, sewing, and diy projects that transform our builder-grade home into so…

Turn old unused shirts into a magical princess dress comfortable enough for her to wear every day!

You'll need approximately 4-5 large adult t-shirts, depending on the size of dress you'll be making.

Step 1: Sew the Bodice

To piece the sleeves and bodice, I worked with Simplicity pattern 5695 - but any pattern with an elastic neckline and sleeves will do.

Since this is an upcycled dress, take advantage of the existing hemming by using it as casing for the elastic.

To give it the feel of a pieced bodice, I stitched three lines down the top in contrasting thread.

Step 2: Add the Skirt

Once the top is complete, it's time to add the skirt.

To measure the fabric:

  • Length: Measure from the bottom of the top to approximately ankle length and add about 1/2 inch.
  • Width: 2.5-3x the width of your bodice

Sew a long straight stitch around the top of the skirt, leaving long threads at the beginning and end. You'll use these threads to gently pull the fabric into a ruffle. Keep pulling and ruffling until the skirt opening is the same size as the bottom of your bodice. Pin the right sides of your skirt and bodice together and sew them together.

Step 3: Bustle the Skirt

Bustle the skirt by sewing two 9" parallel long and loose stitches about every 6" around the base of the dress. Securing the top and bottom of each set of thread lines with a pin, gently pull both threads to ruffle the fabric to the desired length. Once you've ruffled all of the sections, place stabilizing fabric underneath and sew right over the top. Remove the original long/loose threads, and your dress is complete.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Now, embellish your dress however you choose! I was going for a Sleeping Beauty dress, so I sewed a simple collar and tacked it along the neckline (sewing a small bit every several inches to allow for movement). I then folded 5x5" squares of fabric into triangles and tacked them around the waist.

Step 5: Voila!

Think of how many different ways you could customize this princess dress: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle...there are so many possibilities! Enjoy!

Like this tutorial? Check out my blog, Five Marigolds, here.

Be the First to Share


    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge
    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge



    6 years ago

    Oh, how cute. Love this for the grand kids. The girls are going to love them.TYSM


    8 years ago

    that is pretty can you make those in all sizes like size 16 to that would be awesome i would love to wear that kind of thing but it might not be in my size thanks for sharing


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, you could absolutely make it in an adult size, but it would be easiest if you had a knit nightgown or maxi skirt to work with for the skirt (which is what I happened to have on-hand to make this dress). You could also just finish the bottom of the bodice by hemming it and wearing it as a shirt with your own bottoms.


    8 years ago

    very cutepie


    Reply 8 years ago

    Thanks so much!