I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another TShirt to Toddler Dress

I love turning my old clothes into outfits for Delilah!

Making simple dresses from T Shirts is my new thing. This project can be completed quickly (always a plus for a Mom with limited time) and since I am using a shirt I don't wear, it doesn't really cost me anything. And if I mess up too badly on an upcycle, (and I messed up on this, I'll show you my booboo) it's not like I spent a bunch of money on the fabric. Which reminds me of the $17/yard Kokka fabric I ordered and can't bring myself to cut. I am SO nervous about cutting that stuff - it's too pretty!

Anyway, on with the Dress tutorial. Very similiar to THIS one I posted before, except the sleeves are much better on this one.

Start off with a T. This one was some kind of promo one my husband brought home from work. Too small for me. I like the logo "Tuff Girl".

When I started I wasn't sure what I was doing. I grabbed a TShirt of Delilahs to take a look at how much I was going to cut from this shirt.

I decided that I wanted the black of the sleeve to be just on the sleeve on her dress too. So I had a plan in mind to sew at approximately the lines I drew in the below picture. (What I SHOULD have done, is not shorten the sleeve length. I should have used the existing sleeve hem. Ah well, it turned out ok, and I learned something.)

I cut a bit first. One side at a time.

Ok, cut! Now I had to be sure to sew so there was no black in the side seam. But I needed to be close, to have the dress be wide enough.

Here I start to sew.

Clip threads (here I realized I should have changed my bobbin thread. ) and cut into the corner of the sleeve seam too.

Turn right side out, and we're on our way!

This probably would have been a good time to stop, try it on the child. But she was sleeping. So I forged ahead, hoping this wouldn't be a waste of time. I left the sleeves just cut. The knit doesn't fray.

Now to tackle the length. I got out my handy metal yardstick.

And drew 3 strips using the yardstick as my guide.


I cut the strips and sewed them end to end, to make one loonnng strip of fabric.


Set the sewing machine to the highest possible number, which is the lowest possible tension. And to the widest stitch possible, a basting stitch. Sew down the middle of the 1' strip, and see the magic that happens to the strip of fabric!

And this is my least favorite part - pinning. Pin the ruffled strip to the bottom of the dress.

Now sew the strip to the dress, right down the middle, attaching the strip to the bottom of the dress.

NOW HERE IS THE BOO BOO. I forgot to reset the tension on my machine. Oopsy. The fabric got pulled down into the thingymabob and was stuck. This was not fun to fix. So -- let me give you a warning - check the tension!

Put this dress on your child, and she is raring to go outside and play.

This dress is fun to play in!

Even looks good with sidewalk chalk markings!

Ok, that was fun! Very simple, and I learned a few things.

So far, my TShirt refashions have been very simple. If you want to see some much cooler refashions, you must head to the blog Lil Blue Boo. The MASTER of TShirt refashions for kids! I recently purchased the Sienna Dress Pattern and I am excited about it. I read through the directions and am SO pleased at how simple and straightforward they appear. The pattern is uncomplicated, not many pieces. It is awesome how she makes sleeves look easy!

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to see your TShirt refashions. And here is a preview of a smocket for a tutorial hopefully later this week - just 1 pattern piece!

The Girl Creative
The Trendy Treehouse


  1. She looks so cute! I've gotten fabric stuck in the machine before and you are right it is no fun getting it back out!

  2. I LOVE turning old t shirts into dresses (or tunics) for my girls--I have 3! For the sleeves, I just cut the existing sleeve and sew it on, starting at the underarm seam. I sew up each side until I have about 2 inches not sewn at the top of the sleeve, then I gather it to make a puff sleeve. Super easy and uses the original arm hem too!

  3. Stopping by from Marketing Monday on Trendy Treehouse. I am a new follower!

  4. Haven't tried the t-shirt to dress refashion yet. I must admit I am a little nervous to make clothes for my kiddos... but your's turned out adorable and it didn't really look that hard!

    Thanks for linking up with Sugar & Spice.

  5. What a little cutie! And oh so creative of you! I love it!

  6. Love the ruffle detail! And that model is so cute!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

  7. Thanks for inspiring me this week on my Tot Tuesdays link up party! I wish I had a sewing machine. This is a great way to refashion and save money!

    I hope you’ll stop by again this week. I’m hosting Yummy Mummy Week May 9-16. I’ve got a great group of ladies sharing their tips on fitness, fashion, parenting and relationships as well as a giveaway everyday. And I’d love for you to share a story and some photos of how your life and body have changed since becoming a mom. The Link up party starts on Mother’s Day and runs the whole week.

    Have a great week and Happy (Early) Mother’s Day! -Jenn

  8. little cutie! And oh so creative of you! I love it!
    promotional products


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