Nice and easy sewing project for a girls t – shirt dress

As promised recently – a post on how to make this really simple but pretty dress – and you will need:

A plain jersey girls t – shirt.

Fabric of your choice for the skirt part ( amount will depend on how long you want the finished dress to be ) pins, chalk.

Sewing machine, thread colour of your choice, fabric scissors, tape measure overlocker ( optional ).

This sewing project won’t take long and it’s something you can do in the remainder of the holidays if you fancy …

Firstly, work out whereabouts you’d like the t – shirt and skirt to join ( add on 1cm for seam allowance ). Mark this point with some chalk and then with a tape measure mark the same point all around the top and cut the excess t-shirt off the bottom.

Next you need to measure the front of the t – shirt as you will use this measurement to cut two skirt pieces ( one for the front and one for the back ). It depends how gathered you want the skirt pieces to be – you can times the measurement you have taken x 2 width ways if you want it very gathered or less ( I added on half again so it has small gathers all the way around ). Just remember to also add on 1 cm each end of each piece for your seam allowances.

Assuming you have worked out desired length of fabric from top of skirt piece to where you want it to finish ( not forgetting seam allowances of 1 cm at top and also bottom ) – use these measurements and cut out two pieces of your chosen fabric to exactly the same size. Then place them right sides facing and sew all the way down either length so that they are now completely joined either side. I overlocked the seams together on each side at this point but if you don’t have an overlocker you can use a zig zag stitch instead ( or just leave raw and cut the seams smaller so not too much fraying.

Then you need to sew two lines close to the edge of the top of the skirt piece all the way around with the longest straight stitch setting you have ( the smaller, the harder it will be to gather ) they need to meet with each other but not over lap. This is for the gathering bit of the project and here is a quick youtube tutorial on how to do this and make the gathers.

Pin the right side of the t-shirt base to the right side of the top of the skirt piece, checking that all the gathers are all still even and the the seams all match up at the sides – then sew together the whole way around – I try and sew in between the two gathering stitches, avoiding sewing over them ( if you do – don’t worry ! ) so that it’s easy to remove those once finished. I then overlocked the edges on the dress to neaten it up but again do what you are able to do.

Now all you need to do is overlock the skirt bottom ( optional ! :)  ) then turn the hem up by 1 cm ( or do two little folds on for the hem if you aren’t overlocking it ) and stitch all the way around.

Job done – new dress ! Let me know if you have any question by leaving me a comment under the post – I will get right back !

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Simple yet genius!! Will try this out, as your tutorial Lucy is very easy to follow. Looks great!! x


Dear Lucy, thanks for a great, simple tutorial! I had been meaning to try something like this for a while, but your post finally gave me the final push. I just made the dress this afternoon with a little tee shirt I found at a thrift store and some leftover fabric from my stash. I simply added pockets to the skirt and little bows from the same fabric as the skirt in the back. Looks lovely, says me!


Hi Aude, so pleased it worked out for you. Would love to see the dress :) x


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