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Re-purposing: Shirt to Dress



I know the majority of my re-purposing projects are for girls…….so if you have a boy, I’m sorry. I will keep racking my brain for some more boy projects. Hmmmm…

Until then, I have another really simple, yet kinda fun re-purposing project. Turn one of your longer shirts into a sweet little dress for a little girl.

Nice and simple.

And notice those braided shoulder straps…..
Nice and easy way to spruce up your project a bit.

Start out by finding a longer shirt…..and maybe one that has a bit of a gather in the center. Works well for adding fullness to the dress. Also, try and find an old shirt that has some sort of detail in the center…….that will make this dress extremely simple to make, and quick.

First, line up the front and back bottom edge of the shirt. Now you’re going to cut a straight line along the top, and cut a diagonal long the sides where the arms will go and then angle out along the sides, down to the bottom. (Cutting through both layers of fabric……and cutting them identically.)

Now you’ll hem along the top edge and the arm hole openings. Do this to the front and back pieces.

Now you’ll sew along the edges of the dress with right sides together.

Now, using the material from the sleeves, cut 6 strips of fabric that are about 1 inch wide.

Group them into sets of 3 and then sew each set of 3 together at one end.

Decide how long you’ll need the shoulder straps to be (varies with each child) and then start braiding the pieces together…..

…..and then sew at the other end once you’ve reached your desired length.

Then attach your braided shoulder straps.

And that’s it. Nice and easy. But don’t start cutting up your good shirts that you still wear…..just to add another dress to your little girl’s/niece’s/friend’s wardrobe. Even though it’s tempting……

**Edited to add: I have had a few inquiries about the flower in my daughter’s hair. I make them for so many re-purposed things lately….I just forgot to add it to this post for any new readers. Oops. You can find the same flower included with a tutorial here. I just added a button to the middle and put it on a clip. Easy.


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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