Home » Featured » Turn a t-shirt into a ‘Peter Pan Collar Bubble Dress’

Turn a t-shirt into a ‘Peter Pan Collar Bubble Dress’

 When I was a little girl, I loved wearing skirts while playing.  I didn’t have a large variety of twirly play skirts to choose from, but I distinctly remember a long calico brown prairie-girl type skirt (from the dress-up box) that I would put on and roll the waistband up again and again to make it shorter and twirlier!  I would perform “dance recitals” in that skirt, compete in “gymnastics floor routines” in that skirt, and well, climb trees in that skirt.  The color of the skirt was horrid, now that I think about it, but I adored the movement of it.  And day after day, right when I would come home from Elementary school, I would slip right into that skirt and the magic would begin.


Now, the present. 


My girls are far from tomboys.  In fact, sometimes I wonder what captivates them for SO LONG to sit and “paint” their nails, dress up in gowns, attend “tea parties”, and dance around with pretend “prince Charming’s”.  I mean, there are basketball hoops and checkers around this house too!  I find myself eavesdropping, wondering where my 2 year old formulated the words to say, “oh honey, you are so beautiful! do you want to dance with me?“, as she makes two of her little doll-house toys dance around the doll-house living room.  It’s captivating.  But then I remember…….that when no one was watching, I was doing those same things as a little girl. 


And that’s why I think I love that when BOTH Elli and Chloe dig through their dresser drawers to find something to wear, they look for skirts and dresses first.  When I object (you know, if we’re going somewhere that requires pants…….mean mom, I know), they grumble.  Oh wait, our spicy 2 year old (who we also call Chloe) screams.  Ha!  These girls of mine are passionate about dresses/skirts.  Just like I was about that old raggedy brown skirt, that I would roll up into a shorter, twirlier piece of magic.


So, nope, no surprise that when Chloe’s drawer wasn’t holding enough dresses and skirts for her liking, I decided to add one to her line-up of choices. 


And better yet, it’s a quick one.  And perfect for playing. 


I just stole a shirt  from her drawer that would constantly roll up along the bottom hem, revealing her little belly at times (that shirt had it comin’!!)……and turned it into a sweet and comfy little play dress.






See?  Just a little t-shirt…..all dolled up! 






When I finished and showed Chloe her little dress, Chloe shrieked, “a dress for MEEEE?!?!”  Yes little love, all for you!





That navy fabric is knit…….so yep, just as cozy as the t-shirt.  And spins just how she likes it.





Oh Chloe, your little sass always makes us laugh.





Here’s a peek at the bubble skirt.  No bottom hem……just folded over fabric, gathered and attached to the T-shirt, making it nice and sturdy.  And bubbly.  (And yeah, it’s not technically a bubble skirt but if you don’t know the difference, no biggee.  I’ll show you a real bubble skirt one of these days.)





And that Peter Pan Collar…..oh, how I love it.  It really makes that neckline POP!





Sweet Chloe……now, go do your thing.  Spin, dance, twirl, and enjoy that sweet fantasy land that you create with your dollies and stuffed friends.  I will miss this age greatly.

(Disclaimer: Elli did not give permission for Chloe to play with her doll, Ella.  In fact, if she sees this, she’ll probably protest.  Sorry darlin’!  But when you big kids go to school…..Chloe gets free reign to all sorts of treasures.)



Would you like to make one too??



Oh gosh, let me show you how simple this is……



The collar is just like the Peter Pan Collar I shared last fall.



The only difference is that I added some fusible interfacing to the “wrong” side of the fabric, while making the pieces for the collar.  (Need help with interfacing?)  And that’s because knit is so stretchy and would be a headache to keep straight and crisp for those little collar pieces.  The interfacing keeps it sturdy and makes it non-stretchy.  Other than that, cut it out and attach it the same way.



And the bubble skirt section was added exactly like the Onesie into a Bubble Dress tutorial that I shared when Chloe was a baby.



I figured out the measurements of the skirt section the same way as the link above and attached it by overlapping the bottom hem of the shirt over the gathered  edge of the skirt.  Then I used a double needle to attach the two together.  (You could also do a zig-zag stitch but the double needle will give you a nice double line, that also stretches just a bit.)  (Need help with the double needle?)


 And that’s it. 


A nice new edition to Chloe’s dress/skirt options.




P.S. I bought the navy knit fabric at Joann’s several months ago………I saw it, didn’t know why I wanted it, but bought some anyway. :)






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Featured Sponsor:

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner 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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  1. Danita Courtney says:

    I LOVE this dress! I really want to make it for my little love who plays dress up with her mommy! (my daughter and granddaughter! :-)
    So CUTE!!!

  2. Susan says:

    Your little Chloe is priceless. While the dress is adorable, those boots just say it all!

  3. cecilia says:

    I love it! My daughter is just the same! So I can’t wait to get started! So pretty! Love the colours!

  4. Cary says:

    I just read through the onsie to bubble dress tutorial and you didn’t mention using a zig-zag stitch or a double needle. I’m still an amateur so I’m wondering if I am missing something… Thanks!

  5. Angie says:

    The dress is great, Chloe is cute, but tell me about the WALL!! Is that paint? Wallpaper? I love it and NEED to know more about it!!

  6. Debbie C says:

    Ashley, I LOVE the Peter Pan collar tutorial you posted a while back. So cute to turn it into a dress! Gotta ask…where are her tall fringey boots from? So cute!

  7. Chelsey says:

    oh my goodness! I love the disclaimer! You crack me up!

  8. Kathy says:

    So cute! my youngest daughter screams when she doesn’t get her way, too. They’re still cute though, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing such a quick and easy dress tutorial. I always look forward to your sewing ideas.

  9. Allison says:

    How cute. And easy! Must try this some day.

  10. Karen says:

    She is growing up so fast! You are so creative and make your littles so happy!

  11. Gina S says:

    where did you get that awesome knit fabric?!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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