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Sew a Simple T-shirt Dress

shirt dress

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

You will need:

Extra-large T-shirt

A crew-neck or scoop-neck tank top that fits the wearer well

Chalk

Yardstick

Embroidery thread and needle

Optional: Fabric paint, stencil, and foam brush

shirt dress step 1

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

1. Turn the T-shirt inside out and smooth or press out any wrinkles. Lay the tank top on the T-shirt. With the chalk, trace around the tank's armholes, neckline, and shoulders, adding a half inch above each shoulder seam.

shirt dress step 2

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

2. With the yardstick, draw a chalk line from each armhole to the T-shirt's bottom hem. (If you're making a shirt, skip to the next step.) To create the dress's flared shape, mark a point on the hemline 5 inches from each marked line. Draw a new line that connects this point to each armhole. These will be the side seams of the dress.

shirt dress step 3

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

3. Thread the needle with embroidery thread and knot it. Sew a running stitch along both shoulder seams and both side seams, 1/2 inch inside the chalk lines. Sew a few extra stitches at each end of the line, knot the thread close to the fabric, and trim any excess.

shirt dress step 4

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

4. With scissors, cut through both layers of fabric, along the chalk lines for the armhole, shoulders, and neckline, and along the stitched side seams.

shirt dress step 5

Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

5. Turn the garment right side out. If desired, embellish it using fabric paint and a stencil.

Quick Sewing Tip: To shorten the garment, simply measure, mark, and cut along the bottom edge. There's no need to sew a hem, because T-shirt fabric doesn't fray.

Originally published in the August 2013 issue of FamilyFun