Making your own clothes may seem daunting, but it is actually quite simple. On top of it’s simplicity, it is also much cheaper than buying pre made clothes in stores. I love taking a piece of clothing I never wear and transforming it into a fun, quirky new item that is a common outfit amongst my wardrobe. One of the easiest items to make yourself are dresses. If you are a fan of punk inspired looks, try making one of these unique dresses using an over sized tee shirt and some coordinating fabric.
You will need:
An over sized T-shirt. Band shirts work best for this type of dress. Stores like Hot Topic sell their plus sized and men’s sized shirt often for much cheaper than the women’s and baby doll style tees.
Coordinating fabric. Try to pick a fun, funky print. I like zebra prints and neon colors, but it’s your choice. Just try to make sure it matches with the colors of the tee shirt you are using.
Sewing machine (optional. I honestly sew all of my stuff by hand, but you can us a machine if you want to.)
Begin by measuring your bust, waist, hips, and length. The length is your choice. Using a fabric tape measurer, measure from two inches above your chest down to wherever you want the dress to cut off. Make sure you write all these numbers down so you do not forget them.
Lay the shirt down so that it is completely flat. Carefully, cut the sleeves off, and cut the neck and shoulders off directly below the neck line. Make sure all of these cuts are straight. You should now have two separate pieces of fabric from the shirt.
Next, cut two long strips of the coordinated fabric you chose. These should be about 2 to 3 inches thick.
Using your measurements, you will need to calculate how much of the front and back fabric you will need. Keep in mind the coordinated fabric you have cut. For example, if you chest and hips are 34 inches, subtract 4 inches for the coordinated fabric. This will leave you with 30 inches, meaning the front and back material from the shirt need to be 15 inches wide. If you are Using whatever your particular measurements are, cut off the excess material from the tee shirt parts so they are only as wide as they need to be.
Turn all of your fabrics so they are wrong side up, pinning the coordinated material along the edges of the front of the teeshirt. Pin it so you have about a quarter inch outside the pins. Sew up the side of these. You should now have the front of the shirt with the two coordinated fabric strips sewed onto the sides.
Next you have to add on the back of the dress. To do this, pin one side of it to one of the coordinated fabric strips the same way as you pinned the front ones. Sew this side.
To finish putting the body of the dress together, make sure the dress is turned inside out. Pin the last side to the last strip of coordinated fabric, and sew.
When you turn the body of the dress right side out, it should appear seamless. The sides of the dress will be the coordinated material, the front and back will be from the original T-shirt.
You will still need to hem the top of the dress so it does not fray. To do this, fold the top quarter inch of the dress down all the way around, and sew it into place.
Depending on how long the tee shirt was, it may or may not meet the length you specified. If it does, you can simple hem it the way you did the top. If not, or if you just want to add a little extra flair to your dress, measure the extra length out of the remaining coordinated material. Make sure it’s length is the same as the distance around the bottom of the dress. Sew this in a circle around the bottom of the dress, under lapped beneath the tee shirt material. Be sure to hem the bottom of the coordinated fabric, so it does not fray.
Your tee shirt has now been transformed into a super cute, punk inspired dress. If you want to add any personal, last minute touches such as bows, a ribbon around the waist, or buttons, it’s up to you. You can also substitute fabric at the bottom for a tutu if you are using a shorter length shirt for the dress body. Finish it up the look with some boots or Chuck Taylors and you’re ready to go.