Upcycled T-shirt Dress

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
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Hi everyone!  This is Cheri from I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar.  I love being able to take old things and give them new life - especially with clothing.  Today I'm going to show you how to take some old t-shirts and turn them into something fun.  Let me introduce the Upcycled T-shirt Dress. 

Now right off the bat you might be thinking, "That's nice but I don't have any cute t-shirts or knits."  Don't you fret or frown.  I've got an extra little step for you.

After rounding up my t-shirts, I felt like some of them needed something extra.  I found some foam stamps.  You could even make your own if you wanted to.  I painted my fabric paint onto the stamp and pressed it onto the fabric.  I did this until it looked like a funky knit fabric.  (Don't worry about each stamp being perfect.  They won't be, but it'll still be really cute.  It'll look more vintage.)

I did another one using a lip-shaped stamp.

To add a little variety, I took another fabric and drew "XOXO"s all over it with my fabric markers.

For the top of the dress you can cut off any shirt.  Maybe you can find a shirt that has a stain on the bottom half that you would have gotten rid of.  Now there's a bit of sewing involved here, but it's still a pretty simple project.

Next I aligned all my different strips and sewed them together.  I wanted the seams to be on the outside, to give it that messy patchy look.  You need two of these - one for the back and one for the front.

I trimmed the edges carefully.  I wanted the dress to be a-line and I made sure the top of the skirt was about a 1/2 inch wider then the bottom of the shirt, so that after I sewed the from and back of the skirt together (using 1/4 inch seams) they would be the same width.

I sewed the front and back together, but I didn't want those seams on the outside.  (Tip: I like to start at the bottom of the skirt to make sure the two parts line up.)  I also made sure to use the bottom of a t-shirt for the last layer so I wouldn't have to do my own hem.  Clever and lazy, yes.  Lastly, I sewed the skirt to the top.

It was a fun project and I was happy to give my dull, old knits some extra life.

Even if you don't sew, you could use the same concepts to spice up a plain tee or hat.  The Tulip fabric paint and markers are sure to make anything a whole lot more fun.