How to Make a Fun DIY T-Shirt Dress Out of 4 Thrifted Men's T-Shirts

Jessica Shaw
by Jessica Shaw
6 Materials
2 Hours

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a DIY t-shirt dress. This funky t-shirt dress is made out of not one, not two or three, but four oversized men's t-shirts I got from the thrift store!

I cut and pasted them together for a fun patchwork effect, and the result looks great. Plus, it's such an easy DIY to do, especially for beginner sewers.

Let's get started with this tutorial on how to make a dress from old t-shirts!

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized t-shirts
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron
Thrifting oversized men's t-shirts

1. Choosing the t-shirts

To create my DIY t-shirt dress, the first thing I did was to pick out some t-shirts that were a little bit oversized.

I checked in the men's section of the thrift store and I picked out some different colors that would go well together: white, gray, black, and pale yellow.

Wearing an oversized thrifted t-shirt

After getting my t-shirts, the next thing I needed to do was figure out the placement of everything so that I could start cutting.  

Removing the collar from the white t-shirt

2. Start cutting

I started by cutting the white turtleneck collar off and I saved it for later.  

Cutting the collar off the yellow t-shirt

Next, I cut the yellow collar off as well as the sleeves.  

Cutting the t-shirt shoulder seams

I also cut the shoulder seams and down the side seams.

Measuring the front piece of the dress

Then, I measured about 13 inches down from the neckline to the waistline. This was going to be a front piece on the dress.  

Cutting the t-shirt straight down the center

I marked the center point and cut straight down the center,  

Cutting the t-shirt across at the waistline

Then, I across to where my waistline was.  

Front bodice piece for the DIY t-shirt dress

That created the front bodice for the DIY t-shirt dress. 

Tracing the pattern of the yellow bodice

I then cut the same exact piece out of the white shirt, using the yellow piece as a pattern. 

Pinning and sewing the t-shirt pieces

Now that I had my two front bodice pieces, I connected them at the center and sewed them together.

Measuring the bottom piece of the dress

3. Make the bottom of the t-shirt dress

Next it was time to cut the front skirt piece. I measured the same width as the top bodice, so that the top and the bottom match in width, then cut a simple rectangle.

Pinning the top pieces to the bottom

Then, I pinned the top to the bottom at the waistline, right sides together, and sewed the seam.

Cutting the back of the t-shirt dress

4. Make the back of the t-shirt dress

The back of the dress came next. I used the gray t-shirt that was super long for that. I wanted it to cover the whole length of the back side of my body, so I cut the sleeves off, the side seams... you know the drill.

Cutting around the front pieces

Then I placed the front of my dress on top and cut the back so it lined up perfectly.  

Trimming the skirt to match the back

I had to trim the front skirt piece a little bit to match the back, but it still ended up being the perfect length for me. 

Sewing the side seams

5. Sew the side seams

With everything cut, I pinned the side and shoulder seams, right sides together, and sewed them. This connected the front to the back. 

Pinning the DIY t-shirt dress collar

6. Attach the collar

Now, it was time to attach the cute little collar. I started by marking the center and the side points, and matching them up on the dress.

Pinning the collar to the t-shirt dress

I pinned the collar to the inside of the dress, right sides together, first at the center and shoulder seams, then all around. Next, I sewed it down.

Cutting sleeves for the t-shirt dress

7. Add the sleeves

For the sleeves, I cut the sleeves off of the black shirt and attached them to my dress.  

Attaching the sleeves to the t-shirt dress

I placed the sleeves inside the dress, right sides together, pinned them all around, then sewed down.

How to sew a simple t-shirt dress

When you are sewing around a smaller circle like armholes, I find it easiest to remove the little detachable piece.

Hemming the bottom of the DIY t-shirt dress

8. Hem

All that was left now was to hem the bottom of the dress. I folded it up, pinned it down,  

Cutting fabric for the pocket

9. Make a pocket (optional)

For a finishing touch, I took a piece of scrap fabric, cut a square 6 inches by 6 inches, and made a little pocket out of it.  

Sewing the top edge of the pocket

I folded the top edge down by about an inch so that was first and sewed it in place.  

Pressing the pocket edges with an iron

Then I pressed the other remaining three edges down with my iron.  

Sewing the pocket to the t-shirt dress

I placed the pocket on the dress and pinned it down, then sewed the three edges and made sure to leave the top open. 

Back of the DIY t-shirt dress

DIY t-shirt dress

DIY t-shirt dress tutorial

Here's how my DIY t-shirt dress turned out. I love the colors and the collar too. The pocket is super cute, and it's one of a kind.

This was a really fun way to make a unique clothing piece and do a fun upcycle. I hope you enjoyed this DIY t-shirt dress tutorial. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized t-shirts
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
See all materials

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