I don’t even want to talk about the number of times during college that I lamented not having anything cute to wear for a football game. According to me, everything mildly attractive was also way too expensive — and if a Jayhawk T-shirt cost $30, then I didn’t even want to look at the price tag on one of the dresses I lusted after.
This year, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. A little bit of trial and error later, I’m so happy with what I came up with.
Here’s how you can…
(If you’re not interested in making your own dress, scroll to the bottom of this post for information on ordering a custom dress from me!)
- 1 T-shirt in your size with your team’s logo on the front and no writing on the back
- 1 XL T-shirt with a complementary color (writing doesn’t matter — you’ll turn it inside out)
- 2 yards 1-inch knit elastic
- Thread in a complementary color
- Sewing pins
- Safety pin
- Measuring tape
1. Using the measuring tape, measure around the top of your bust, around your waist and from the top of your bust to your waist. Write these measurements down to refer to later.
2. Start with the t-shirt fitted to your size. Cut from the bottom of the sleeve straight up to the top — this will give you a little cap sleeve. Using the measurement for your bust to your waist, measure from right below the neckline to your waist. Add on 2 inches and make a small cut in the center. Then cut straight across at the point below the neckline and cut the point you marked on the waist.
3. Fold the shirt inside out and pin up the side where you cut off the sleeve. Sew the side. This will give you a tube top.
4. With the shirt still folded inside out, mark 1-1/2 inches down from the top. Fold along this line all the way around the shirt and pin in place. Sew at the bottom of the folded fabric — giving you a 1-1/2-inch seam. Sew almost all the way around the shirt, but leave a 2-inch gap at the very end. You need to get the elastic in there!
5. What was your bust measurement? Divide that in half and add 3 inches. For example, 34/2=17+3=20. Cut a piece of elastic to that length. Hook the safety pin through one of the ends of the elastic. Weave the elastic through the 1-1/2-inch tube, bunching up the fabric along the way. Be carefully not to pull the back end through! When you get the front end of the elastic all the way through, sew the two ends of the elastic together. Then finish sewing up those last 2 inches around the seam. Now you’ve got your top!
6. Time for the skirt. Keep the XL shirt right side out. Cut straight up the sides to give you a rectangle — the two sides should only be attached at the sleeves.
7. Pin up the sides of the shirt. Leaving a 1/4-inch seam, sew up the two sides of the shirt.
8. Cut the shirt straight across the neckline. Hold it up to your waist and measure how long you want it to be. Add 1-1/2 to that and cut the shirt across at the bottom. This will give you an extra large tube.
9. Pin the top down…
10. Similarly to the top, sew almost all the way around the shirt, but leave a 2-inch gap at the very end.
11. What was your waist measurement? Divide that in half and add 3 inches. Cut a piece of elastic to that length. Hook the safety pin through one of the ends of the elastic. Weave the elastic through the 1-1/2-inch tube, bunching up the fabric along the way. Be carefully not to pull the back end through! When you get the front end of the elastic all the way through, sew the two ends of the elastic together.
12. Finish sewing the last 2 inches around the seam, turn the skirt inside out (which is actually right side out — confusing, right?), distribute the fabric scrunch and you’ve got your bottom!
13. This is the point I stop — I just tuck the shirt into the skirt and it’s good to go…
If you want to sew the two halves together, I would suggest pinning the top to just below the bottom of the elastic band on the bottom and stitching around that.
You can also get creative with a ruffle or fringe at the bottom of the skirt. I got some ribbon and rickrack to play around with.
Of course, it does look good with the simple finishes.
So, here’s the deal…
I’m glad I was finally able to make this T-shirt dress. It was so fun — and comfortable — to wear to the game. But, it does take a little bit of work and I would definitely suggest using a sewing machine. If you’re not up to that, don’t worry. I’ll make a dress for you!
I’m still experimenting with styles and options, so I’m going to make you a deal. (All similar T-shirt dresses I saw on Etsy were upwards of $45.)
- $35 to buy a dress from me with a Jayhawk/K-State/Nebraska/Missouri/KC Royals/KC Chiefs shirt of my choice. (I can get decent deals on those shirts around here.)
- $28 to send me your own T-shirts for a custom dress.
Whichever option you choose, I’ll also ask for your measurements (bust, waist, distance from bust to waist and distance from waist to where you want the dress to hit on your legs.)
If you’re interested or want to ask any questions, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or from my contact page.