t-shirt toddler dress redo

My friend The Rambling Strawberry and I have been doing a lot of sewing together recently.  This past week she brought me a stack of toddler tshirts that her daughter had outgrown, with this one on the top of the pile:

Maybe there was a stain or something.  Anyways, a number of inches had been cut off the bottom of the shirt, but it was still in really awesome condition.  She suggested that I try to make the shirt into a dress.  She is so clever.

So we looked around in the fabric cabinet and came up with a few coordinating fabrics:

I cut them about 4 1/2" wide.  The top (floral) fabric is 35" long; the middle (green) is 40" long, and the bottom (two-tone pattern) is 45" wide.

I basted a 1/4" seam across the top of each of the fabrics then gently gathered the fabric.

Then I sewed one gathered edge to the un-gathered edge of the fabric above it.  In this case, I sewed the gathered top of the two-tone fabric to the flat edge at the bottom of the green solid fabric.


I repeated the step with the top gathered edge of the green fabric and the un-gathered bottom edge of the floral fabric.

I bet you can see where I'm going with this.  Or, maybe you can't see where I'm going with this, because the picture quality is so poor.  I apologize.  It was nighttime, and I only have one lamp in my sewing space.  And this is not a blog about photography.


Fact: I did not get a picture of the final step.  But what I did is I brought the two ends of the ruffled skirt together and sewed them to form a skirt tube.  Then I pinned them to the shirt and sewed that together.  Finally, I zig-zagged the bottom edge to keep it from fraying, then sewed it around again with a folded up edge.

I couldn't wait to see what myfavorite two-year-old model thought of it:

So, there it is - a toddler tshirt to toddler dress updo/redo!  Thanks Rambling Strawberry for the inspiration!


  1. I made most of Madeline's toddler dresses this way (anything to avoid making sleeves), except with one gathered strip of fabric. Didn't think of doing ruffles... too late, she's a teenager now.