I love how the girl’s Beauty and the Beast DIY t-shirt dress turned out. It was such a quick, fun and easy sewing project. They will be perfect for Spring and the upcoming hot summer days.
Beauty and the Beast DIY T-shirt Dress – Items Needed
T-shirt or Tank Top – sized appropriately for the child you’re making the dress for. You can get them at Walmart for about $1.68 each (in Florida)
1 yard of coordinating fabric – this was enough for me to make 2 dresses
Iron-on Transfer Sheet (if you’re adding a design to the t-shirt area)
Beauty and the Beast DIY T-shirt Dress
If you’re adding a design to the t-shirt/tank then you’ll want to print it out and iron it onto the shirt as per the instruction of the iron-on transfer. Set the shirt aside.
Measuring . . .
Using the measuring tape, measure from your child’s shoulder to the length you’d like the dress to hang. Write this down you’ll need it a little later. Kayden my oldest grandchild likes her skirts to be at her knees. While the little one doesn’t have a preference, I do try to keep her lengths at her knees as well.
Next, take the yard of fabric and cut it half. I used 1/2 yard for my 5 yr old grandchild, and 1/2 for my 8 yr. old grand-child. The fabric after cutting measured 37″ x 22″.
Beauty and the Beast DIY T-shirt Dress – Method #1
Take one piece of the fabric and fold in half long ways. This will now give you a piece of fabric that is 37″ wide and 11″ in length give or take. Depending on how long you need your dress this way may or may not work. Follow the steps below to determine if this option will or won’t work for you.
sewing method #1 measuring . . .
Remember the measurement you wrote down earlier? You’ll soon need it, first measure the length of the shirt from the top of shoulder line to bottom of shirt hemline. Next, combine the length of the fabric and subtract one inch for seam allowance. Ex: if the shirt is 17″ and the fabric is 11″ then the combined length would be 28″ minus the 1″ seam allowance so the end result would be 27″ from shoulder to the bottom of the dress.
making it a little shorter . . .
If you need the dress shorter you can cut any amount off the rough/upper edge of the fabric. But remember to leave at least 1″ seam allowance. Leave the folded side untouched, once you’ve gotten the measurements right move on to the finishing up instructions below.
sewing method #1 finishing up . . .
Now that you’ve got your measurements and fabric cut etc. it’s time to start putting the dress together. Fold the fabric in half with the rough edges together and the folded edges together and sew the outer edge pieces together.
You’ll want to zig-zag the rough edges to help make/keep your project tidy. Do this to the seam you just sewed as well as the upper edge. Next measure the width of the shirt at the hemline this will help you know how much gathering you need to do.
gathering . . .
Sew a gathering stitch around the top edge of the fabric and pull up the threads so they are the same width as the shirt. Next lay the shirt with right side out on the table and pin the gathered fabric to the underside of the shirt. I used the hem seam of the shirt as my guide. Loosen or pull up the threads of the gather if needed.
time to sew . . .
After you have your skirt/fabric pinned to the shirt, it’s time to sew them together. You’re going to sew under the gather stitch. I sewed the two pieces together with the right side out, but you can turn it inside out and sew if you want.
Beauty and the Beast DIY t-shirt dress – sewing method #2 longer dress
Just like in method #1 you’ll be using half of the fabric. Measure the desired length you’ll need, add 1″ for upper seam and 1″ for hemline so a total of 2″ extra. Ex; shirt 17″ and your child’s measurement is 32″ you’ll need 15″ of fabric, plus 1″ seam allowance and 1″ hem allowance so a total of 17″ of the fabric will be needed. I hope this isn’t confusing.
Next, you’ll sew a hem on the bottom edge. I used an iron to make sure my fold stays in place while I am sewing. This also helps in keep the hemline straight. After you’ve hemmed the bottom, fold the fabric in half and stitch the outer edges together.
gather stitching . . .
Now it’s time to gather stitch the top edge. Before pulling the gathers measure the width of the shirt so that you know how much to pull the gathers together. Once you’ve gotten the gathers pulled up as far as you need then it’s time to sew the shirt and the fabric together.
sewing method #2
Lay the shirt on a flat surface and pin the gathered fabric to the inside of it. Again I used the shirts hemline as my pinning guide. After you’ve gotten it pinned all the way around, it’s time to sew the pieces together. Like I said in method #1 I did my sewing with the shirt right side out, but if you want you can turn it over. But this will make it difficult to make sure your stitches stay on that hemline.
Beauty and the Beast T-shirt Dress Final Step
Turn the dress inside-out and iron your seams, then trim off any hanging threads etc. Your little princess can now show off her super cute new t-shirt dress.
Finishing thoughts . . .
These DIY t-shirt dresses are easy to make and aren’t going to break the bank either. You can use some of the t-shirts your child already has and give them a make-over. Stick around I’ve got more DIY projects in the works.
Seeing my sweet little granddaughters smiles and hearing their giggles makes my heart skip a beat. They are my joy … my little treasures.