T-shirt refashion #2 – Blouson Tube Dress

My hubby is very particular of his undershirts. He is forever on a quest to find the perfect fitting white T-shirt. Hanes proclaims to have the “perfect” Tee, however, to my husband, it’s hit or miss.  The direct correlation to that is a revolving stock pile of, according to him, shirts that don’t fit right. Being the crafter (and closet hoarder) that I am, I couldn’t possibly let those shirts get thrown out! There is ALWAYS another destiny for a piece of clothing before it is tragically discarded!

Here I am wearing his T-shirt. It isn't incredibly oversized. This shirt is an XL and I typically wear women's medium.

Here I am wearing his T-shirt. It isn’t incredibly oversized. This shirt is an XL and I typically wear women’s medium.

Here’s what I’ve done to two of his alleged “ill fitting” shirts!

Blouson Tube Dress with a belt and an old pair of Tori Birch sandals

Blouson Tube Dress with a belt and an old pair of Tori Birch sandals

I love the look of this dress and it is so comfortable. It feels like I’m wearing pajamas.

Let’s sew this dress!

Materials needed:

  • 1-2 XL large T-shirts (depending on how tiny you are and how large the t-shirts are you may need at least 2)
  • Elastic – 1/4 inch in width. 1 length long enough to wrap around the waist, another length to wrap around above the bust line just under the armpit
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine, needle and coordinating thread
  • safety pin

Let me start off by saying, if you already have a dress that fits well and is the style desired, copy it! It takes a lot of guess work out the project!

I used a dress I bought at a Ripcurl outlet as my inspiration

I used a dress I bought at a Ripcurl outlet as my inspiration

1. Determine measurements. Measure the length of the bottom half or “skirt” portion of the dress. On the dress I was copying, it was 19 inches. Measure the length of the top portion. My sample dress top was 11 inches. Then measure the bust just below the armpit. This is where the top of the dress is going to sit. Whatever that measurement is, subtract a couple of inches (maybe 3 inches if a more snug fit is desired). Cut a piece of elastic accordingly. Do the same for the waistline.

2. Prep the T-shirts. Assuming 2 t-shirts are being used for the project, trim the sleeves off both shirts just past the seam lines.

Cut off the sleeves

Cut off the sleeves

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Optional – trimming the neck and shoulder off makes the fabric lay flat

*Optional-  trim a straight line across just below the neckline on both shirts.

Just like in my previous tube top, the bottom hemline of the T-shirt will become the top part of the dress. The bottom hem of the 2nd T-shirt will be the bottom hem of the dress.

On this shirt, I'm trimming the skirt portion to 19 inches. Then I trimmed the second shirt 11 inches

On this shirt, I’m trimming the skirt portion to 19 inches. Then I trimmed the second shirt 11 inches

3. Even out the armpit line. Sew a line on both sides to close out and even up the sides that the arm holes once were. This removes a few inches from the circumference of the skirt portion.

Eliminate that armpit "bump"!

Eliminate that armpit “bump”!

Trim off excess. Zig zag if desired.

Trim off excess. Zig zag if desired.

4. Because the circumference of the waistline had diminished a bit, I wanted the circumference of the top to be about the same as the waist (just so it would be easier for me to match up and sew). Trim up the side of the top to match the length of the circumference of the waist. This part can be skipped if you want the top really blouson-y or if you didn’t have to sew up the sides of the skirt.

5. Attach the elastic to the safety pin and thread through the hem of the top. Sew the elastic together.

Thread the elastic through the top

Thread the elastic through the top

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Ensure elastic isn’t twisted before sewing together

Sew up the side seam of the top.

6. With wrong sides facing pin the raw edges of the blouse and the skirt together and sew. Make sure the side seam of the blouse matches up with one of the side seams of the skirt.  The dress is complete sans the elasticized waist.

The blouse is inside the skirt upside down. Raw edges together

The blouse is inside the skirt upside down. Raw edges together

7. Sew the elastic for the waist together into a loop. Using the seam connecting the top and the skirt together as a guide, sew the elastic to the waist while evenly stretching the elastic.

Pin the elastic loop to the waist seam

Pin the elastic loop to the waist seam

Sew the elastic on to the seam while stretching.

Sew the elastic on to the seam while stretching.

Here is a picture of the elastic being stretched while sewn.

Here is a picture of the elastic being stretched while sewn.

Finished!

My lovely assistant modeling my dress!

It’s so easy, it’s almost embarrassing.

Here I am modeling with a wide elastic belt and black sandals with a high corked wedge

Here I am modeling with a wide elastic belt and black sandals with a high corked wedge

Another phoenix has risen through the ashes!

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