How to Turn a Sweatshirt into a Dress
Today I get to share a tutorial that I’ve been wanting to share for a long time now: How to turn a sweatshirt into a dress.
The thing is I have 2 girls who only want to wear dresses or skirts to school BUT we live in Utah..with winter and cold and snow…and they need to wear warm clothes to school. But, when I break out the sweatshirts they put on the brakes. So this year we tried turning sweatshirts into dresses and it’s been a big hit.
After playing around with several different ways to turn sweatshirts into dresses today I’m going to show you the easiest way I’ve found.
Here’s what you will need:
*A sweatshirt in the correct size of the little girl who will be wearing it.
*An adult sized t-shirt (I get mine at the dollar store) and the size doesn’t really matter….the larger the shirt the more gathered the skirt!
*1/2 yard of tulle
Once you have the three items above and your regular sewing tools it’s time to get started. Here’s what to do:
#1. Measure from the bottom seam line of the sweatshirt down to where you would like the bottom hem of your skirt to hit.
(In the photo above you I have the sweatshirt laying on my table but it would be best to measure with your little one wearing their sweatshirt then you can measure to exactly where you would like the skirt to come to.)
#2. Take the measurement from step #1 (mine was 7 inches long) and measure that many inches from the BOTTOM HEM of your adult t-shirt up and then cut across the t-shirt horizontally across your t-shirt.
By doing this the bottom of your dress comes pre-hemmed since will be using the bottom of the t-shirt as the bottom of the dress!
(If you have followed our blog for any time you already know that I LOVE using adult t-shirts to make girls skirts because of the prefinished hem! But if you are new…here is a link to my favorite T-shirt to skirt tutorial.
#3. Cut a piece of tulle from selvage edge to selvage edge the same length as you cut your t-shirt minus one half inch. (which means I cut mine 6.5″)
#4. Sew the two short ends (my 6.5″ ends) together then run a basting stitch a quarter inch from the top edge around the entire circumference of your tulle.
(Dont clip the ends of your basting stitch too short because you will need them to gather your tulle!)
#5. Gather your tulle until it is roughly the same size in circumference as your t-shirt.
#6. Place your t-shirt bottom inside of your tulle skirt. The cut/raw edge of the t-shirt should be aligned with the basting stitch on your tulle. Tighten or loosen your tulle as need so that it fits your t-shirt. Pin.
#7. Run another basting stitch right underneath your tulle basting stitch around the entire circumference of the skirt to hold your tulle and skirt together.
#8. Use this basting stitch to gather your skirt in until it’s roughly the size of your sweatshirt circumference.
#9. Now pin the RIGHT side of your skirt to the WRONG side of that sweatshirt seam line that you measured from up in step #1.
This is the trickiest part of the entire project! Sooo..the photo beneath shows you what mine looked like when it was pinned.
The bottom hem of the sweatshirt is folded right sides together against the sweatshirt so that seam from step 1 is easily accessible. In the photo you can see that the skirt is right sides together against the sweatshirt BUT the right side of the skirt is actually against the wrong side the sweatshirt at the top where that seam line is.
Once you figure out the pinning…and I swear that is the hardest part of this dress you can move on and breathe a sign of relief because it’s all downhill from here.
#10. Fold that bottom hem of your sweatshirt back down so that the right sides of your sweatshirt are showing and the basting stitches are lined up with the sweatshirt seam line and sew around the entire circumference of your sweatshirt right down the middle of your sweatshirt seam line.
(I used a grey thread for this…so you can hardly even see the stitching!)
Now your dress is complete!
It’s warm, it’s comfy, and for my girls…it’s STILL A DRESS. So it is a win for everyone.
*NOTE: The tulle is totally thrown in there for fun…because my girls love tulle. However, you can totally skip every instruction where the tulle is concerned and just add the knit skirt on the bottom.
*EXTRA NOTE: You can also follow the instructions above to make a dress out of a long sleeve t-shirt as well.
Just use the t-shirt stitching along the bottom as your guide to pin your skirt on…and stitch right down the middle of those factory made stitches!
(That’s all I did with some matching thread and it’s really not very noticeable that something else is going on with those stitches.)
And my Grace loves to wear them with her leggings.
Like I said it’s a win win.
(Plus considering the fact that I bought these tops for $3 each on clearance, the t-shirts from the Dollar Store, and the tulle on sale I was able to make 2 dresses for less that $10…and that is a deal! Which makes this project for me a win win win!!!)
You. Are. A. Genius. I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that features your tutorial: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=86942 –Anne
I really love this idea! I have a niece that would love this. Thanks for sharing!!!
What a great idea. The tulle does add a really cute touch. I’m always trying to preserve hems when I refashion clothes too!