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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dandelion Dress: Toddler Dress Tutorial Made From Thrifted Mens Shirts

I have been sewing for the Project Run and play weekly Flickr group challenge. It's been fun and has increased my creativity with regards to my kids designing.
I wanted to create a dress from some thrifted men's shirts. Here is what I came up with!
A little dress perfect for picking dandelions.

looking for fairies,
making wishes,
and cooking up some fun!

Yet comfy enough for climbing,

and with a built in apron for playing house!

Sorry, I don't have photos for every step, but I will do my best to explain the process of making this dress.

I used the red shirt for the dress bodice front skirt, sleeves, and half of the back ruffles.

I used the striped shirt for the apron, the back under skirt panel,
and the ruffles on the bodice and back skirt.

1. Cut off collar from mens shirt.
2. Lay a shirt that fits onto the shirt and trace it onto the mens shirt. Add seam allowance.
3. Sew up the side seams of your resized bodice.
4. To finish the neck I serged a rolled hem and then shirred around the neckline with elastic neckline to make the neck smaller.
5. From the striped shirt sleeves, I cut some strips of ruffling 2 inches wide and three times the length of the bodice placket. I made two ruffles and sewed them onto the original button placket. Then I sewed on some decorative non functioning buttons.
1. For the sleeves cut off the top parts of the sleeves. I made mine about 5 inches wide but I didn't take a photo. If you cut the sleeves from the original sleeve you will already have the correct sleeve head shape.
2.I used the rolled hem of my serger to avoid hemming the sleeves and gathered the  sleeves  and sewed them into the resized armholes.

1. For the skirt cut off the bottom of the main dress shirt. Rounded off the edges of the red shirt front so I could add a panel underneath that peeks out. If you have a serger you can use the rolled hem stitch to finish all the edges of the dress so you don't have to hem anything.
1.I cut an under panel the same length as the front skirt to put under the opening of the overskirt.
2. I harvested fabric from what little red fabric I had left and from the sleeves of the striped shirt. I created several 3 inch wide ruffles to attach to the underskirt so they would peek out like a Little Miss Muffett dress.

1. I created an apron for the front skirt from the leftover striped shirt fabric and sewed a ruffle from the contrasting red cotton around the edge. I sewed it to the front skirt, gathered the whole thing and sewed it to the bodice.
2. To finish off the dress I created a tie for the apron and sewed it directly on the dress with a fell stitch, hiding the waist seam.
So there you have my toddler ruffled back and aproned dress made from two men's shirts.
If you create one I would love to see a photo!

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  1. So delightfully cute! Very resourceful and skillful refashion.


  2. You make the cuties clothes from recycled adult clothes, love it!

  3. Awww gosh this dress is so CUTE! I almost wish you made a tutorial for grown-ups too, haha ^^
    Life is a romantic poem

  4. Wonderful recyling!! I love the ruffles, and a sweet little girl.

    Enjoy your weekend, I'm off to a flea market tomorrow!

  5. Those ruffles at the back!

    Gigi is supercute in this dress also! :o)

  6. What a great upcycle! Love the ruffles in the back. :)

  7. This outfit is so cute. I wish I had little girls again.

  8. Totally cute Justine-and what a great way to recycle. Have a nice weekend and I'll post my new Sorbetto or my Minoru progress tomorrow.

  9. I love this - I really love the ruffley, bustle back!

  10. I need a little girl now JUST to wear this dress!

  11. Very, very cute! I love the repurposing.

  12. This is too cute!!! Adorable..and a great way to reuse clothing. I found your blog post via the Homstead Barn Hop this week :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  13. I can always count on major creativity from you. This little girl's dress is so charming. No one would ever suspect it was first two men's dress shirts.

  14. I can always count on major creativity from you. This little girl's dress is so charming. No one would ever suspect it was first two men's dress shirts.

  15. This is wonderful! I love it! I love making something new from something old.

  16. I love this little dress and out of 2 men shirts how clever. I would love for you and your friends to join me at

  17. I love this dress!!! Come join me


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