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How to Restyle a T-shirt into a Tiered Tea Dress

Before vs. After

Revamping old T-shirts into new styles is one of my favorite ways to get new clothes without spending a dime. When you make them into a dress, you’ve got a whole outfit. You’ll need three tees to make this project: one that fits, a second that’s a few inches bigger than the first, and a third that’s bigger than the second. You can try all sorts of color combinations, or use three tees of all one color. If you can’t find three that match, you can always overdye the shirts.

Here’s how to go about it:

1. The shirt that fits will be the top of the dress. You can cut the neck and sleeves off or leave them on. To make the yoke of the dress, cut across the shirt about 1 inch below the armhole, which will allow for a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Cut the shirt for the top of the dress

2. Next, cut the other two shirts across the chest at the bottom of the armholes. For the medium shirt, which will be the middle tier, cut off the hem, too. For the largest shirt, which will be the bottom tier of the dress, cut off the hem or leave it on, depending on how you’d like the bottom edge of the dress to be hemmed. At this point, you might want to pin the pieces to a dress form, or pin them together and hold the dress up to you, to determine whether the lengths of the pieces need adjusting. Trim if needed so that the proportion is right for you. Be sure to allow for a 1/2-inch seam allowances.

Cut the other shirts for maximum length for the tiers of the dress

3. Run two rows of gathering stitches along the top edges of the middle and bottom tiers, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch from the edge. Cut notches at the center front (CF) and center back (CB) on each piece. With right sides together, pin the middle tier to the top dress piece along the yoke seam and gather it to fit, matching side seams and center front and center back notches. Seam the pieces together 1/2 inch from the edge using a stretch stitch or tiny (1.5 x 1.5mm) zigzag. Repeat this process to attach the bottom tier to the middle. You can edgestitch both seams above the seamline to help the gathering lie flat.


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  1. User avater
    DarrenSharper | | #1

    Nice One!

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