Repurpose a Women’s Shirt Into a Girl’s Dress

My friend Allyson is always passing her clothes on to me. It’s awesome. It’s also pretty funny, because she’s about six inches shorter than me and has dreamy chicken-stick legs (my legs are…well…a different animal). It’s sort of like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants — somehow, magically, her clothes fit me.

Just a couple of nights ago, she dropped off two Glad Bags stuffed with clothes. Most of the clothes worked (in fact I’m wearing one of the sweaters as I type), but there was one shirt in particular that I really liked, but wasn’t quite my style —

(You’ll have to pardon the watermarks. I have a fellow blogger friend who had photos of her sweet daughter stolen and used on inappropriate sites.)


It’s cute! But, I knew I’d probably never wear it. SO…I decided to turn it into a dress for my four year old. After all, isn’t that what our kids are for? Living vicariously through?

I started by having Sis put it on inside-out. I pinned the straps and sides (she was very brave about it), and also made a little pleat in the front, just to take it in a bit.

(Please also excuse my lousy photos. I don’t have one of those fancy cameras. But I am accepting donations.)

back pin front pleat side pin

After (very carefully) taking it off of her, I laid it on the cutting mat, and cut (at an angle) from the top “armpit” pin, down to the bottom. Because the front is ruffly (and has more fabric than the back), I found the seems at either side, then gently pulled the extra fabric towards the center. I made sure the back fabric was taut, then sliced it through.


cut 1

Then I re-pinned the sides and sewed them and the front pleat.

final pin  sew 2

I don’t have a picture for it, but I also cut the straps to the appropriate length, put a couple stitches in, and I was done.

inside 1 inside 2 outside 1 outstide 2 Mommy I'm cold

From start to finish, the project took me about 30 minutes. Not because I’m awesome at sewing, but because it was sew simple. (I couldn’t help myself.)


6 thoughts on “Repurpose a Women’s Shirt Into a Girl’s Dress

  1. Excellent work. I am very impressed with your creativity. We may need to get you into the costuming room soon. Great job Emily!

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