Tutorial: Mini Tee-Dress Refashion


I’m feverishly trying to make a few last-minute outfits for our fun at the beach next week. I’ve made Penelope a few sheath dresses from my old shirts, but I’ve never shared them here. They’re ridiculously easy. In fact, I’ve sewn this so many times, I can do one of these in just under 15 minutes. Not bad for a new outfit, no?

She looks so cute in her little dress. It’s the perfect length for running around with a swimsuit underneath. Otherwise, she really should be wearing leggings underneath. She’s always showing her (albeit ridiculously cute and neon) underwear.

Find out how to whip one up for your toddler after the jump.



For this project you will need:

  • 1 t-shirt at desired length (I used a women’s size small)
  • 1 t-shirt that fits your child
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • pins
  • seam ripper
Turn your large tee inside out, match up the side seams and lay flat on the ground. With the small tee as a guide, mark out the size of the neckline. Sew a straight stitch down the entire length of the front of the tee. Sew about 3-5 inches down the back. Be sure to reinforce your stitches.
Center your pleat along the back and stitch the pleat flat. I usually stitch in the ditch or along any visible seams. Trim excess fabric off the front seam. Lay seam allowance out and sew along either side of the seam. This will create a finished look without having to take apart any of the finished edges.

Lay the child’s tee atop the large tee, mark the new side seams about 1/2 inch away from the small tee. Straight stitch along that line. Reinforce your stitches at each end. Trim of excess fabric

turn right side out and lightly press out all seams. Cut sleeves to desired length and finish. You could do a traditional hem with double needles or leave the edges raw as jersey doesn’t fray.


This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. Do not copy this post, publish more than 2 photos or outright steal this idea for commercial publications. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

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  1. Celeste says:

    I want to make one of these for my cousin’s little girls! She has two girls who would love these.

  2. justjayma says:

    So you didn’t move the shoulder seam over? So easy! Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. I’m totally going to try this! I have a few wierd printed t-shirts that I’ve been hanging onto waiting for the right project..and this is totally it.

  4. ooooooh her hot pink flats make the outfit! adorable!!

  5. Nancy Houghton says:

    I want to make these for my Grand daughters.

  6. […] seen in a while (see: color-block necklace, coffee filter wreath, double wrap bracelet or her mini-tee to little girl’s dress). She does jewelry, crafts, kids stuff without being overly cutesy or twee, which is no small feat. […]

  7. […] Toddler Dress From T-Shirt Tutorial […]

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