I made a 4th of July outfit a few days ago, but I wasn’t feeling it. It came out pretty nice, but I felt I could come up with something more festive for our Independence Day. So when I found these two plain white t-shirts on sale at the Goodwill the other day, I came up with a flash of inspiration for a refashion. Since they were on sale, they both cost $1.50. Tie-Dye, here I come!
I wanted to create some swirly designs with the colors, which is the closest that I know to making stars. So I twisted the fabric around and secured with elastic.
Here’s the finished “tie” part.
Since I’m using a small bowl, rather than a large bucket, I picked up something different than I normally use.
First part, put in the red. Set the timer for 45 minutes.
Turn it over and then comes the blue.
They came out awesome!!
The first part is to make the wrap-like part, so I took out a bra for measurement. Using underneath the sleeve as a guide for the bra curve, I measured a healthy amount and marked it with my blue marker. Sorry, it kind of blends in with the blue of the fabric.
Cut it straight across.
Now, I took off the sleeves just inside the sleeve hem.
Cut the top apart.
And now, the sides. This will create a front piece and a back piece.
Using my bra as a guide again, I made a mark to where the top of it would be. As I later found out, you want to be pretty generous with this. I “made” it at the final dress product, but I could have given myself another half of an inch to two inches. So, be generous with your seam allowance. If I had to do it over again, I would say at least two and a half inches from the bra top. (Here is more like an inch and a half.)
Next, fold the front part in half, and cut from the mark you just made to the center of the fold.
Then, measure to your bra. You will need to hold it up to your chest several times to get it correct.
Now I sewed some bias tape to the edges, starting with the outside curve.
And now the inside triangle. Make sure to keep a long tail for the dress strings.
Cut the top off of the back piece just above the curve of the sleeve.
And measure the front pieces to the back piece to make them the same width and height.
Making a lettuce hem, use the markings on the back as a guide. You can’t really see it, but I put a postie note on the right hand side of my machine to make a guide line for the sewing machine.
Cut out the back at the blue markings.
And cut the lettuce hem off.
Turn material inside out (the outsides, or the good sides facing together). Be sure to line the lettuce hem up with the bias tape.
Sew them together.
Using the other top, I made a rectangle using most of the t-shirt.
Turned the sides inside out and sewed them together.
I now cut a piece of elastic right underneath my breast, just slightly smaller.
Sewed the ends together.
And then I sewed the two parts of the dress (the wrap-top part and the rectangle-bottom part) onto opposite ends of the elastic. Make sure that the right sides face each other, or in other words, inside out.
I attached it in a similar manner that I attached the elastic to make a skirt top. This elastic was smaller in width than the one I use for skirts. Be sure to streeeeeeeetch the material on the one side being fed into the machine, but not the other.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make my bias tape long enough to go to the back. 😦 So I enlisted the help of my husband, who marked the back of the dress for me at my bra straps, and then I sewed on another long piece to make a tie.
I didn’t like the hem of the bottom of the t-shirt, but if you want to stop that this point, it is perfectly hemmed. I cut it off and made a lettuce hem on the bottom, too, because t-shirt material often has an annoying way of stretching out when you wear it.
One final piece, I sewed along the back-top with an elastic thread, so that it made it elastic-y, since I was not entirely happy with the way the lettuce hem worked out there.
And here are some pictures:
A closeup of the top, along with my mother’s fabulous vintage seed-bead flag purse.
And a closeup of the bottom.
Here’s the back.
And the final:
Let me know what you think in the comments!!
Go take a peek at my Upcycled Fashionista Pinterest Board. I also have two companion boards – Free Sewing Patterns Board and Sewing Tips. See you there!
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- Upcycle a white ‘T’ into something Pretty (diannajessie.wordpress.com)
9 thoughts on “Refashion Plain T-Shirts into a Tie-Dye 4th of July Dress”
so cute…I am going to try this!
Wow I love this! I think I will do it in just plain black. Nice easy to fallow tutorial too. I have a community pin board for tutorials and for refashions if you would like to join and pin, I sent you an invite. It is from me at my http://mylifeonthedivide.blogspot.com/
Your comment got stuck in spam, sorry! I didn’t get the Pinterest invite yet, but I’d love to join. I think a plain black dress would work really well, too. I keep dreaming of all sorts of refashioned t-shirt dresses now … hehe …
what an amazing diy tutorial and blog in general!
you must check out/give me a follow for many do-it-yourself ideas like this one: http://helloscarlettblog.com/2013/06/28/window-box-vase-diy/.
let’s be creative!
~ e ~ @helloscarlettblog.com
I really like your planter, and I subscribed via rss! Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment.
i also just followed your lovely site!
~ e ~
Looks great. Your directions were helpful.