How to Transform a Large Kids Tee into a Girls T Shirt Dress


Today I'm going to show you how to upcycle a kid's unisex shirt into an empire waist dress for a little girl. I want to make a gift for my little niece for Christmas. I have a shirt with a really cute constellation cat on it, I'm going to transform.


The problem with most unisex kids tees is that they are too wide and too boxy to be fit for a little girl. This one is a youth medium and I swear it would like almost fit my shoulders! To make this into something that's going to be slim enough for her and not way too long, I'll make it over into an empire waist dress. We can do it all with our scissors and no sewing. So let's go over to the craft table.

The very first step (if you happen to have your little girl around and it's not a surprise gift for her) is to measure down just how far the top of her chest goes. You want the empire waist to be fitted right underneath her chest. You can use the bottom of the sleeves here as a rough guide. That's what I'm going to do. Then, we're just going to make a little mark across.

Now we're going to fold this shirt so we can make cuts right along this line. Make sure that both of your sides line up and the shirt is very flat 
so that we can cut lines through to both sides. I'm going to use my table marks here, to cut each mark one-inch width apart and you're not going to cut in very far, just far enough so that you can get a weave across.

Cut in about one-quarter inch because once we open the shirt up the width will be double. If we do a quarter inch it will be a half-inch. I like to put my ruler here as a guide so I know how far to cut. After cutting, it looks like this. There's got a nice neat row of tiny little cuts on the front as well as the back and they will end up a little bit smaller on the back. You can make them a little bit bigger if you want, but I'm not going to worry about that for right now.  

I'm going to cut off the bottom seam. If you have your little girl around, put the shirt on her and measure how long you want the dress to be. Mark it with chalk. I am going to try and do this off memory... I just saw my niece on her birthday a couple of months ago and I think she was this tall. This is going to be for Christmas, so she might be even taller by them. It's hard to say because they grow so fast! I’m going to start with something safe and cut it here.

I can always make it shorter if it turns out the shirt is still too long for her. So, we're going to go ahead and cut this right off. Now we're going to use this extra piece to make the rope for the weaving. To do that we just need to cut off the seam.


Now I've cut off just the seam and when we unfold it's twice the width of what it was so we're just going to stretch it good and make it into a nice rope. Cut off the end and then we're just going to weave it through all the little slits we just made.

Now that we have the thread through the front we're just going to skip it around to the back and do the same thing and again.

I'm going to make one more little cut so that this can come out right under the armpit. Now we've woven it through both sides and we can draw it up to make it as tight as we need to. If you have your little one around you can have her put it on and then you'll know how much to cinch it in.

Since my little one isn't around to measure, I’m going to use one of my girl shirts in size 7-8. Now we'll know how far to draw it so that it's about the same width as the girls shirt. Looks like I guessed just about right! We're going to go ahead and tie this off now. Tie it on the side right under the armpit. Do a square knot and then just cut off the excess. There, now we have a cute little girl's dress with the fun kitty design on it that I can gift her for Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed today's video on how to make this cute little dress! If it was Summertime, I could also cut off the sleeves and the neck and make it into a little tank dress. Since I’m giving this to my niece for Christmas I'm going to leave the arms on. It's just so much cuter now and it will fit her which is the most important part.

For more cool projects, download my free DIY T-Shirt Hacks Ebook

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