Friday, July 8, 2011

Flutter Sleeves Dress from Tshirt -Sew Easy Part 2

Easy sewing tutorial flutter sleeves dress
Read the story behind this series and the first part of the series here (skirt sewing tutorial).

sewing a 20 mins flutter sleeve dress

If you read the first part of the series, I hope you like your sewing machine / needles and thread a little more now. Last time we learned how to make a skirt out of a TShirt. This week we'll apply the same idea and make a dress. How does that sound, good? Good!


1. Half Sleeved T Shirt - Preferably XL size
2. Elastic - 1/4 inch wide ( ~ 2 yds)
3. Safety Pin
4. Scissor
5. Ruler or measuring tape
6. Thread matching with the TShirt color
7. 3-4 cute Buttons ( optional)



(a) Measure the child around the bust = B
(b) Measure the child around the widest part of her body ( tummy or butty ) = W
(c) Measure the length of the dress from bust to where you want the hemline to fall = L
(d) Measure the length from bust to shoulders = S

Now lets add some ease to these measurements
  (a) subtract 3 inches from B: B - 3 = B1
  (b) Add quarter of W to itself: W+0.25W = W1
  (c) L remains the same: L= L1
  (d) Add half of S to itself: S+0.5S = S1

So now B1, W1, L1, S1 are your new measurements


Lay your TShirt flat. Measure its width, if its equal or greater than W1 then you are in the luck. You just need one side of the shirt to sew your dress. Go to step 3 (a ) Else go to step 3 (b)


(a) slit open the side seams of the Tshirt and cut it across the width just below the neckline. You will have a rectangle with you. Now cut a rectangle of
W1 X L1 from this piece, making sure that W1 side of rectangle falls on the hem of TShirt.

3 (b) Divide W1 in half: 0.5W1 = W2
      Now cut a rectangle of W2 X L1 from both sides of the Tshirt. Make sure one W2 side falls on the hemline of Tshirt.

In 3 (a) we will have only 1 seam at the back center of the dress. In 3 (b) we will have two seams one on each side of the dress. This will make step 10 different. I'll explain when we get there.

using Tshirt hem for elastic casing

Now using the TShirt hem as elastic casing, insert the elastic into it with the help of a safety pin ( This will be the neckline of the dress). Insert B1 length of elastic through the casing and secure the ends with the safety pin. At this point it will be helpful to try the whole thing on the child, just to make sure that the elastic is fitting comfortably on her bust. If its too tight or too loose, adjust accordingly and secure the ends with the pin again when you get the right fit.

sewing the elastic

Now sew the L1 ends right sides together. Make sure you go over the elastic 2-3 times to secure it. This part will take the most stress while wearing and you don't want the seam to unravel.

6. Now that the main body of the dress is ready. Lets work on shoulder straps.

flutter sleeves from Tshirt sleeves

From the sleeves of the shirt - cut a 3 inches wide strips where one end is the end of sleeve.
flutter sleeves from Tshirt sleeves

Cut the triangle at the seam to get a flat strip.
flutter sleeves from Tshirt sleeves

Cut these strips to the S1 length.


Now using the sleeve hem as casing, insert elastic into it.

9. Repeat the same with the other strip

10 Attaching the shoulder straps to the main body of the dress.
If you did 3(a) :
   Position the dress such that the lengthwise seam is at the center of the back.
If you did 3(b):
  Position the dress such that both the seams are on the sides of the dress.
sewing flutter sleevs to the dress

Now find the center of the front. Position the straps about 1.5 inches from the center of the front. Sew on the straps on the inside of the front of dress. Make sure that the raw edges of the straps are facing outwards.

Now Pull the elastic to ruffle up the shoulder straps on both sides. Make the elastic length about an inch lesser than S. Sew these on the inside of the back of dress, again 1.5 inches from the center.
sewing flutter sleevs to the dress

Here I made a change, instead of adding the straps at 3 inches apart at the back, I added them close to each other at the center of back, to get sort of V neck at the back. You can do whichever way you like. 

Turn inside out.

Add some buttons, iron-ons or patch in the front of the dress. I added this small pinwheel, I had.
20 mins flutter sleeves dress with pinwheel

Then I didn't like it that much, so I added a ribbon bow instead.
20 mins flutter sleeves dress with bow

I also used the same ribbon at the hem to give the dress some more oomph.
Put on your favorite little one, admire!

Here's another tutorial for a super easy skirt from A Girl and a Glue Gun via Sew Dang Cute.

PS: I know, I still owe you embellishment ideas for the skirt we had sewn last time. A post is coming soon on that. The long weekend trip threw off my plans a bit but I'm working on it.

PPS: I switched the earlier pics with the latest ones which are taken after I spiced up the dress a bit, hope you like them more. (I do)


  1. wow, thats so cool.. clever woman you are!

  2. Lovely little dress - and a great tutorial!

    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured your 10min skirt tutorial on my round tuit post this week! Yours was the most clicked on link of the week!!
    Round Tuit 57
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. CUTE! My daughter would look great in this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for linking this to a Round Tuit too!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. Aww that is so cute!! Great tutorial

  6. Thank you so much for linking up to my Tuesday Confessional link party. You've been featured, so make sure you grab a button and get your brag on!

  7. What a fabulous upcycle to an old t-shirt! I love it!! I am featuring this tomorrow!! I hope to see you back at Strictly Homemade with another great project!!

  8. This is SOOO cute! I am going to have to try this. I have a bunch of old t-shirts to use up. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks for sharing this - I am going to put it on my project list to sew for, a charity that accepts sewn garments and distributes to children in developing countries that do not have any.


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