S&I custom upcycled t-shirt dresses: the making of!

S&I custom upcycled t-shirt dresses: the making of!

We recently launched a new listing in the shop – our Custom Upcycled T-shirt Dress. As a teeshirt and jeans kind of girl myself, I was pretty excited when I came up with the idea for this modern take on the look. These dresses are cute and comfortable so they’re really perfect for any little girl – girly girl or tom girl at heart. My favorite part about these cool dresses is that I make them from old teeshirts, so it’s a great way to reuse an old tee that you don’t wear anymore but still have love for – or even just reshape a cool tee that never fit quite right. These dresses have been pretty popular in the shop, so I thought I’d use this week’s blog to give you a quick behind these scenes look at how they come together – both for your enjoyment and also to help you brainstorm how we can repurpose your favorite tee!

I’ve totally reshaped some of my favorite old tees for my own kids teeshirt dresses, but for the shop, I generally hit up the nearest Goodwill or other local Thrift Store. I actually really enjoy that process too because you really never know what you might find – and I have found some reeeeeal gems;) I prewash all tees, mine, thrift, or others in Dreft before I start the sewing process too.

Once I've picked out a shirt - the first thing to do is determine which portion of the tee I want to be shown on the front and if I want any graphic to be shown on the back.  In this case - as soon as I saw this shirt, I knew that Notorious NEEDED to be on the front part of the dress.  BUT, the hands counting $$$ seemed like they were just screaming to be on the dress too, so I decided to maneuver those on the back dress panels…I thought that was especially awesome knowing that I was making a toddler dress, considering 90% of what I see is the BACK of my kids as they are running away, falling over, or rolling around on the ground.  After cutting the t-shirt part of the dress out, I choose a lining that I think matches the color, style, and/or general vibe of the shirt. In this case a colorful cotton batik that I thought fit the bill. Since the original tee was a charcoal color, I opted to go with the lighter chambray linen blend for the skirt portion of the dress.

The top and the lining go together first – as you can see, it’s a simple scooped neck (that I like to add a little topstitching to) and faux cap sleeves. The buttons don’t go on until the end, so here’s an awesome view of BIG’s hands counting c-notes on the back of the dress

Then I cut and gather the skirt, which will then be connected to the top, as you can see below.

Last, but certainly not least, I choose the thread and buttons for the top and hem the skirt. I like the buttons and buttonhole thread to correspond with the top and stand out, but not too much, which is why I went with white buttons and a light yellow thread in this case. And voila! A super cool upcycled Notorious BIG teeshirt dress for your toddler!  Check out the listing here for more details - and show me what you got!  I can't wait to see your favorite tees


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