+ Super easy – tee shirt maxi dress tutorial

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This dress is perfect for when you want to be comfy, yet fashionable. Perfect for those Summer outings like outdoor festivals or taking your kids to the playground. It is very versatile and the possibilities of customization are endless!

you’ll need at least 54″ – 60″ wide jersey knit that is at least as long as you from head to toe (this will include seam allowance, hemming, and heels!) *If you don’t have fabric wide enough you will need at least twice the measurement of your height from head to to toe.
sewing machine
measuring tape
1. Lay your fabric down open and flat. Put a knit shirt that fits a little loose at the top of the fabric (make sure stretch runs right to left) – centered between the width you want your skirt’s bottom (you can lay a maxi skirt on the bottom as well if you have one). So, I want my skirt’s bottom width to be 56″ wide, so I made the shirt centered at 28″ at the top between the two 56″ markings. Make sure the stretch is from right to left or selvedge to selvedge.

2. Cut out the fabric on one side mimicking the shirt’s neckline (the higher backside neckline), sleeves, armpit and chest area. Once you cut to the chest area, start to taper out to the 56″ marking. Like the picture shows below.

3. Fold the piece in half, putting the cut half onto the noncut side, and cut the other side to be like the side you just cut – to make the piece perfectly even.

4. Cut another piece out with the first piece.

5. Pin the two pieces right sides together aka the front sides touching on inside so the inside of skirt will be exposed.

6. Sew up the sides and shoulders/sleeves. Try the dress on and make any more adjustments if needed. I took the armpits in just a little more. Make sure to cut the extra armpit area close or it will bunch up weird.

7. Cut open a bigger neckline, hem the neckline under a half inch. You can iron and pin first if you need.

8. Hem the sleeves under a half inch. You can iron and pin first if you need.

9. Find where you want the bottom hem, I made mine a little longer because I want to wear heels. Hem it at least an inch. You can iron and pin first if you need.

10. Iron all the seams and hems to make it look finished.


  1. I love this dress! You look beautiful in it!
    Putting it on my list of sewing projects :)
    floral & fudge

  2. That’s weird, since the new layout I can’t see any new posts on the main page or in the archive. I see them only if I click on the link you post on Facebook… It’s bad because yours is one of the most interesting blogs I’ve seen by now and I like it so much!!

    • You are probably going to lizziebryson.com? Maybe? I have to take that off! Try typing in cottonandcurls.com…let me know if it still doesn’t work?

      • Oh, I found out the problem is in my browser. Weird, but now I can read all the posts I missed:) Thanks for your reply, I didn’t even know there is lizziebryson.com:)

  3. I always love all your stuff!! You’re so amazing!
    Erin @ joggingpantsmustdie.com

  4. Great tutorial. So simple and it looks great. I love the knit fabric you used. I have a t-shirt that I did an upcycle-redo with in the same navy knit, the shirt was from Target. I haven’t posted the tutorial on my blog yet as it is something I recently made. Where did you get your fabric? I would love to know. Thanks.

  5. I would love to know how you sew your curved edges, such as your neckline. Whenever I sew a curved edge it sort of rolls and ripples. Yours always looks so trim and smooth!

    • It took me a while to figure it out…if you are using knit, you fold under about a quarter or half inch a few inches before the foot goes under and I stretch it a bit forcing it to lay flat.Then the ironing makes it perfect. If you are doing something that isn’t knit, then I usually cut little slits around the curves spaced as much as needed, then it will curve nicely.

      • Thanks for the explanation! I will have to practice, ha. :)

      • Jeanette says:

        I have found that curved hems on knits behave better if I do the work to pin and press the area before I sew the neckline. Most of the time, I pin as little as possible, but this is one of the exceptions.

  6. Can you give some tips for sewing on stretchy knit? It’s really difficult to sew in a straight line! What stitch and length do you use? How do you tackle this? It’s so frustrating lol

    • Well! Knit is a tricky thing isn’t it! If you want to play it safe, just use a zig zag stitch. But I personally don’t like how zig zag stitch looks like for necklines and hems. So, when I use a straight stitch on knit, I make my stitch length a little longer, like around 3.5 to 4, then as I’m sewing (it always helps to iron and pin first), I stretch so then when it isn’t stretched, it will still look like a straight line. And when you stretch (like knit is supposed to do), it will stretch (because you stretched it as you sewed). Make sense I hope?!

  7. Liz!!! I love you! Thanks for making this tutorial, any tips for how to turn the bottom into more of a dress like this?;


    Thank you!
    Love your blog <3

    • I have your dress on the to do list! But if you want to know how I would do it right now…I would do what I did with this skirt (obviously you would need less fabric), and but instead of tapering out a lot, you would start tappering from your chest/armpit area (like this dress) and stop to the width of your hips (plus 3 or more inches depending on how snug you want it) and stop at your hips. Then, I would take a long rectangle piece and gather it at the top (you could check out some of my peplum top tutorials for the instructions on this part) and sew it to the bottom RST. Done!

  8. Abigail says:

    This maxi dresses is perfect for when you want to be comfy, yet fashionable.

  9. thank you so much for sharing your awesome ideas and tips! I started following your blog a few months ago and find it so inspiring! Keep it up!

    Dana- gumptiousliving.blogspot.com

  10. This is my favorite color!!! Did you get the fabric at a special SF fabric store? Or just somewhere generic?


  11. I want to be your friend. For real. I love this.

  12. I followed you here from Pintarest, where I just saw a pin of a very similar dress in the same color. The only differences were hipline in-seam pockets and a slightly gathered elastic waist (which made the skirt a little fuller). The price of this dress was listed at USD$152.00 exclusive of shipping and handling. Not only is this a very cute dress, it’s very budget-friendly. Thanks!

  13. I just love the simplisty of the dress I am back on the sewing michine. And if you have any more simple and quick ideas please share again. I’ve got people asking me to make them one, I just tell them to find and follow your pinterest instructions. Thanks again.

  14. I love this dress and have a friend who is going to make it for me because unfortunately I don’t know how to sew. What fabric do you recommend? I love the drape shown in the picture and I want a soft jersey knit. However, my fear is that the fabric will be too lightweight causing it to be see through. Where I live is very limited on jersey knit selection so I am looking online and it’s hard for me to determine if the fabric will be too thin.


  15. Katie Ogden says:

    I LOVE this dress on you & the idea of it BUT I am a thick kinda gal. . . I’m worried that it would show some ‘uglies’ where it hangs off of you beautifully. What do you think? Not a flattering style for overweight women or could it work for me?

  16. Bobbi Johnson says:

    I love this dress! I am a maxi junky and have never been able to find one with a T-shirt sleeve! Thanks so much!!!

  17. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  18. The most interesting and excited holiday is Halloween, and many dealers also want to find cheap Halloween costumes for the season sale. Why not consider dear-lover.com or shiyingsexylingerie.com? They are experts on manufacture and wholesale Halloween costumes.

  19. Great blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also.

  20. Olivia Kalmanson says:

    I just made mine in black and added a triangle detail to the sleeves. It is by far the most impressive-looking piece I have ever made! Thank you for the post :)

  21. I love all your posts. I’m so glad I stumbled up on your posts on pinterest.

  22. zawajasmi says:

    Hi, your dress is lovely and i love your blog soo much..
    I’m just wondering, where can I buy this fabric?
    It looks so comfy and just perfect for my next project.

  23. Just one quick dumb question, and then I hope to make this dress today! Will both cuts of the fabric (front and back of the dress) both be between 50″ and 60″, so total you need between 100″ and 120″ width in fabric? Or is the 50″ to 60″ the total width of the dress at the bottom, including front and back pieces?

    • I was also wondering the same thing? I just bought 60″ length of 60″ wide fabric to make this dress and now im not sure if I have enough?

    • I’m wondering the same thing. Do I really need 4 yards of fabric?

  24. cassidy says:

    Where did you find your beautiful knit? I just went to my fabric store looking for a similar grey and came up empty handed.

  25. I used to have a dress very similiar to this one except it was a bit more form fitting. It came with a short long sleeve open jacket but not really a jacket. The fabric was the same. The color was gray. My mother purchased it at Nordstrom for around $150. I wore this outfit for about 10 years until the material in the back was wearing out. I gave the dress away not thinking about using it as a pattern. :( Ever since I have tried to find a pattern and thanks to you I found the dress! I am so excited to try this sewing project! You made my day. Thank you!

  26. Brittany says:

    I’m new to knit fabrics and I have found there are like a billion different types of knits. Do you use a lightweight jersey?

  27. I can’t really tell from your picture, but is the skirt part of the dress pretty wide? I measured a store-bought maxidress I have, and its skirt is only 21 inches long when laying flat.

  28. Rhonda White-Watts says:

    Where can I purchase this dress?

  29. Hi
    A friend has been trying to find a dress just like this for years, and I offered to make one for her in a rash moment! So love this, but wonder how I would make it will long sleeves? Would it be simple as I am not that proficient at sewing. Love it so much may make one for me too.

  30. Good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!


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