Make Upcycled Tee Shirt Dresses to Donate

This cute little dress is made from two shirts — one child sized and one adult size. In the dress our model is wearing, we cut a few inches of the length off the child sized tee so the waist is close to her natural waist.

You can also make drop waist dresses by placing the skirt at the bottom of the tee shirt. Either way is easy and they come out great!


  • Child Size Undershirt, Camisole or Tee Shirt
  • Adult Size Tee Shirt
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Scissors
DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress


DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

1. Cut off the bottom of the adult shirt. Set aside the top for later. The length of the child shirt can be cut if you prefer a natural waist. Leave as is for a long waisted dress.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

2. Sew a running stitch 1/2″ from the top edge of the tee shirt bottom.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

3. Pull thread to gather. Turn inside out.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

4. Pin the child size shirt up inside the gathered skirt. Matching seams and adjusting gathers. Sew. Trim seam. Finish with a zigzag stitch or serge.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

5. Turn right side out. Press seam.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

6. Print the heart pattern. Trim excess paper. Staple all around the heart to a piece cut from the top of the adult shirt. Cut heart out.

DIY Upcycled Shirt Dress

7. Pin and stitch the heart to the bodice of the dress.

Embellishing Tee Shirt Dresses

Don’t limit yourself to the hearts. You can decorate any way you want. Make other shapes for the bodice or add trim or ruffles.

Download our PDFs to give to your sewing group.

Upcycled Tee Shirt Dress PDF
PDF Pattern
DIY to Donate

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