DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress


Maxi dresses are hit every spring and I’m showing you how to DIY your own t-shirt maxi dress using your favorite t-shirt and some spare time.

There is a reason WHY these babies are so popular, the temps are warming up and there’s a very liberating feeling you get when you can shed your winter layers and enjoy the new found freedom of space, comfort, and breezy look a well fitted maxi dress can guarantee. I realize that you can find them all over the stores for almost as cheap as you can make them your self, HOWEVER I have never been able to find one that I love. I like many but none that I “love” – that L word is so tricky when it comes to fashion and fit. But I have a tee that I’m obsessed with andI bet most of you do, too! Yeah, it’s a little faded and worn to perfection, but I adore the fit and thought “let’s make it a dress!”

Knocking off your favorite shirt is a TON easier than you think and I’ve had this gorgeous knit fabric from Joann Fabrics since last year, it’s the perfect blend of comfort and perfection, you can find similar knits on their site, HERE.
ps. it’s the SAME pattern I used to make this shirt in my “DIY Graphic Tee post” (click here).

EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA

To make this EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress, you will need the following (as seen in photo below):

  • Grided wrapping paper .
    I buy rolls of this stuff after Christmas for super cheaper.
    It has 1 inch square grid that makes it perfect for pattern making.
    The real pattern paper is kinda pricey and I bought this for pennies at Target.
  • Marker
  • Scisscors
  • T-Shirt

EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA

Directions:

  1. Fold shirt in half, matching all ends and seams.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  2. Outline the body of your skirt.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  3. Locate neckline, front and back.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  4. Without altering the armhole (it’s okay for the sleeve to be scrunched weirdly, trace in the armhole.
    Notice that in the corners, those points will be drawn in as a right angle (shown with arrows).
    This will help smooth out the seaming when you sew your top together.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  5. You will also do the same for your neckline, as seen in photo below (with squares).
    Notice below that I have one pattern piece for my front and back bodice.
    When I cut my pattern, I will cut both at the same time using the back neckline guide,
    Then go back, fold the paper to the slash lines I have marked on the front neckline and cut.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  6. Repeat for the sleeve, fold in half (just one sleeve) and lay on paper.
    This time the shirt will get scrunched so that the sleeve can lay down flat.
    Trace the bottom and side of your sleeve.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  7. Once traced, fold the shirt the opposite way, maintaining the shape of your sleeve head and trace.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  8. I love to lengthen my sleeves right now, so now is a great time to do that.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  9. Before I cut it out, I like to true my angles like I did around my neckline and armhole.
    I will do this to the rest of my pattern as seen below (using squares).
    My seam allowance will be about 1/4 inch, so all my right angles are about 1/2  inch in size.
    EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA
  10. Extend the length of the shirt to dress length and that’s it! Pretty easy right? HECK YES. 
    So when you sew, it will be the same as typical shirt you would sew together…

    • Sew shoulder seams together,
    • Attach sleeve heads,
    • Sew side seams,
    • Hem and finish neckline.
    • Voila!
      EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA

I’m always surprised when people act so confused when someone wears a dress, when did dresses consider “formal occasions only”?
Little do they realize that maxi-dress are so light and airy, I’m more comfier than most and I look great doing it – ha!

This look was inspired by my newest boyfriend watch from Nicole Lee, I love the cool and causal look of their line. The hardest part was deciding between the gold and rose gold. It’s smooth, easy to put on and it’s currently on sale for under $50 – soooooo affordable!!

NL "Bofirend Watch" with Nicole Lee USA

Outfit details:

Watch – NL “Boyfriend” Watch
Fabric – Joanns (similar here)
Booties – Charlotte Russe

Thanks so much for visiting my site, you all inspire me so much and appreciate every comment. It makes me want to keep trying new things and showing you how to make your own fashion and be the designer in your OWN life.

Thanks for stopping by and have a glamorous day!

xo/Riva

EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA EASY DIY T-Shirt Maxi Dress with Nicole Lee USA

In collaboration with Nicole Lee. ALL thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spreading the word one link up at a time, you can visit the full list: HERE.

12 Comments

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  1. 6
    Elaine

    It is a good tutorial,although I only visited in the first place because my 94 yr old aunt is named Riva and I had never come across another Riva before!

  2. 9
    SANDI DARVELL

    I just upcycled a too tight summer cute floral pink skater skirt style dress with corset top, I could not toss it. I cute into peices, laced up the back and made the skirt high waist. I’m in love with this outfit, I was dreaming of spring too today. It was pretty warm here in Northern California.

  3. 11
    Cm

    This looks great, but I’m confused about how to extend the shirt to make the skirt. How much material does this pattern require? Looking forward to being able to make this.

    • 12
      Riva

      Hey there! Thanks for your comment! Extend the length of the shirt to dress length and voila! You may need to adjust the width as it goes along your hip line depending on the fit you want. I hope that’s helpful. THANKS!

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