The t-shirt dress pattern is a part of my attempt to make a summer wardrobe that is both easy to make and easy to wear. The t-shirt dress is the perfect item to make when you only have a couple of hours to spare and are in need of something practical to hang around in the warm summer days.
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors, especially if you live in a place where it snows during winter. Sewing takes a step back to enjoy light lunches under an umbrella by the sea or the pool.
I am not a t-shirt kind of person, maybe because I find it makes my chest and shoulders larger. The only t-shirts that I do wear are v-neck with soft fabrics (bamboo, rayon, and linen). The V neck elongates my neckline and streamlines the whole torso.
I find the t-shirt dress far better than normal t-shirts while also being easy to make and style. I like to wear mine with sneakers or sandals and a long cardigan, especially if I am going out at night and it is cool outside. For a more sophisticated look, the use of a belt and large accessories and high strappy sandals will bring this t-shirt dress to the next level. But as always these are just suggestions and you are welcome to add your own spin to the outfit.
Today, I had the pleasure of using a cover stitch/overlocker combo machine. I do not own one and it has been in the back of my mind for some time to acquire one. I am lucky enough to have a few friends with far better equipment than I possess. One of them is kind enough to let me test one for a few weeks before I make my decision whether to buy or not.
- Two yards of four-way stretch knit or a knit that has at least 40% stretch.
- Thread to match
- Jersey needle
- Twin needle (Please see our tutorial on how to use a twin needle)
- Serger ideal but not essential (optional)
- Cover stitch machine (optional)
- Rotary cutter (optional)
Recommended Fabrics from Fabric.com
Finished Garment Measurements
Use the following measurements to determine what size would work for you best. Allow at least 4″ of ease. I am wearing a large size but I am actually Medium. I prefer a loose fitting dress since the fabric is a light color and I do not have to worry about my underwear showing.
This t-shirt dress pattern would work best on an hourglass figure, a pear and a rectangular shape woman. Could work on an apple if you are XL or less.
|S||37 5/8″||40″||45 1/2″|
|L||39″ 5/8″||44″||46 1/2″|
|2XL||44″ 5/8″||48″||47 1/2″|
I am a reluctant model, hate taking pictures of myself, but this is one of those garments that do not have hanger appeal. Perhaps I should write a post about what that is but basically, the garment need to be shown in a body rather than in a hanger. I have to admit I did not even comb my hair for the shot, but I think you get what I mean. Here is the same dress on a Janome adjustable mannequin Medium to Large size, which is a really wonderful piece of equipment belonging to my new best friend Andrea. I will talk more about her in the future.
Pattern Layout for the T-shirt Dress Pattern
Print the pattern using Adobe Reader, actual size, and landscape mode. Do not scale the pattern at all and you will not need any other program to print the pattern.
I am using a super stretchy four-way 50% stretch fabric.
This fabric is not the easiest fabric to work with. The cutting is what will determine whether your garment will look homemade or professional. Keep a strict grainline and leave the fabric layout on the table overnight to relax the fibers. Believe me, this is a small step that will get you closer to a lovely finish garment.
As you can see on the pattern the front and back of the t-shirt dress are the same.
I have provided you with only one piece of the pattern to save you paper and time.
Cut two backs and two fronts by folding the fabric in half leaving the selvages on the sides. Cut the pattern on one side then flip the pattern creating a mirror image.
You will end up with four pieces of fabrics.
Sewing Instructions For Your T-shirt Dress
We are going to sew this t-shirt dress in a mass produced way, meaning the way a factory would be sewing it. The following technique will save you a lot of time and will let you stitch the project in less than an hour. The use of a serger is ideal for this project and I will assume you have one.
Note: When I mention serge you can substitute for zigzag if you do not have a serger.
Sew the fronts to one of the backs at the shoulder seam using your serger.
In this step, we are going to sew the neckline.
Serge the edge of the neckline front and back and then use a twin needle to sew the neckline by turning 3/8″. Or simply use the covers stitch machine to achieve the same result in just one step. In this step, you can see I am not getting the best results with the machine and this is due to my lack of experience using a cover stitch machine. I think I should have practice with scraps first. However, I see on the right side look fine so I leave it at that.
Sew the other side of the dress the same way you did as in steps one and two.
Sew the sides using your serger stopping one inch from the notch in your pattern. Then open the seam allowance and serge or use your cover stitch machine to sew from the hemline to the other side.
Sew the front seam and then the back seam using your serger/overlocker.
Simply turn the hem at the sleeves and the bottom at 3/8″ and sew.
In five easy steps, you have one of the most versatile dresses you can possibly make for yourself. Add a long cardigan and scarf and this dress is good for spring and autumn. Sandals and a straw hat and your swimsuit underneath you can be ready for the beach and dinner after with very little effort.
Need another beach dress that shows a little more skin, why not try the ultimate beach dress a very popular design.
Hope you find the t-shirt dress pattern useful and load your take on it as a comment below. I must say that is my favorite part of the day, to see what you have come up with, I am actually going to go and add a long cardigan, a scarf and some booties, it is cold in my side of the world.
Happy sewing, until next time!