DIY: T-Shirt into Blue Halter Dress (T-Shirt Surgery)

Do you have a bag of those oversized (or undersized) t-shirts that you never wear anymore…or don’t know how to wear? You can throw them away…or leave them to gather dust in your closet…or you could do T-SHIRT SURGERY.

T-shirt surgery is basically turning your t-shirt into something else. I’ve seen boring shirts turned into bags, scarves, tops, and even dresses. You can check out some wicked t-shirt surgery before and afters here.

I have (or had) a shirt that was given to me from volunteering. I wear XS, and the size is XXXL, so it’s basically new. One day, I looked at it and thought, DRESS POTENTIAL. So I got out my needle and thread (still eagerly anticipating my sewing machine for my birthday :/), chalk, and scissors and began to draft.


I used scissors, needle, thread, and chalk. Yeah, I had the wrong color thread but I couldn't find any blue 😦 It showed, so make sure your thread color is correct.

-One XXXL blue t-shirt
-Light color chalk that will show up when you draw on the fabric
-A sewing machine OR needle and BLUE thread. I highly recommend using the machine – it saves you a lot of time, PLUS the stitches come out even.
-Pins (you can use them, I didn’t because I was in severe lack of materials, and well, this was mostly a trial, but they help you keep you/the sewing machine in line)
-Tape measure, for measuring yourself.


My XXXL t-shirt...

1. Take your t-shirt. Here’s mine, to the right.

If you don’t have a t-shirt that you can use, you can always buy one of those oversized tees from the craft store, like from Michael’s or from your nearest thrift store. Sometimes, you can get deals, take it home, and then spin it into something awesome. Of course, if you already have a t-shirt, the great thing is that you don’t have to buy any fabric 🙂

Step 2: Turn it inside out and cut off the sleeves.

2. Turn it inside out and cut the sleeves off — along the seams.

3. Measure yourself just below your bust with the tape measure (the skirt is going to fit right on your rib cage, not on your waist. It’s like an empire waist). Take that measurement and draw your size on the shirt with chalk. I wanted the skirt to go a little above the knees, so I measured from where the skirt started down to where I wanted it on the knees and made a mark. Next, I cut through both the front and the back. Since the end of the t-shirt is already sewed, include that in your skirt (saves you a lot of hemming).

4. Next, sew the two sides of the skirt. Turn it inside out. Fold the skirt so that the two sewn edges meet up in the middle — this is

This is my skirt.

your skirt.

5.Time for the top. Take the sides of the t-shirt that you just cut off the skirt from (they should look like v’s because you cut the skirt at a slope). Measure out them on yourself. If you move one of the straps a little into the middle, the top of the dress will be higher. If you make both end at the center of the dress, the top will plunge all the way down

to the waistline of the skirt. Whatever you do, make sure that the V-shape that the two make are aligned with the center of the front. Sew them on like so.

Cut the straps.

6.Put the half finished dress on. Make sure to pull the top of the skirt all the way under your bust. If the straps don’t go all the way up your neck, cut off a strip of material and tie

it onto both straps to make a halter.

7. Last of all, make the belt. From the back of the cut t-shirt (where there’s no words), cut two strips of the same size. Stretch both out between your hands (it makes it longer). Sew them together.

This is the half-finished dress. 😀 ALMOST DONE

8.Wear it. Tie the belt around the top of the skirt and secure it

in a bow in the middle. That’s it! You’re done.

If there’s anything unclear about the tutorial, sorry. This is my first written out one. But if you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

And if this isn’t the thing for you, there’s some amazing videos on Youtube that you can follow. Want an immediate tube top/dress that you can make directly out of a men’s button-up shirt? Click here. GiannyL has some amazing tuts on her channel, like this dainty little cocktail dress.

So. You want to the see the transformation of my t-shirt in one picture? Here it is:

Before...and after.



One Response to DIY: T-Shirt into Blue Halter Dress (T-Shirt Surgery)

  1. Love the “t-shirt surgery”…..what a transformation! looks great!

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