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Thrift Store Refashion into Little Girl’s Dress

One of my top tips when on the hunt for a thrift store find, is to keep your eyes open for patterns and prints that you love. That was the case with this oversized women’s button up shirt.

As my sister and I walked through the aisles of clothing at our last thrift store hunt, this bright print caught my eye. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with it, but the print yelled “spring” at me. So for $3, I snatched it up!

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Then it just so happened that a few days later I stumbled upon this fantastic tutorial from Sarah at OurLifeIsBeautiful.com. I actually messaged Sarah on Instagram to see if she had any ideas on what I could do with this thrift store find.

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Because she is the sweetest person ever, she responded right away with a link to that tutorial and now I am hooked! Her blog has so many great tutorials on completely transforming old pieces of clothing into something entirely new! So yeah, she is amazing so you definitely need to go check her website out!

Last night was the night that I took on this project. I was hesitant since I am very novice (at best) when it comes to sewing. It turns out that this project is extremely easy!

Here is a close up of the before…

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

How to Transform Large Adult Shirt into Little Girl’s Dress

Supplies

Oversized button up adult shirt

Thread

Scissors

Sewing machine

The very first thing I had to do with this shirt was to use a stitch ripper to take out the shoulder pads. So if your shirt has shoulder pads, it’s time to say goodbye to the pads!

P.S. I don’t know sewing terms. So sorry if I don’t use the correct lingo. 

The next thing to do is to take a shirt or dress that is the same size that you would like your new dress to be.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Using a pencil, trace around the center part of the top, starting at the shoulders, following the seam between the chest and the sleeves and all the way down to the bottom of the sleeves belonging to the large adult shirt.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Cut a straight line from armpit to armpit. Then cut along the lines that you just traced. The large remaining piece of the shirt is going to become the skirt portion of the dress.

 

The next cut is going to be right along the line of the seam attaching the sleeves to the shirt.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Using your child’s shirt or dress as a guide, cut the sleeves a ½” thicker then you would like the final product to be. This will leave room for a seam allowance.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

At this point, your thrift store find should look something similar to this.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Go ahead and throw away the pieces pictured below with a big X on them.

Sew up the open ends of the body of the shirt from the bottom of the armpit to the bottom of the shirt.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Now using your sewing machine, do a simple straight stitch all the way around the “skirt” part of the shirt. When finished, take the top thread and gently pull in order to gather the fabric.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Turn the skirt inside out, slip the top of the shirt into the skirt lining up the bottom of the shirt with the top of the skirt. Play with the gathering a bit to allow the skirt to be wide enough to comfortably line up with the shirt.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Pin in place and sew together.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Next you are going to attach the sleeves to the dress. Confession, I totally had to look up on YouTube how to sew a sleeve onto a shirt. It’s actually really easy!

Now take the remaining sleeve portion, turn inside out, and sew a straight stitch along the long open end.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Turn the sleeve inside out, then put the sleeve inside of the shirt with the wide end lining up with sleeve hole of the shirt.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Pin in place and be sure to only pin one layer of the sleeve with one layer of the shirt. This is where your armhole will be. Sew these two pieces together.

Now turn everything right side out and…

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Wa-la! Did you know that you could create something so beautiful with such basic sewing skills!?

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

Easy way to take your thrift store find and refashion into a new girl's dress. Easy DIY sewing project to makeover your thrift store find.

I can’t get over how much I love the way this project turned out! You better believe I am going to be on the constant lookout for large button up shirts so I can make more of these!

Do you have anything laying around in your closet you could use for a project like this?

Tag me in a picture on Instagram @PenniesIntoPearls and we can chat ideas on how to transform it into something new!

Talk to you soon! xoxo

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sam
    December 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

    So cool you posted a step by step process! And the end product is so adorable! So well made!

    Sam
    http://thrifttasteandheadspace.com/

    • Reply
      Brittany Cooper
      December 21, 2016 at 5:24 am

      Thank you so much! I’m no pro at sewing which is why I loved how easy this project was!

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