New summer dresses



It’s day three of the kids’ clothes week challenge.

I haven’t sewn as much as I was hoping to, but did finish a couple of new summer dresses for Maia.

Both are t-shirt-to-dress transformations, my go-to way of making quick, comfortable, and inexpensive dresses for her.


The t-shirts were plain jane shirts that were sitting in her closet ignored. She pretty much only wants to wear dresses these days. Since they weren’t getting worn as is, I decided to turn them into dresses that she would wear. I paired the white one with the bottom part of a white and red floral cotton tank top that I wore when I was pregnant. And I paired the navy t-shirt with a blue and white striped men’s button down shirt (I cut the tails off and hemmed it with white bias tape first).

The third dress pictured is cut down from a women’s knit dress but is not finished yet. I feel good about repurposing these clothes to make cute new dresses that will (hopefully) get a lot of use this spring and summer. I’ve committed to getting through this week with only using fabric from my stash or old clothing that I’ve added to my sewing box for repurposing purposes.


Here’s the dress made with the t-shirt and the button-down shirt. I added spacious pockets, using the material from the bottom half of the t-shirt.


And here’s the second dress, from the white tee and the printed cotton top. I like both dresses, but really love this one.

Next up? These beautiful dress-up bird wings for both girls (an awesome way to use up fabric scraps) and a scaled-down cooking apron for Daphne.

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  • Reply
    Amanda Saulnier
    May 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I really love both of these dresses. I think it would be more fun to sew for a girl. I keep seeing the most adorable girl clothes ideas. I haven’t had much luck yet with my sewing this week. I better catch up!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Fabulous repurposing! I bet Maia is one happy dress-wearing girl!

  • Reply
    jen at
    May 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    i love these!!! i need some sewing skills. those bird wings are fab – can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2011 at 7:08 am

    these are all so precious jean!

  • Reply
    Dawn Lange
    May 12, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I adore the dress made with the black t-shirt!! You are so talented Jean! And the wings you linked to… Esme’ would flip out for those. I just might have to learn to sew!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I SO love these. I need to get out my sewing machine and get to work. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    May 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone!

  • Reply
    Jb2 2000
    May 14, 2011 at 1:03 am

    My daughter will only wear dresses, too–and some of the T-shirts leave her long torso hanging out, which leaves then unusable anyway. What a great solution!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm


  • Reply
    kids clothing
    December 23, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Remember that your kids’ needs when it comes to clothing are different from your own. There are special considerations that you do not really need to think about when you are buying clothes for yourself or your partner.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2012 at 6:22 am

    That dress was really cute and adorable. Seems to look perfect to your kid.

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