Neon Tshirt Reconstruction

Hello World,

I actually made this last summer, and just had never made a tutorial for it.  I love this dress, it is sooooo bright!!!



1.  You will need a very large tshirt.  Cut off the sleeves, and then cut a straight line right below the neckline. The sleeves will become the top of the dress, and the large chunk will become the body of the dress.

2.  Take the two sleeves you cut off, and cut the side seam of the sleeve open on each of them, and lay them flat.  This will give you a nice long strip of fabric. (This will be the top of the dress, so test the rectangle pieces against your bust for coverage. As in-measure from your bra band to however high you want to cover your bust.)   Cut out 2 identical rectangle pieces. Don’t cut off the finished sleeve hem- later you can use this as the top hem on the dress.

3.  Match up the top (previous sleeve) portions with the matching body (large chunk) portions.

4.  Sew (right sides together) the top pieces to each body piece.  Then sew up the side seams entirely.

5.  Sew elastic for the waist/under bust.  Sew it it straight onto the dress, stretching the elastic as you sew. (If you hate working with elastic, you could also belt the dress here while wearing it instead.)

6.  Trim access and turn dress right side out.  My shirt was stretchy enough not to need top hem elastic, but if you need it, just feed it through the top hem.

Please excuse my lazy summer hair.

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25 thoughts on “Neon Tshirt Reconstruction

  1. Jennifer

    😉 Your “lazy summer hair” doesn’t look so lazy – It looks good.

    I really like your dress too 😀 Excellent job, I will add it to my stock pile of things I need to do.

    1. Laura "Lala"

      I sewed the elastic around the entire thing. I measured elastic under my bust, and then subtracted a little bit, so it would runch. I overlapped the ends of the elastic to complete the circle. Doing it just in the back would work as well (I have done that with other dresses.)

    1. Laura "Lala"

      I bought this shirt in an extra large from Michaels (and I used a coupon so it was 40% off!) I usually wear a medium shirt in female sizes, or a small in unisex. The sleeve parts are around the bust. If you need more coverage, you can always add a strip around the top hem, or use the scraps from around the neckline that you cut off.

      Happy Crafting!

  2. Jessie Pugh

    What should I do if the rectangles I cut for the top are about two inches shorter than the bottom half on each side? Should I cut the bottom half to meet them or just leave it the way it is?

    1. Laura "Lala"

      Measure under your bust and make each rectangle half of this measurement.

      If the two rectangles seem to cover your bust comfortably, then you could cut the bottom pieces to meet up with this length. If your fabric is really stretchy, then you actually could just stretch and pin the rectangle pieces to the body pieces (since elastic will help it runch even more)

  3. Regina Sienra

    Awesome project! I’m working on it but I have a problem. I got my two rectangles from the sleeves, but they are shorter than the upper part of the large chunk. Should I cut the sides of the upper part of the large chunk or just adjust them with the elastic? Thanks in advance!

    1. Laura "Lala"

      Measure under your bust, if the two bust pieces add up to about the same length horizontally then you should be fine. If your shirt is really stretchy then elastic will do the trick.

      What I like to do before sewing if I’m not sure, is safety pin the dress together and try it on- just to be safe. (I use safety pins instead of normal pins to avoid poking myself.) (You can get a nice bag of them at Dollar Tree)

      I would love to see when you are finished!

  4. Zoe

    Hi! I love this tutorial of yours, I made it today but since the sleeves weren’t long enough to cover my bust, I added some black fabric to it. So I had a top & skirt then sewed them together, kind of an altered version.
    Thought this might help some other people who had the same problem 🙂

  5. Olga Lemongrass

    Quick question:
    in pictures #3 and 4, did you cut down the seam of the whole shirt (the big chunk) too, and then sew the front and back sides together? I know you say “sew up the side seams” later on but you never mentioned cutting up the bigger chunk. Please & thanks! 🙂

    1. Laura "Lala"

      I did cut the sides of the original shirt and then sew them back together. I did that so that I could taper the seams towards the bust. That way the dress was fitted around my under bust and free around my hips.

      Happy crafting!

  6. Linda Fox

    Whoa! That is quite a transformation. From that experiment, it really doesn’t seem like you had a lazy summer, Lala. It’s more like, a very creative summer. Your neon pink dress looks fabulous on you. Just add some stunning accessories, plus a cute pair of shoes with that dress, then you’ll most probably be ready to rock that outfit. Good job!


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