confessions of a modern mom

Handmade Upcycled Dresses (with Tutorial)

Handmade Upcycled Dresses (with Tutorial)

Today is my niece’s second birthday – yay, Maya! For a gift, I thought it would be fun to get her started with costumes. Bella is totally obsessed with dressing up (has been since she was a baby). So, I put together a box of dress up goodies – a ballerina costume, skirt, hats, necklaces, crowns, etc. The finishing touch was a dress I made for her.

Well, here’s what happened…I started to make Maya a dress and Bella absolutely fell in love with it and thanked me profusely for making her such a beautiful dress. So, I made another one! I upcycled some cute shirts by adding pieces of fabric from Zack’s old shirts. There’s something about using men’s shirtwear fabric for girls’ dresses that totally gets me. I also love recycling fabrics…Anyway, here are the results:

She opted to remove the belt...
Maya's dress shown with the belt


If you have a sewing machine, and know even the tiniest bit about sewing, you can do this. I basically cut two pieces of fabric that were twice the width of the shirt. I gathered them (for Maya’s) or pleated them (for Bella’s). I sewed them together to make the side seams and then sewed them onto the shirt. You could also just cut out one piece of fabric that is 4 times the width of the shirt and then have just one back seam.

Then, I cut some petal shaped pieces of fabric using pinking shears and sewed them onto the bottom of the skirt. Sew fast, sew easy.

Here’s a bit more detail:

2 thoughts on “Handmade Upcycled Dresses (with Tutorial)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *