Friday, May 28, 2010

The "Cabo" Dress Tutorial - T shirt refashion

I came up with this dress quite a while ago. It was so easy and cute, I decided to make a tutorial but I never got around to posting it. After seeing Disney's from Ruffles and Stuff adorablebeachcomber tutorial, I thought I would post it since it is essentially an adult version of her dress!

What you'll need:
- The biggest T-shirt you can find - at least XL
- elastic to fit around your ribs under your armpits

1) Start with your T-shirt. It's very important that you get a giant one!

2) Cut the sleeves and collar off the shirt. Cut as little as possible off the top, or the dress will be too short!

3) Cut along the seams of the sleeves so they open up.

4) Now, sew the ends of the sleeves together to form a tube. This will be your ruffle! Also, sew up the sides of the shirt where you cut the sleeves off. Make sure you taper your seam down the bottom of the arm hole though, so you don't have funny puckers where your sewing ends.

4) Here comes the slightly tricky part. You need to attach the tube to the inside of the shirt so that it is inside of the t shirt, and so that you can flip it out and have both right sides facing out. Basically, we are attaching it and making an elastic casing with it.

Here is a close up (sorry it's sideways..) of the correct way to do this. If you pull the ruffle out from the shirt after you sew it (so it isn't inside of it anymore), the seams should look like this.

5) Now, pull the ruffle down over the right side of the dress. The right side of both the ruffle and the shirt should now be showing. Next, stitch along the top of the ruffle, leaving room between your stitch and the seam attaching it to the main dress for the elastic to be threaded though. Stop your stitch about half an inch before the place you started.

6) Through the gap you left, thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the ends together once it's through all the way.

7) Now, here's the creative part! You can leave it as is, like I did with this one, and pair it with an awesome belt. Or, you can make a casing around the waist and thread some elastic through.

Or, make braided straps and a belt like Disney did in her beachcomber dress!! I'm going to have to try that next :)

Check out this awesome fuchsia vintage belt - I got it for 2 bucks at a thrift store! I think it looks pretty great with the dress!

I think this dress would be especially cute in a navy blue, with a striped sash and braided straps like in Disney's tutorial. What do you guys think? If you make this, post your links!


  1. THis says "summer." I can't believe it is made from a t-shirt! I will feature this today at Grab my "featured" button.

  2. I love this! Would be perfect for the humid summers here.

  3. Awesome tutorial! I'm going to have to make one of these. I post tutorials on my blog as well. :)


  4. Very Cute!
    I saw your post on craft gossip, so I stopped by and became a follower. You have so many creative projects!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I really wanted to try the one like Disney's but it was on the small side. Thank you!

  6. This is ADORABLE! I love it...I love finding new ideas for t-shirts!

  7. Cute! I'm almost finished with mine - only I didn't have elastic, so I did a drawstring, and I'm adding pockets. =)

  8. Awesome tutorial! I'm going to have to make one of these. I post tutorials on my blog as well. :)

    Funny Teeshirts

  9. I really loved this dress and couldnt wait to try and make one for myself. Apparently i am to busty for this one. :( My ruffle isnt a ruffle at all. lol. I am going to keep trying to get it to work for me though!

  10. just a few tips...i bought an XXL mens tshirt..have just finished cutting it. when i cut the sleeves off they were rounded into the tshirt body about 3 inches..required me to cut on an angle down the shirt side..making it actually quite narrow..still not sure how that is going to fit.( and i am only a size 6) also..the sleeves..the narrowest part of the sleeve (along the seam coming from the armpit area) is only about 2 1/2 inches wide. NOT wide enough for a ruffle. it will end up sticking straight out from the top. I found an old piece of lace i bought for something else, about 6 inches wide. It is white so i have it in a black dye bath as i type. :)
    Also, it will be a top for sure. I am 5 ft 10 in, and there is no way this is going to be long enough for a dress on me. And really wanted to do a shoulder strap to be able to wear a normal bra but that wont work now with the lace ruffle, i dont think a braided strap will look right. Any other ideas??
    Thanks again for the great idea
    just a few things to think about.
    Wonderful idea, just need to tweek it to make mine work.
    will let you know how it turns will try and post a pic somehow once its done.
    i didnt have a id to publish as..but my name is Joy :)

  11. okay..6 hours the lace didnt work..needed way too much of it to stretch big enough to put it on. looked like a lace (remember this needs to pull up over your hips) so i used a different old t shirt and cut 6 inches from the hem, that way the hem was already done. the t shirt was tourquois. it turned out verry nice. was impatient so just used black thread to zigzag the seam for the elastic casing. actually looks good though. I have not sewed stretch fabric for a while..took a bit to get the tension right...probably about 30 minutes of that time ewas wasted there, and about 3 hours putting on then taking off the lace.
    soo..will i make another one? yes..i will, because i am stubborn like that. I am not totally happy with the final result.
    as an added bonus, while pulling it up over my hips i really loved it as a skirt. :) will probably wear it that way more often that as a top. (wayy too short for a dress for me).
    hope i helped someone avoid a few pitfalls. most important is really look at your t shirt sleeves that they are set right and wide enough.

  12. I'm a newbie to sewing and this was the first project that i saw that didn't scare the crap out of me. Your instructions were incredibly helpful and now I have a new dress! :) Thanks!

  13. I love this design!!! I made a grey one with a black/zebra print thick belt(: This idea is amazingly great!!!!!

  14. love it! gonna go buy a big t shirt and get to it!

  15. Super Cool Tutotial I will pinterest also if need Make Your Own T-Shirt get Plain t shirts I can Help just let me know , thanks



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