Old T-Shirts Transform Into An Adorable Summer Sundress

by Rebecca Landman
Rebecca is a writer living the Los Angeles dream. She loves hiking, music, and crocheting on her couch to the background lull of Netflix. She believes our world is complex. By sharing and listening to each other’s stories, we unpack that complexity layer by layer, learning more about who we are and how we want to live our lives. She writes to keep learning.

For a seasoned upcycler, finding new summertime outfits can be as simple as repurposing the old clothes scrunched deep in the back of a closet or drawer.

When Instructables DIY-er MelissaMersinger needed a new summer sundress, she wanted something unique and cost-effective, so she decided to make one herself.

She went shopping in her own closet for materials, and immediately spotted a pile of old T-shirts perfectly suited for the project she had in mind.

After implementing some inventive ripping techniques, she ended up with a huge pile of old T-shirt fabric strands she then braided and sewed together into a bodice.

Pairing her new bodice with a simple cloth skirt, this crafter created an original, adorable sundress she can wear all season long.

By trusting in her creativity, this DIY-er designed a beautiful garment, and gifted her old, ratty T-shirts with wonderful new purpose in the process.

Scroll through our gallery to see exactly how this crafty upcycler transformed old T-shirts into a cute, new sundress.

As this year’s warmer seasons began rolling in, Instructables DIY-er MelissaMersinger took inventory of her summer apparel, and realized her outfit repertoire could use a few new looks.

What she did have were mounds of old novelty T-shirts, sitting unworn.

Crafty upcycler that she is, this Instructables user decided to transform her old T-shirts into something new: an adorable little sundress.

cut tshirts

She began her project by cutting each shirt into strips.

cut tshirts

Quickly on, she realized that the best way to get longer strips was to tear pieces on a diagonal.

This crafter didn’t pay much attention to keeping the strips precisely one single width. She felt the variation would only add to the dress’s unique character.


Once she’d ripped all of her strips, this DIY-er braided three pieces at a time into different-colored strands.

She made the majority of her braids long enough to wrap around her chest.

This crafter made one braid, designated as the dress’s halter top strap, long enough to wrap around her neck, tied in a bow.

sewing dress

She then sewed the strands together, to form the dress’s bodice, leaving the longer strand out of the mix.

This crafter left a small opening in the bodice’s midsection, through which the halter strap would eventually attach.

cutting fabric

Next, this upcycler turned her attention to the dress’s skirt.

She followed a premade pattern, making sure to add seam allowances, and at least an inch of fabric for the skirt’s hemline.

tshirt dress

She then tucked her new skirt into the braided bodice, sewed the two pieces together, and voilà — this DIY-er had a new dress to enjoy all summer long!

tshirt dress

She played around with the halter strap, until she found the knot to best suit her style.

tshirt dress

This clever upcycler repurposed old, forgotten T-shirts into an adorable sundress she can now wear again and again.

What do you think of this upcycled sundress? Have you ever use old T-shirts in one of your upcycling projects? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this inventive project with other crafters in your community!