Refashion: Left over tee scrap + fabric = ruched dress

I did 2 projects with a yellow/black striped long sleeved tee a while ago – a reversible skirt and a dog’s turtleneck outfit. I still have one sleeve and the top part of the shirt left.

While looking at the tshirt remnant, i had an idea…

First, I cut off the collar and hemmed the neckline by folding it over twice towards the wrong side. Zigzag stitch all around as close to the edge as possible.

cut off the collar

Cut off a portion of the sleeve that when halved and opened up, would equal the width of the top shown above. Stitch the 2 pieces together with right sides facing. Use a basting stitch down the middle of the front, gather, and then sew a permanent zig zag stitch.

add on cut sleeves

Take out some fabric for the body of the dress. I went with a black stretchy fabric and cut out a strip that was twice the length of my chest to knee and just an inch wider than the yellow/black top. Attach the front and back with right sides facing. Zig zag stitch before hanging the outfit and cutting the black strip in half. This “cheat” saves me some measuring because the front yellow/black piece is longer than the back piece.


Coco likes sitting on my fabrics. The excess black fabric was on the floor and she made herself comfy on it. Funny puppy. 🙂

Coco lounging on fabric

Zig zag stitch the top and bottom of the dress together. It’s a good time to hem up the sleeves of the top. You could have done this a step earlier. I was sitting on the fence about adding sleeves and just decided that i’d leave it sleeveless. The bust area was a little roomy so i made 3 long horizontal darts on each side. I like the way it turned out.


Stitch the sides together. You may want to pull it over your dress form or place a form fitting dress over this and pin it to fit your body. Zig zag stitch and finish the edges if your material tends to fray. Mine doesn’t. In fact, it rolls up, which i don’t mind.

Get out some black elastic band. Add a short piece to the bust area to help it gather some more. Add 2 longer strips to the side of the dress. Zig zag stitch the side seams and stop half an inch above the hem of the dress.  This creates a curved front and back hem.


Here’s a closer look of the front of the dress. For a more modest look, add some lace or fabric  to create the appearance of a faux camisole within. An inverted triangle would do the trick.


Here’s the front and back view of the dress.


The front section looks a little incomplete. Use a strip of fabric from the sleeve remnant and create a tube and then attach it to the front of the dress. I hand sewed it on so as to hide the stitches.


What do you think?

Front view with a beltBack view without a belt

The Fun In Functional link party @ Practically Functional

2 thoughts on “Refashion: Left over tee scrap + fabric = ruched dress

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