No sew Tshirt dress tutorial: Mini Mod #14

Sorry it took me to long to post this! Busy week. I made three t shirt dresses this week because they are quick and easy to do, and this is a tutorial for a no-sew version. Which surprisingly turned out.

After making a t-shirt dress and seeing how easy it was I challenged myself to attempt a no-sew version. I’m posting these tutorials backwards (no sew first instead of second) but hopefully they’ll both be helpful. The other I’ll try to post withing the next day or two.

I had been looking for a no-sew dress for toddlers and I couldn’t find one. So I attempted making my own. My daughter wore it around the house, passing test #1 then she just wore it to daycare and it didn’t fall apart so it passed the ultimate test. But I still want to put a little disclaimer out there that if you have a sewing machine, I’d just make the sewing version because it will be more sturdy, and it honestly isn’t much harder, if harder at all to just sew the dang thing.

So for measurements for about an 18-month old toddler dress I get (obviously) an 18 months shirt, then for the main dress part of the fabric I get 1/2 yard of fabric, and for the trim and sash fabric I get 1/8 yard. But if you also want to use it to add an embellishment to the dress, or a bow or something I’d get 1/4 yard so you have extra.

Other materials you’ll need:
Cord elastic (I used about 18in but you’ll cut it based on how wide your kid’s waist is.)
Heat N Bond tape (3/8in)

Step 1: Cut the shirt 2in below the arm holes.

Step 2: Cut the hem/ sash fabric in half.

Step 3: Take the bottom end of the dress fabric and the top end of the trim piece and place them together, right sides together. This is how they’ll be attached. Place a strip of Heat N Bond down and follow the instructions to bond the two pieces.

Step 4: Fold the bottom of the trim strip backwards twice (small folds less than 1in), and iron a crease. This is how the hem will look. Cut and place the Heat N Bond  between the hem crease and attach as the directions say.

Step 5: Fold the top part of the dress over backwards about an inch. Place a strip of Heat N bond closest to the top part of the dress (not close to the fold, you want an open space where you’ll be stringing the elastic through). Iron the piece down as instructed.

Step 6: Measure your child’s waist and cut the cord elastic to that length. Using a safety pin, string the piece of cord elastic through the casing you just made at the top of the dress. Once it’s all the way through, tie the elastic together in a knot. This has made what looks like an open skirt.

Step 7: Flip the shirt inside out, and flip the open skirt inside out too. Add small strips Heat N Bond around the shirt and slowly attach the skirt portion to the shirt, gently stretching the elastic along the way so that it will fit all away the shirt.

Step 8: Add iron stitch down the long portion of the skirt that’s still open and fuse them together.

Step 9: Flip the dress inside out and admire.

Step 10: If you’d like to make a sash, fold the sash fabric in half, hotdog style right sides together. Add iron stitch to the end and fuse it together.

Step 11: Use a long pointy object to flip it right side out, then add iron stitch to each end.

Step 12: Flip everything right side out and iron down the seams so they are flat and not puckering up. This should also reinforce all of the bonding. 

VOILA!! Put it on your baby and admire.

What do you think? Going to give it a try?

If there’s anything I didn’t clarify well enough let me know and I’ll elaborate more. I wrote this kind of fast.

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  1. I love, love, love your blog! You are so creative, can you please have a baby boy so that you can come up with things for boys? I can’t wait to have a girl, just so I can make all kinds of dresses for her as you do.
    I think I’ve met you before…I think at a Genesis activity held at the Calvary Baptist church in Utah? It would have been around 2006, I remember the color contacts that you mentioned you loved to wear. I was single at the the time, you were married.
    Anyhow, my name is Nativa Rodeback (I’m part Tongan/ part Haitian). I’m married to a caucasion as well…I love to read your blog because I feel like I can relate on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  2. So I am trying to make this dress. I am all the way to the part where you attach the skirt to the shirt and it absolutely refuses to bond for me! I think it’s the elastic, it keeps pulling the two apart, even when I hold it down for a while. I tried flattening the material, ironing while it was scrunched, etc. Same result!

    Any suggestions? How did you get the two to stay with just heat and bond without them separating?

  3. I absolutely Love this dress! I’m interested in making the one using the same fabric and shirt, could you please tell me where they were purchased? Thank you!!!

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