Upcycled dress By phoebe Hanau

Buying wardrobe staples, like the t-shirt dress, can be very expensive (when it definitely shouldn't be!). So when my mum showed me her outdated maxi skirt, I knew I could give it a second life.

The dresses below were taken from a classic Australian brand (I wonder if you can guess which one) and prove that purchasing a basic everyday staple costs way too much.

To find a basic t-shirt dress at the shops, like the ones above, that is appealing, sewn to a high quality and a price less than three digits is nearly impossible.

Which dress would you rather, the dress from the shop above and risk running into someone wearing the exact same dress, or my newly created dress that cost a total of $0.00 and is very environmentally friendly?

What you need

  • A maxi skirt or similar, or T-shirting fabric (approximately 1.5m)
  • Matching thread + bobbin
  • Pins
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Mannequin or a friend (to fit the dress to).


  1. Cut off the waist band (if applicable).

2. Place the skirt on to the mannequin (or friend) pinning the edges at the shoulders.

3. Place a couple pins into the dress to mark the shape of the neckline and armholes.

4. Trim the neckline and armholes following your desired markings. It is best to trim less so that you can adjust as you go.

5. Pin the edges of the dress to your desired fit. Make sure it is even on both sides.

6. Trim the edges leaving 1.5cm from the pins.

7. Sew the sides of the dress and shoulders together.

8. Try on the dress and perfect the fit and shape of the arm holes and neckline as desired.

9. Mark and cut the dress to the length you want. I decided to scoop the sides of my dress but this is completely up to you. Since it is t-shirting fabric and will not fray, you do not need to hem the dress.

10. To finish off the armholes and neckline I used pieces from the maxi dress. For the armholes I used the original hem from the skirt and the neckline was spare material from the side seam.

11. Turn the dress inside out and trim all of the seams to 0.5cm for comfort.

12. Trim loose threads.

13. Put your new dress on and wear it to the shops, to work, for coffee, anywhere! Did I mention how comfortable it is?!

Created By
Phoebe Hanau


All DIY photos are my own. Mystery Australian brand may be Country Road...

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