Tie-Waist Tee Maxi Dress Refashion

I have been staring at this yellow striped tee for two years. I love almost everything about it: the color, the stripes (duh), the light weight knit, and the fit. It was almost perfect, BUT about an inch and a half too short. Like, that annoying shows-off-your-belly-in-the-way-you-thought-was-coy-in-highschool-but-you’re-not-in-highschool-anymore sort of way. I’ve worn it with a longer tee or tank underneath, and tucked it into high waisted skirts, but it was time to make a permanent change. What better than to add a light weight floor length skirt to make a cool and comfortable maxi dress?

Here’s the before. (before ironing, before picking up the living room, before waiting for daylight to take photos…)

I cut off the arms, because I wanted short sleeves for the summer, and so I could use the material for the waist band. I also cut the hem off to my natural waistline, just a couple inches.

I cut the seam off of each sleeve, then cut one of them in half. I turned the stripes vertical (like on this skirt) and stitched each piece, RST onto the bottom of the tee. After the front and back pieces were sewn on, I stitched down the side seams.

I measured the center front, and added two small button holes where I threaded the tie.

Who knows where I picked up this micro striped cotton/lycra knit. Probably on a sale table somewhere. I was happy to finally find a fun use for it! I measured the waistband of the shirt, and my height from natural waist to the floor, then cut a simple a-line skirt and stitched down the side seams.

I decided to use the vertical stripe waistband as the casing for the tie, so I turned the skirt inside out, stuffed the shirt inside, matched up side seams, and stitched it onto the seam of the shirt and the waistband. That left the bottom of the waistband unstitched.

This is how it looked after the skirt and shirt were stitched together. There is probably a much easier way to do this, but this worked just great:)

Then I just turned the end of the waistband under, and zig-zag stitched it to the skirt, leaving a nice casing for the tie. I made the tie with the other cut-off sleeve by placing right sides together and stitching around the edge, leaving a small hole in the center to turn in right side out. Then I stuck a safety pin on it, thread it through the casing, and was finished! I just left the sleeves and skirt raw edged, since it’s knit and won’t fray. Gotta love that.

The best thing about a dress is that it is a whole outfit in one. Add a cool, hand-stamped necklace from Pretty Little Me and I am good to go. About as low maintenance as it gets (without walking around in sweatpants.)(which I sometimes do.)(this is much cuter.)

So, there ya have it! An old tee shirt, a yard of knit fabric, and a quiet evening after the kids are asleep. Good luck and enjoy!


  1. Katherine Mackey
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    This is adorable! I want one.

    • Miranda
      Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      I would love to whip one up for you! I don’t have another old, striped tee around, but if you have one you like, I’ll totally add the skirt for you Katherine! ps Come visit soon! We miss you:)

  2. Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    This is adorable and simple. Thanks!

    • Miranda
      Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Glad you think so! Thanks for visiting:)

  3. katherinemw
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    turned out darling! how creative!!

    and a big thanks, too kind!

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