Jersey Dress from Old Tees!

Shark Tank Skirt
ReFashionista on Good Afternoon America!

I’ve returned!!!  Cue the trumpet fanfare! :)  So…wow I haven’t posted in a while!  Without a daily deadline pushing me along, I’m beginning to understand those of you who have told me that they’ve pulled their sewing machine out, but just don’t know where to get started.

That’s right.  I’ve been experiencing a big mondomclargehuge case of refashioner’s block!  :/  I think it goes back to the old adage said to writers who ask, “How can I make myself write every day?”.  The answer is “Write every day.”  I really need to get back to doing a least a little sewing every day to keep in a groove.  :)

To get out of my funk, I’ve been surrounding myself with as many creative and inspiring people as possible.  That’s right…when my creative energy gets low, I like to feed off the creative energy of others (Mwahahahaha!!!)…not unlike a leech or a vampire bat.

Today’s refashion is a departure from a lot of what you’ve seen me do.  I started with 6 XL men’s Tshirts that were donated to me.


I actually only had five donated shirts.   As some of you have suspected, I’m seeing a new gent.    New Gent lives out of town, so we mostly just see each other on the weekends…Juuuust like that lady on the food network in the Hamptons!!!

ONLY the Barefoot Contessa can pop a collar and not be a total d-bag. :)

Anywho…Gent left a tshirt behind in his last visit that he mentioned he didn’t like very much– so I snagged it for my own nefarious purposes.   Seriously…never trust a refashionista!  ;)

I took each Tshirt, and cut it under the arms, like so:


I cut them open at the torso as well.  Then, I stitched them together in threes, using a zigzag stitch!

In stitches!

When sewing these together, I made sure they were all facing the same way,  so some of the tees wouldn’t stretch more than others.

This year is all about expanding my skills and trying new techniques.  As most of you guys know, I don’t really sew with any patterns.  I’ve always found them tedious and a pain in the ass…

Til now!  :)  I’m actually getting bored with my usual refashions, so It’s time to branch out a bit!  I found this pattern for pretty cheap on the BurdaStyle website.

What’s up with the ooglay vest, girlie?

I almost didn’t choose this one.  Usually in fashion photography, if someone is standing weird or is covering up the garment they’re trying to sell, there’s something wrong with it.  I don’t know why they chose to put a vest on this chick and hide what the top of the dress looks like.  I went ahead and chanced it!

First, I assembled my pattern.


I cut out the pieces and pinned them to my Tshirt panels.  This is a really simple pattern, so there were only two main pieces.  :)


I followed the instructions provided as to the order in which everything needed to be sewn together.

Prepping those shoulders!

Next, I needed to use bias tape around the neck and arm holes to keep everything from getting stretched/worn out.  I used the leftover bottom hems from my Tshirts instead!

…Just snip off the serged seam!

This saved me a good bit of time, as I didn’t have to iron them down.  :)  Since it’s cotton jersey, it doesn’t need to be cut along the bias to make it stretchy.   I decided to leave the outside edges of my non-bias tape raw.

Completely unbiased!

I sewed my unbiased tape around the neck and arm holes, then I stitched down the sides!

Meet my new friend, Pfaff! :D

Do you like my new machine?  :)  It’s a gift from my mom.  :)  This is the very sewing machine I grew up watching her sew on!  It’s as old as I am, and it is AMAZING!  Don’t be fooled by its age…this machine is a HUGE upgrade from my old (er…new) one!  I plan on keeping it forever!  :)

Now my Tshirt dress is all done!

Hooray for color blocking!!! :)

The back looks pretty spiffy too!

Soooo comfy!


Try to ignore my goofy face, okay?

I think I actually like my version better than the original!  :)

Plus, it pairs well with a Pale Ale! ;)

Cheers!  :)

Shark Tank Skirt
ReFashionista on Good Afternoon America!

54 Comments on Jersey Dress from Old Tees!

  1. johagord
    August 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Cheers to you too! Or as we say in Scotland, Slainte!

  2. Melissa
    August 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm (3 years ago)

    That is adorable!!

  3. Jes
    August 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Way to go on the branching out into the “previously uncharted” territory of patterns! Patterns intimidate me. I admire your courage, woman! Can’t wait to see what creativity you mooch off artistic friends will yield next! ;) love your work!

  4. Kristen
    August 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I really like it!!! :)

  5. Victoria S Andrews
    August 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Dyno-mite!!! That sure is a fantastic dress. I would like one in every tshirt color in my closet! Glad to have you back, I was getting the shakes from lack of seeing your creativity.

  6. Ami
    August 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm (3 years ago)

    I think your goofy faces are cute, your writing is entertaining and your talent is admirable. Keep it up! Oh yeah, GOOOOO “Cox”! :)

  7. Katy Stryker
    August 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm (3 years ago)

    Definitely like it better than the original! I did some refashioning of my own today – One of my favorite shirts (which sadly has stains) now is a cute new skirt for my daughter. You’ve inspired me!

  8. Jennifer Peterson
    August 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm (3 years ago)

    cute!!! love your blog!! now if I could sew better:)

  9. Ali
    August 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Hey girl – how I’ve missed your daily blogs! LOVE love love this dress – amazing – looks fantastic on you and is even better than the original! Hair, makeup and shoes are all faaabulous too! Well done – and congrats on the new man and the new/old sewing machine! Keep mooching off those artistic friends of yours as we are all awaiting your refashions and living vicariously through you. Well done!

  10. Kay
    August 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm (3 years ago)

    That turned out so cool. You inspire me to want to try and sew but the little bugger inside my head keeps reminding me how awful I am at it. lol

  11. Cindy
    August 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm (3 years ago)

    Definitely like yours better than the original. Great job…and on the new guy, too. ;)

  12. Melwyk
    August 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm (3 years ago)

    What a great dress! Perfect reuse of soft comfy tshirt cotton — the colour blocking makes it into a really extraordinary piece. (ps – love the unbiased tape…)

  13. Angelia
    August 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm (3 years ago)

    YAY! She’s back! Very cute dress, might try something like this myself.

  14. Amy Kalbster
    August 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm (3 years ago)

    I have been stockpiling t-shirts from garage sales to make a knit dress, and I am totally stealing this idea. It has everything I have been wanting in a dress – color-blocking, a high-low hemline, comfort. I love your color combination and the use of the t-shirt hems for unbiased tape! Glad to have you back!

  15. Kristina
    August 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm (3 years ago)

    Cute! I love it! And I am SO happy to have you back :-)

  16. erica
    August 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Your version is indeed much better than the original! Well done on your first pattern achievement, I have a feeling we will be seeing more pattern use from Refashionista in the future, yes? :)

    • ReFashionista
      August 18, 2012 at 10:00 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you! Oh yes…I’ve got another dress in the works riiiight now! :)

  17. Kelsey1224
    August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm (3 years ago)

    Your refashion is much better than the original…and definitely better than the T’s. Nice to see you back. And I love, love, love the sewing machine.

  18. Tracie
    August 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I love this! I want one!

  19. RileysMomma
    August 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm (3 years ago)

    one of the items on my 40 things to do in my 40th year is to sew a dress for myself. i’ve overcome my fear of my sewing machine … for crafting, at least. now it’s time to really pull up my big girl panties and overcome my fear of patterns and sewing clothing. and i totally understand about your mom’s sewing machine – i covet my mom’s sewing machine. they just don’t make them like that anymore. at least not affordably for hobbyists like myself. great job!

    • ReFashionista
      August 18, 2012 at 9:59 am (3 years ago)

      Yay! What a cool challenge! You should totally make a dress for yourself. What made this one easy was that I split it up into two days. Take your time and enjoy the process. If you rush yourself, you’ll get frustrated and sloppy! :)

  20. Anne Davies
    August 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Very cool!!!

    Sent from my iPad

  21. Christina
    August 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Very cute!

    AND I’m waiting for the day my mom will give me her sewing machine.

    • ReFashionista
      August 18, 2012 at 9:58 am (3 years ago)

      I LOVE this machine! It’s so funny, when I was a kid, she’d never let me touch it!!! :D

  22. Sandy
    August 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Very cute dress! What are some helpful tips for sewing on T-shirt fabric, I don’t do so good with them :(
    I enjoy your blog, thanks for posting again!!

    • ReFashionista
      August 18, 2012 at 9:58 am (3 years ago)

      The best thing I can tell you about sewing tshirt fabric is to make sure the stretchy part is going side-to-side, not up and down. When sewing the stretchy part, sew with a zigzag stitch so it can continue being stretchy and not bunch up. If you’re hemming jersey, use a straight (and wide) stitch, and stitch slowwwwwly so it doesn’t stretch out. For the non-stretchy parts (Vertical), just use a straight stitch. A lot of it is just paying attention to which part of the grain you’re sewing and what the proper stitch is for it. :)

      • Sandy
        August 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm (3 years ago)

        Thanks, I’ll try to pay closer attention next time!

  23. Kim T
    August 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm (3 years ago)

    AMAZING!! Love your posts and glad you’re back!

  24. Laura
    August 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Fun and cute…..fantastic recycle of old T’s

  25. Joyce Love
    August 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Such a cute dress, Jillian, & I agree with the others, it is better than the one shown on the model! If you haven’t already, you should do this as a pattern review on I’ve missed your posts, glad you’re back!

  26. Jen Bailey
    August 18, 2012 at 3:31 am (3 years ago)

    So Glad you’re back, I’ve missed you! I love this dress and will be very definitely making my own version. I’ve been having the same problem and need to get back to blogging, you’re inspiring me to start again, Thanks!!!

  27. Amy C
    August 18, 2012 at 4:58 am (3 years ago)

    Awww I love that! I so wanna make one for myself and my oldest daughter. I got some super great finds from my local goodwill this week. As I was scanning the aisles of clothing and trying to keep my curious two year old in check, i was thoroughly enjoying myself! Each time I picked up an item I would think hmmm…what would Jillian do with this?? What CAN Amy do with this? I ended up with a perfectly fit American eagle sundress, an A & E top that will need a little work, a perfect fitting and gorgeous White House Black Market top, some polka dotted capris that I may or may not need to remove a bow from, a sheer Max Studio top, a brand new pair of adorable wedges, and some leather flip flops. Perfect shop I’ll say. Reading your blog has done for me exactly what you claim at the top of your page. You’ve changed my thinking, and I am way more courageous when putting together outfits.

    Seriously, the man-friend will have to learn to share more. We had you first! ;-)

  28. Melissa
    August 18, 2012 at 8:27 am (3 years ago)

    Your so adorable!

  29. tracey
    August 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm (3 years ago)

    I am so excited for this new chapter in your blog. Taking more time opens the doors for you to be so much more creative. The sky is the limit and these refashions are going to continue to inspire. Love that you have your mother’s machine! And a new man whoo hooo!

  30. Nina Wum
    August 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Jillian, I’m so glad You’re back. Thanks to You, I’ve become a refashionist of sorts myself.
    Still afraid of patterns though. Keep up the amazing work!

  31. kat
    August 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm (3 years ago)

    You ALWAYS look better in your clothes than the poor models. She looks like she’s missing half her dress! I think it’s because the bottom of yours is a different color in the back, which makes it look much more intentional. Hers looks like her kid took a pair of scissors to it. They should fire their models and hire you!
    ~Kat in Sweden

  32. bethanyd28594
    August 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm (3 years ago)

    you are friggen awesome! thank you SO much for all your inspiration!

  33. Claudia
    August 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm (3 years ago)

    Nice to see you again ! Very swanky dress and love the blue bias tape !

  34. Mikki
    August 19, 2012 at 12:30 am (3 years ago)

    Oh, I love this re-fash! I think it’s one of my favorites. It definitely looks way better than the original. Love the color blocking. Great job!

  35. alcessa
    August 19, 2012 at 8:31 am (3 years ago)

    AMAZING. Really great! (nothin else comes to mind :-)

  36. Diane
    August 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm (3 years ago)

    Welcome back – I’ve missed you! And VERY cute dress – I want to try this myself! AND congrats on the new guy :)

  37. Joanna
    August 20, 2012 at 3:24 am (3 years ago)

    OK it took me 3 weeks but Im finally up-to-date on your blog! Im so freakin addicted to it! My husband thinks Im crazy! But, in other good news, Im adding my sewing machine into the plans for my new walkin-closet-transformed-into-a-craft-room. YAY!

  38. Lori
    August 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I like yours better than the original too!

  39. krugthethinker
    August 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, that dress looks awesome! Definitely better than the original! This is a great idea for thrift store t-shirts, and it gives me lots of hope because I keep finding that jersey knits in fabric stores are…more expensive than I’d like them to be! Congrats on the new machine, new projects, and the new gent!

  40. holly
    August 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm (3 years ago)

    The dress is great. However…the goofy face should used on the before pix. Cute face in the after pix.

  41. Larry B
    August 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm (3 years ago)

    The ‘New Guy’ shares her enough already!!! So much that I only see her weekends and holidays. But he also makes sure that she is working to keep her many fans around the world happy with new and interesting posts!!!

  42. Hope Musick
    August 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Your dress turned out so cute. Much better than the original!

  43. kaila mo
    August 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm (3 years ago)

    oh my gosh this is awesome!!! it looks soo cute, you are so creative and talented! i just started taking sowing classes, i hope to be able to make cute stuff like you do!

  44. Bold Wandering
    September 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm (3 years ago)

    I like your color blocking and structure way better than the original.

  45. Laura
    May 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm (2 years ago)

    You, my dear, are a genius. And you’ve inspired me to actually get up off my arse and DO something with that pile of rejected t-shirts in my Sewing Bag O’ Nightmares.

  46. CindyT.
    August 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh, this is the best dress of yours! Love the colors and yay!! your first pattern!

    • CindyT.
      August 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm (2 years ago)

      ps I agree, the vest on the model was a big but Why?

  47. Karine
    February 23, 2014 at 6:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Just so you know, I have spend DAYS going through your blog when I really should be working (since that is what the Boss-Man pays me for). But this refashion has to be my FAVORITE. Well done :)

    • ReFashionista
      February 24, 2014 at 9:14 am (2 years ago)

      Oh no! Be careful! ;) Thanks! :)


Leave a Reply