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Bierkeller Dress: T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion

An Early Fall Beige Brunch Dress Refashion
An Easy DIY Wine Crate Ottoman

When I was asked to volunteer for a friend’s Oktoberfest event (you can learn more about Bierkeller Columbia right here), I of course said yes. Delicious Kolsch and an opportunity to help bring something special to Columbia? Heck yeah.

When I was asked if I’d like a shirt to refashion, I of course also said yes.

I was given this one. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

Refashionista T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion before
Do you like my thrifted owlie wall art peeking at you in the background?
Refashionista T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion before back view
Le back!

Let’s turn this T-shirt into a DIY Drawstring Halter Top Dress!

There are many many ways to refashion tees. But the one I’m about to show you is definitely one of my favorites. 🙂

First, I snipped off the bottom hem.

cutting bottom hem off shirt

Then, I cut down each side and removed the sleeves and neckline as well.

cutting sleeves off shirt
More snips!

Keep in mind that the big logo was originally on the back. But I wanted it in the front! No worries.

I grabbed a dress from my closet that I liked the fit of…

dress laid over shirt
You’ll do!

…and I folded the two sides of my cut up tee in half, as well as the green dress.

Then I laid them out like so:

dress folded in half over shirt folded in half

This will help make sure each side is nice and even.

cutting around outline of dress
Yet more snipping!
cut out part of shirt
Getting closer!

Remember how I said I wanted the big Bierkeller logo to be in the front of this dress? That meant the original front would need to be a little shorter than the original back.

You can see what I mean here:

Pinned sides of dress
Pinned and ready to go under the needle!

I stitched each side down…

sewing side of dress

Then, I pinned a casing to the new front and new back.

pinned top casing of dress
So close to being done!

They both got stitched down…

sewing top of dress down
A lil more whirrage.

…and then I used a thinly cut piece from the side scraps to make a drawstring, which got threaded through the front and back casings.

drawstring threaded through top of dress
If you don’t have a bodkin, you can just use a safety pin to thread it through.

When I tried my new dress on, I decided it needed a little more tweaking to get the fit juuuust right.

This is usually the make-or-break part of any refashion, and a step I try to never skip. A little extra tailoring goes a long way. 🙂

pinning sides of dress on dress form
Just a smidge!

And just like that, I was ready to help my friends throw one of the most fun events of the summer!

I chose to tie the drawstring off to one side, but you could easily do both sides, or just stitch the two ends together to make more basic straps.

Refashionista T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion After
Refashionista T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion After 2
Just hanging at the Brickyard…like ya do.
There was quite a crowd!
There was quite a crowd!
Jillian and friends at Bierkeller Columbia
Bierkeller Columbia fans!
crowd at biergarten tables
Columbia loves a good German-style beer!
Phillip, Jillian and Cole at ID tent
Identification, please.
crowd at bierkeller at night
The festivities went on into the night.
Empty Bierkeller tent at night
Until next year…


Refashionista T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion Before and After
An Early Fall Beige Brunch Dress Refashion
An Easy DIY Wine Crate Ottoman

82 thoughts on “Bierkeller Dress: T-shirt to Drawstring Halter Dress Refashion”

  1. Robbed in the middle of the day! What a terrifying experience, yet you were so cavalier in addressing it. Hope things will work out for you soon. Send us the names of the contractor companies, who have let you down, and we’ll inundate them with pleas to help you. Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeves for Halloween.

  2. Hi deary, so sorry about the robbery! That sucks. I’m in Surrey, Canada, and our summer has been pretty much non-existent. I live in a basement suite so I’ve been wearing a sweater down here most of the summer. I feel for you being in the heat. Heat is much worse than the cold. You can put more clothes on in winter but you can’t pull off all your clothes and skin! lol. I love your little dress too! You look great in it. Glad to see you still smiling.

  3. This looks like it could easily be translated to an adult tee into a little girl’s dress! I’m going to give it a shot for my little one once she’s walking more steadily. She’s not a big fan of dresses in her current crawling stage, but I’ve got a million old tshirts (hoping to do a tshirt quilt someday) that are waiting to be repurposed!

  4. Y’know your refash adds a sparkle to all of our inboxes! Much grinning going on round the world. We appreciate you hun. Take all the time you need to heal 🙂

    Bad robbers doosch bags how awful – shocked, middle of the day as well!

    But got to say what in the Lords name have you done to the AC unit man it looks like its hiked halfway round the world, and been celebrating every night…

    Tip – wet sheet hung at an open window cools the air – (mind you it’s usually breezy here in UK)

    I have a draw full of Tees…..I need a refash but heck which archive days do I need? Only one is a long huge size kinda icky purple & green swirls, rest are all too small – but I love them especially my Banana Beach Californian sun wear ‘Mata’i’ which is a beauty I can’t part with it….

    Smiffy x

  5. You are missed… by a lot of people. I enjoy reading your posts when you have time. I am sorry about the AC…Hope this issue gets resolved… And I just LOVE your white shift. That is so cool!!

  6. That dress is so cute! Sorry to hear about the ac – that’s got to be miserable in Cola this time of year! And sorry to hear of the robbery. I was also robbed in a parking lot in the middle of the day many years ago, & I have to say I had a mild case of PTSD for a while. I hope you were not too traumatized.

  7. Jillian: This is a great transformation , love it, you are so very creative, you should write a book for us who are not sure of what to do to make a refashion.
    I am sad you had to put up with the heat and to buy a room air conditioner.
    I cannot believe some people, I am so sorry you were robbed, I hope it was only money and not credit cards.


  8. Very creative! Love it! Wishing cooler weather and peaceful days for you! I’m always excited when I see you in my Inbox! Happy Friday to you and may your weekend be wonderful! I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  9. Wonderful to see you again, and with such a cute and copy-able refashion. There are so many orphan t-shirts out there; maybe some of them will be made into cute little sundresses now. I love your idea of putting the logo on the front. You ARE in marketing, right?

  10. Super cute dress! sorry about all the crazy happening to you. It will get better – until then just keep moving forward. Love your posts & looking forward to the next one. No hurry.

  11. So sorry for your run of bad luck! Glad to see you creating agian. I’m always inspired and amazed at what you do. This one is one of my favs! Looks easy and comfy!

  12. Hang in there Jillian! Great re-fashion, as are all of your projects. I’m always inspired to go try something new after I read one of your posts.

  13. So sorry for the bad stuff – hope you’re okay. That kind of thing can shake up your world (the robbery). Cute refashion, and it would also work to make just a top, too.

  14. So sorry about your A/C problems and the horrendous robbery. Hang in there. Your posts are welcome whenever they come. The shirt to dress is really cute. Nice refashion. Take care. May you have better luck soon.

  15. So sorry to hear of all your troubles. Sometimes we all need a vacation to jump start our creativity . This one is adorable ! Great redo

  16. Your re-fash is so cute! Hope the AC gets fixed soon and I hope they catch whoever robbed you. Damn girl you are strong!! Just take care of you for now the sewing will come when you are ready Karen x

  17. I’m sorry that you’ve had rotten luck lately. Hope that the muggers didn’t hurt you.
    I’m going through a rough patch myself (job problems, relationship going sour, declining health…) so I understand what it means – no to feel like being all happy and creative. I will always wait patiently for you to come back here. Your blog has been such an inspiration and a source of good vibes for me. Take care. 🙂

  18. Oh my gosh, hope you’re OK after being robbed!! That is horrible! Hope you get the account fixed and can get back to your creative self

  19. What a cute idea! I hear you on the heat and sewing, I haven’t done much myself for exactly that reason. I hope you get the AC sorted out. And EEEEK to the being robbed, that had to be a bit scary!

  20. Now that you’re back, you’re forgiven. LOL I understand about not doing anything in the heat. I can relate. But we are gladddddddd to have you back. Love your pix.

  21. The dress is adorable on you. You did it so quick and made it so cute. Don’t worry about posting your rehabilitated clothing. Just let us know that you’re ok, and you will post later. You’ve had your hands full.

  22. Great refashion as always.

    I’m currently rereading all your blog posts … Again. They really inspire me so I much and I regularly look back on them for tips and ideas . I feel like a bit of a stalker as I have never messaged before but I’m gutted that someone robbed you and really really wanted to say that I hope you are ok!

    Love and best wishes from Wolverhampton England. X

  23. Sorry about your problems and super happy to see your post.
    As requested, sending you showers and cooler temps but would love some of your heat.
    From West Coast Canada.

  24. I had the same problem with the home warrenty and a/c company for TWO houses. I even asked to talk to the owner of the warrenty company! Five people had no idea who that was! I live in Tucson! So sorry about the robbery. I hope your alright.

  25. Having grown up in South Mississippi, I completely understand the inability to do anything useful when it is SO HOT! Look forward to your next post. Should be cool by October!

  26. Glad you’re back, but hate to hear about the A/C issues. Living in southeast Texas, I sure know the feeling of missing the A/C when it goes out!

  27. You refrash is adorable! That is too bad about your AC, that really is most inconvenient. But being robbed in the grocery parking lot… the middle of the day-HORRIBLE! I am so sorry that happened to you and I hope you will be ok from that shock soon!

    • Casing is just the word for that folded over part the the drawstring gets pulled through. It’s the casing for the drawstring that holds the dress on your shoulders. 🙂

  28. That beer shirt has got to be one of the best redo’s you’ve done! It looks so incredibly cute on you I just want to pinch your cheeks!!


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