Thursday, August 4, 2011

Make Your Own Stripes Colorblocked Maxi Dress Tutorial

Does hubby / boyfriend / dad / brother have a bunch of old t-shirts they don't want anymore (or ahem, won't notice if you take)?  Here's an easy way to get another round of use out of them!  I used 3 t-shirts and some scrap knit fabric to create a striped colorblock maxi dress.  I've been in love with the combination of grays and yellows for a while but it is so HARD to find fabric that uses these colors.  Rather than continue my search, I decided to make my own "fabric."  :)

DIY Striped Colorblock Maxi Dress
DIY Looped Rope Necklace

See tutorial after the jump :)

What I used:
  • 3 of hubby's old t-shirts (dark gray, light gray, and gold)
  • 1/4 yard of jersey knit fabric (in as many colors as you'd like - I used 2: cream and pale yellow)
  • A dress that fits you well to trace onto your maxi

Step 1:  Cut hubby's tee into 5 inch strips horizontally starting from the hem up.  Stop before you get to the sleeve area.  I was able to get about 3 - 5 inch strips from each tee.  You can also use thinner strips if you prefer.  Repeat with the other tees or any other jersey fabric.  Each strip should wind up looking like a loop.

Step 2:  Sew these strips together in whatever color order you'd like.  You should now have a tube.  I wound up using 11 strips for my maxi tube.

Step 3:  Take an existing dress that fits you well and trace.  I didn't take a photo of this but there's another tutorial that uses this method here (see pic in Step 5).  Remember to allow a little leeway for seam allowance.  Sew along your lines, then finish your hem, armholes, and collar by folding in the edges and sewing them.

Voila!  You're done!

I can't wait to play with different colors to make a skirt (post-pregnancy of course)!  What colors would you use?


  1. That's so awesome! You know for sure that you will never run into someone wearing the same dress =)

  2. lol, take the hubby's old shirts without him knowing! I would totally do something like that, hehe. I adore the colors your used! this dress looks so chic! Can't wait to see some pictures of you wearing it! I really need to invest in a sewing machine and learn how to use a sewing machine so I can try your tutorials!

  3. I love this idea! I never thought to turn my boyfriend's old shirts into something I could wear... but that's because not even homeless folks would touch the clothes he donates. He wears things to the ground - he's like a rag-making machine. Give him a shirt and watch it fray and shrivel up beyond recognition.

    I'd love to see you model this with the accessories you picked out. I think you have a great eye for that stuff! I would have never thought to pair a rope-like necklace with a dress like this but it actually works better than anything else I could think of.

    How was pharma for you? Are you still in a related field?

  4. Wow SPG that is brilliant!!!!

    I just saw your comment on my post and for some reason can't find your email :( There are some ruffle dara dot design scarves on sale too!

  5. omgosh that is totally ingenius!! you truely are the DIY goddess!! so creative i would have never thought to do that! your maxi is so hamptons chic!!

    eek! i'm very excited for your "future" diamond wedding band :)

  6. Brilliant! I'll just watch in awe ;)

  7. omg, this is such a beautiful dress and what a cool idea! you are so creative!!

    cute & little

  8. The colors you chose are gorgeous!! I love the necklace you paired with this!

  9. Wow you can't even tell they are from different shirts!!

    HAHA, oh! I tried your scarf as a shirt look the other day by borrowing my friend's scarf. I loved the look.. now I need to find a similar scarf of my own :)

  10. You did a great job with this dress! I have to check my hubby's closet now!!!

  11. wow this is such a cool and fun project! i totally need to take my new sewing machine out of the box that i had for years and do this! thanks for the many inspirations.

  12. Oh wow! Thats so neat! Would love to see it on you. Thats such a neat idea. You should seriously try n participate in Project Runway!!

  13. This is way too cool. One of your most original ideas yet, I would say. I love the shades of yellow and grays that you chose. Too bad my bf has a hard time parting with this clothing (even if he no longer wears them). I may have to steal some while he's not looking :D

  14. oh my gosh, you are so talented!!! i love the finished product! :D

    <3, Mimi

  15. Very cool idea and LOVE the colors you chose. Grey and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations!

  16. Ooooh, what a great DIY!! The hubby has MANY T-shirts that I've stored away that he certainly wouldn't notice was missing if I took a few....Muahahahahaha. I am now looking forward to trying this out!!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  17. You are SO awesome, SPG. I love this idea, but can't work a sewing machine for my life. My parents got me one when I was younger and I was so frustrated with it that they returned it. LOL My boyfriend, on the other hand, has hemmed two pairs of pants for me and is helping me do a lot of things with his mom's sewing machine. LOLL

  18. This is beyond cool!:) Wow, girl you're talented.

    :] I wish I could do this!

    Btw, my nail polish usually last me 2-3 weeks, depends on what I do lol!

    xoxo, Bree

  19. I so wish I could sew..I would do all your DIY's or attempt to at least! You are so talented!!! Love it!

  20. Sydney - Thank you! That is one of the great things about DIY - everything is handmade and unique :)

    Olyvia - Teehee, I told him after I made it and he was completely cool with it . Thankfully, he has a TON of tees for me to explore for future projects :D I'm going to post an OOTD with this dress soon!

    Anna - LOL about your bf's old shirts - at least he gets every little bit of use out of them! Thanks for your kind words about my accessorizing! I have a huge soft spot for necklaces and belts in particular - I'll make sure to post the outfit on me very soon! Pharma was fun while it lasted - I worked in pharma for 2.5 years and then 1 year in medical devices. When we moved for hubby's job here in Ohio, I couldn't find anything in either so now I'm working in R&D but not a specific scientific discipline.

    Elaine - Thanks so much!! I do love those ruffle scarves - they are soooo pretty!

    Lisa - Aww, thanks so much!! Still so excited that you now have such a beautiful set of rings - the half moons are definitely unique looking, I don't think I've ever seen those before!

    Gigi - You are too sweet - thank you! :)

    Kileen - Thanks so much! This is what happens when a gal gets desperate for gray and yellow fabric LOL.

    Michelle - Thank you!! My husband took a look at it and said "ew" but then said it looks better on than on the mannequin. I was offended LOL.

    Gelene - Oh yay! Glad the scarf as shirt info helped! Have you checked out the eBay seller that Cee got hers from? They have a huge selection!

    Francesca - Thank you! If you wind up giving it a shot, I'd love to see it :)

  21. Ping - Thanks so much! You should definitely try and see what happens. You could be the next big designer!

    Newpetite - You are so sweet! I'd never make it on Project Runway - I'm not a very spontaneously creative person especially when you're talking about designing and executing within a set time period. But thank you for the kind compliment!

    Cee - Thank you very much! Think of it this way, if you make a skirt, you'll only need 2 tees :D

    Mimi - Thank you!! You are too kind :)

    QFFS - Thank you! I've been so in love with gray and yellow together!

    LePetiteLemon -Thanks so much! I would so love to see what you come up with! Plus you have excellent thrifting skills so even if hubby is unwilling to let go of some, I'm sure you'd find some excellent ones for a good deal!

    Jessy - Aww, thank you! Maybe you can get your BF to make you one ;)

    Bree - Thanks so much! And wow on how long your nailpolish lasts! I think mine maxes out at about a week!

    Annie - Thank you!! It can definitely save you some money on alterations if you ever got into it :)

  22. Hello, love your blog! Did you make the rope necklace?

    1. Hello and thank you! Yes, I followed this tutorial:

  23. so glad i found this tutorial! i just saw an amazing maxi dress that has a solid top but is striped from the waist down and is beyond my budget but now i think i'll try to make my own. did you use a special stitch when sewing the stripes together? i recently got a twin needle for my machine but haven't tried it out yet. maybe this will be the first project i use it on.

    1. Hi Melissa! I used a regular straight stitch without anything special. I haven't had any issues with it so far, but if I were to do it again, I'd go with a zig zag stitch so it'd stretch. I've heard of bloggers using twin needles for knit fabrics, but I don't have any experience with them. I'd love to know how it goes if you decide to try this :)

  24. My jaw always drops everytime I see your DIY tutorials. Did you also DIY the belt here????? It matches the necklace!!

  25. I am now seeing this tutorial for the 1st time. I'll definitely make a few for Summer. F.Y.I., My Hubby wears a lot of white T's, so I'll be visiting either the thrift stores or 0.99 cent stores for T's to make mine.


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