My Favorite Tee Shirt Dress

tee shirt dresses

During a recent girls weekend, my friends and I went on a shopping spree to the outlet malls and I discovered the Banana Republic outlet. Sure it’s probably been there all along but I don’t think I ever would have gone into it had I been shopping alone.  I assumed it was all khaki shorts and overpriced tank tops.  But I was wrong. First of all, the dress selection was really cute with different styles and cute nautical patterns that I was not expecting. And secondly, because it was a factory store, there were 50% off deals all over the place.  I scored two of Banana Republic Tee Shirt dresses for under $30 a piece. What?! Crazy. I know. What I love about t-shirt dresses is that like most shift dresses, there really are so many ways to wear them:

IMG_96691. Paired with boots, aviator shades, and a top knot bun on the way to brunch with friends,


2. Paired with a baseball cap and flip flops on a very windy day at the beach or harbor,


3. Paired with a pair of wedge heels and a pendant necklace on our way to see a comedy show.

So as you can see, I have worn tee shirt dresses nonstop this spring.  And it didn’t take long until I decided to make one of my own. If you guessed that version “3” was the DIY version then yes you would be correct. Versions 1 and 2 can be purchased at the Banana Republic outlet here and here. I used a soft pink jersey knit that I got from Five Eighth Seams, a local fabric shop in Charleston. This knit was much more light weight than the ponte knits used in the other two but the quality of the fabric was so great that it was easy to sew using a zig zag stitch.

IMG_9590 IMG_9600 IMG_9601 IMG_9609 IMG_9621 IMG_9632

Since I did not use a pattern to complete this project, I thought I would share the steps I took to make this happen:

1 -Using the Banana Republic dress as my template, I layed it out on a piece of parchment paper and cut out a pattern piece for the front and back. This gave me two pattern pieces that I can reuse again and again.
2- Lay the pattern pieces on the fabric but before cutting out make sure you add 5/8 inches around the entire piece to use as your seam allowance. Cut out your fabric pieces.
3- Pinning the front and back pieces right sides together, sew at the shoulders with a zig zag stitch.
4- I used an already owned pattern piece (the cap sleeves from the Penelope Peplum top I made here) and cut out two sleeve pieces.
5- Right sides together attached the sleeves making sure to match the ends. Sew with a zip zag stitch (ok so by now you get it, use a zig zag stitch)
6- Sew along both sides from the bottom of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress.
7- Flip the neckline in with WRONG sides together a 1/4 of an inch and top stitch in place. I used a lot of spray starch to help hold this slippery knit in place of this part.
8-  And your done! I did not hem the sleeves or the skirt. Jersey knit fabric does not fray and they tend to curl up giving it a fun finished look anyways.
So thats a wrap on the tee shirt dress! Whether it be a DIY or purchased piece, give it a try!
I will leave you with a photo from the day the girls went shopping. What would a shopping trip be without a fitting room selfie? 🙂
xxoo Priscilla

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