Monday, 24 February 2014

Easy Jersey T-Dress Tutorial

As I promised, here's the tutorial for the easy jersey t-dress I posted the other day!
First a little bit of background, I never used to be a great fan of making things from jersey. Considering on the highstreet it’s the foundation of you’re basic wardrobe, I always rationalised that it was cheaper to buy than to make. Now, as someone who works in a fabric shop and encourages people to go ahead and try things, I really shouldn’t be admitting that on our blog. But then we got a massive delivery of John Kaldor prints, most of which were jersey, and I couldn’t resist treating myself to a few of those! It took me a while to work out what exactly I was going to do with them and then I wore one of my favourite, simple jersey dresses and knew that what it had to be! And so I came up with this easy way to re-create it!

2m (approx) jersey with a reasonable amount of stretch in in
 1m of ½” elastic
Measuring tape A jersey t-shirt that fits you comfortably
 How to:

 1. Using your existing t-shirt, lay it on top of your jersey meterage, draw around the neckline and sides to about 6” below the sleeve and move the sleeves out the way and draw around the line there too.

 2. place a pin through the t-shirt into your jersey at the lowest point of the front neckline and mark this point. Draw a curved line, roughly the same shape as the neckline from the shoulder to the pin.

3. Cut out what you’ve drawn above, remembering to cut through only one layer when cutting the front neckline.

 4. Measure from above your waist to where you’d like the skirt to fall and use this for the length of the skirt; use the width of the fabric by this and cut out. (if fabric is 45” wide, you may want to do this twice to allow for fullness)

5. Sew the shoulder seams together.

6. Take the bodice pieces and lay them flat with the shoulder seam open and trace around the curved line. The will be the sleeve head. Graducally grade these out towards the edge of the sleeve. Next, draw a straight line from this point (on both ends) to the length you’d like the sleeve to be and join these two lines together.

7. Cut out your sleeves and attach to the bodice pieces, easing the curved edges together. This is known as a flat sleeve insertation.

8. Sew the undersleeve/bodice side seams, this is you finished with the bodice construction.

 9. Finish the neckline and sleeves in your usual way, I’ve used bias on the neckline (there’s a tutorial for that method here) and simply hemmed the sleeves.

10. For the skirt, we firstly need to gather it. Normally this would be done with gathering stitches, however, these don’t work well on jersey. Instead, cut your elastic to your waist measurement (where the bodice will meet the skirt) minus a couple of centimetres.

11. Pin the end of the elastic to one end of the fabric width and stretch the elastic along the full width, parallel to the width edge. Doubly, doubly pin this so the next part is a little easier.

12. Sew the elastic in place, stretching elastic to fill the gaps as you go along. Use a wide stretch stitch for this to ensure to catch the elastic and take your time doing do.

 13. Stitch the edges of the skirt together.

14. Now it’s time to attach the skirt to the bodice. It should be a rough match, size wise, however, the skirt may require some stretching to meet the size of the bodice.

15. Make sure there is no exposed elastic or stitches and then finally hem to bottom edge. Some people recommend leaving jersey overnight hanging up to allow the hem to ‘fall’ meaning that the jersey won’t stretch out of shape once worn, however it can often be ok to miss this out if you’re eager to finish your project!

And that’s it. A simple dress that only takes a short time to make but is very comfortable and easy to wear! I’ve already made two of these dresses and can see more in my future! Let me know if you try this out and I can maybe do a little link-y post?

Happy Sewing :)
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  1. Great tutorial! I confess I often still buy jersey dresses like this as I find them quite boring to sew, but this is a great idea for those lovely prints that come up every so often.

    1. Let me know if you try it out Katie, I'd love to see what you come up with! :)


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