easy upcycled pajames: from t-shirt to nightgown in 15 minutes


Like upcycling? Check out the women’s shirt to easy A-line baby dress tutorial or men’s shirt to little boy pajamas!

It’s garage sale season, which means it’s easy to pick up t-shirts for 50 cents or so – much less than it would cost to buy knit fabric. It’s also summer break for the kids, which means it’s a great time to clean out closets and figure out what can be donated or upcycled into something else. Today’s tutorial shows you how I turned a couple of garage sale tees into cute nightgowns for my daughter – it only takes two seams and less than a yard or so of elastic. Here’s how:

I used a women’s size S tee from Old Navy for my 2-yr old daughter. If you have an older daughter you’ll probably need to start with a larger shirt. You want to make sure that the shirt is long enough to fit as a nightgown.

You’ll start by threading elastic through the existing neckband and sleeve hems and gathering them up to fit. This gives the nightie a cute peasant-dress look.

Use a seam ripper to slice a small hole on the inside of the neckbinding, then thread narrow elastic through the neck band and back out the same hole. I used 13 inches of elastic for the neck and about 7 inches of elastic for each sleeve. You’ll probably just want to start with a longer piece of elastic, thread it through, then try on your daughter and tighten as needed. Once you cut your elastic to the right length sew each end together with a zigzag. Repeat on the hem of each sleeve.

Once the neckline and sleeves are gathered, turn the nightgown inside out and lay it on a flat surface. Place a tee that fits your daughter over it, and pin a new seam starting just above the sleeve hem, going up under the armpit, and back down to the bottom of the nightgown as shown below.

Sew new seams and try one to be sure it fits. If it does, trim away seam allowance (if it’s too small you’ll need to unpick your seams and sew new ones – not that stuff like that ever happens to me :)

At the hem you can fold your seam allowances to one side and zigzag them down flat so they don’t hang out the bottom of the nightgown. You can even use matching thread if you’re less lazy than I am. (Sorry Mom, but the two-year-old isn’t going to notice I didn’t use matching thread.)

Press the side seams open and you’re through!

My daughter said it looked like a princess dress, so I added a little crown in silver puffy paint to the blue version:

She likes the pink one as well:

 

I’ve added an even easier version of this same t-shirt to nightgown refashion – find it here!

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Comments

  1. 2

    Denise says

    This is great! All of our jammies in this house tend to be bought in winter, and my sweetie needs some simple night gowns. I think I’ll raid my own yard sale stash to see what I can find! :)

  2. 3

    Denise says

    This is great! All of our jammies in this house tend to be bought in winter, and my sweetie needs some simple night gowns. I think I’ll raid my own yard sale stash to see what I can find! :)

  3. 5

    domestic bliss squared says

    LOVE this idea! I did something similar to this with one of my husband’s old shirts for my daughter, and it’s her favorite nightgown! This would work well for long sleeved shirts too. In the winter it’s always hard to keep her warm enough when all she’ll wear are nightgowns!
    P.S. I’m now following you on FB, pinterest and twitter!

  4. 8

    Jane from Lil Pip says

    This is fantastic. I’m going to have a look out for tshirts for my daughter (Miss 4!) and try to make some …. as soon as the weather warms up down here in Australia!

  5. 9

    Sarah says

    I just found this tutorial on Pinterest tonight and it was too cute for me to go to bed, which had been my plan for when I was done pinning. So instead I whipped one up from my Supergirl shirt that never fit me right. It’s so cute, I can’t wait for morning to put it on my 15 month old daughter. I was concerned because the shirt had a fairly deep v-neck, but this technique worked perfectly. It still even has a tiny little v-shape to it. Wish I could post a pic for you to see!

  6. 14

    carol says

    to think i used to re-cut the t-shirt! making the neck hole smaller… etc… this is so much easier and cute too! i would like to mention, if you cut a U shape at the bottom and finish it off with snaps, you have romper style pj’s….

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