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:
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