The T-shirt maxi Mark II

Hello, it’s me! Long-ish time no blog. I know it’s still winter and I’m still feeling that post-Christmas, pre-spring slow-jo that I get every year. I realised I hadn’t shared a lovely make from last summer, and the blog was festering in drafts, so here it finally its. A couple of summers ago, I drafted a maxi dress based on a favourite RTW T-shirt that I loved. I liked the fit of the T-shirt so much that I used it as a template to make a jersey maxi dress for summertime. This summer, I fancy another.

To create the template I used four sheets of A3 printer paper, sellotape, some pencils and Sharpies. First stick two of the sheets together lengthwise and then fold the t-shirt in half and place it against the edge of the paper. Then trace around the t-shirt copying the back neck outline.

Two sheets of A3 taped together to allow for the top, place centre against the edge of the paper

Trace in pencil to avoid marking your shirt, then moving your T-shirt aside, retrace with a darker pen – a felt tip or Sharpie type pen is ideal. Attach the second pair of A3 sheets to the centre then fold the sheets over, with the new sheets on top. You should be able to see the original outline through the paper. Retrace, this time tracing for the front neckline which is lower than the back. Now you have your pattern front and back, each of which is cut on the fold. You can make any alterations to your t-shirt now.  I made my second dress a little less scooped in the front, you could make it higher or make it a V-neck for example. I simply traced around the t-shirt which is close fitting but you may want it looser. It might be wise to measure your waist and hips to ensure it’s going to fit. You can watch my (currently) one and only YouTube video for fun.


The top is drop shouldered with a little, cuffed sleeve. The skirt, sleeves and neck binding are all simple rectangles. For the skirt, the width is the same as the bottom of the t-shirt which is the hip level. My first dress was a little ‘hobbled’ at the ankle so I made this one slightly A-line by making the bottom a few centimetres wider and added a split from the knee. I made this maxi length, measuring my hip to ankle, but you could make it any length you choose.

Pattern laid out ready to cut

Making it up was so easy.

  1. Join the shoulders
  2. attach the sleeves to the dress matching the centre of the sleeve to the shoulder seam
  3. Join the side seams – if you are doing a split make sure to finish that separately.
  4. Make the ‘cuffs’ and neckband in the round by joining the ends, then folding the rectangles lengthwise. Press into place.
  5. Pin the band to the armhole easing to fit
Neckband and cuffs cut and folded

6. I was breaking in my new coverstitch so this was one of my first attempts at arm and neckbands – once attached to the armhole, fold over the band and pin in place then coverstitch from the right side.

Band pinned in place ready to coverstitch

Repeat for the neckband, remembering to match up the seams and the result is a really professional looking neckline.

IMG_6145 (1)

Et voila! Easy peasy maxi t-shirt dress number two.

Self-draft giant posey maxi

The fit is body con, the colours are popping and the print is bold. I’m in Love. I wore this dress umpteen times this summer and felt a million dollars in it.

Have you ever cloned one of your favourites RTWs? How did it go?

Thanks for the visit,


About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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