Greek Goddess Shirt Dress (Tutorial)

Last week I shared Part One of a two part tutorial to make a t-shirt dress. The idea was sparked when I saw this dress from Kendi’s store, Bloom, and I instantly knew I wanted to recreate it. 
I started out by widening an old t-shirt, and then added the skirt. This tutorial shows how to do the latter. 
As is the case with all of my refashions, I’m never sure if it will turn out exactly how I envisioned. But I felt even more pressure than normal with this refashion because I’d built it up in last weeks tutorial before I’d even made the skirt part. 
Happily, it turned out even better than I imagined. I’m actually trying to figure out some creative way to nurse my baby in this dress because I can’t bear the thought of not wearing it for another nine or so months! 
dress: made by me // hat: forever 21 (shop) // shoes: old navy (similar) // necklace: c/o lisa leonard (shop)


  • 2 to 2 1/2 yards of jersey knit (depending on your size)
  • matching thread
  • elastic (1/4″-1/2″ is best)
  • loose t-shirt (or make your own — tutorial here)
Step 1. With your fabric folded double, cut two (2) identical large slightly tapered rectangles. Use a maxi skirt that you own as a length guide, or measure from your waist to the floor and add an inch or two. Make the waist wide enough to allow plenty of gathering. My waist measurement was 25″ across, as seen below, giving me 50″ of material to create the gathered waistband. This much material ended up being perfect. 

Step 2. If you want to add pockets, this tutorial from Sweet Verbena is super easy and clear.

Step 3. Once your pockets are attached, let’s attach the skirt to the t-shirt. With right sides together, pin your t-shirt to the skirt, as seen below. Sew around the waist with a straight stitch, and a 1″ or larger seam allowance (this is important!)
note: I had to stretch my t-shirt a bit in between pins since the skirt waistband was larger than the bottom of the shirt.

Serge or zigzag the raw edge of your waistband. It should now look like this (see the large seam allowance?)

Step 4. Cut a piece of elastic to the length of your natural waist. Now we’re going to create the casing that will hold the elastic.

On the large seam allowance (seen in the photo below), sew another straight seam roughly 1/4″ or 1/2″ below it* (depending on the width of your elastic). Make sure it’s just slightly wider than the width of your elastic so the elastic can fit through the casing but won’t slide around once it’s in there.

Leave a 2″ opening at the end of your seam so you can insert the elastic. We’ll sew it closed at the end.

*make sure you’re sewing through the seam allowance AND the skirt…not just the seam allowance. The space in between these two fabrics is what will create the casing.

Step 5. Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and use it to feed the elastic through the casing.

 Once the elastic is completely through the casing, sew the ends together to make the elastic a large loop. Now go back to that 2″ opening in the casing and sew it closed.

Your waistband should now look like this:
Step 6. Hem your dress to your desired length. And you’re done!
As always, comment or email me with any questions. Good luck, and happy sewing!
  • Just hike it right up to nurse! πŸ™‚ I was at church once when Abby was a baby and realized I couldn't get my dress down at the top. I was mortified because there were like 34 people in the mother's lounge. I was going to just go home but I finally shimmied my way out the top. Oh, the joys.

  • This turned out SO cute! Another amazing refashion, Merrick!

  • OH my heavens I love this more than words can describe!!! πŸ™‚

  • You look absolutely great! I love your color combo too. I wish I could pull off maxi-skirts/dresses too. Unfortunately they don't fit my body type. :))

  • OMG I LOOOOOVE this one, Merrick! The addition of the hat is perfect, too! Please wear it all the time. Um, tell Philip to nurse buck. My friends and I (in states of delirium) have had hilarious conversations about men being able to lactate…so…tell Philip to get on it. Just so you can wear the dress.

  • Such a great tutorial! I am always impressed when people to DIY. My strengths are with cupcake decorating not sewing lol.

    Also, thanks for following my blog Merrik! I appreciate your support and hope you'll take a look at my latest post as it is a celebration of my first year of blogging.

    Thanks again and happy Friday!


  • I'm wearing an outfit almost EXACTLY like that today except a) the skirt's hot pink b) it's chiffon c) I didn't make it. Well, I technically refashioned it since I sheared this skirt RIGHT off of a maxi dress but I don't really count that because I did nothing else with it.

    Your sewing recently has been absolutely spectacular; guess moving to California has been good to you? πŸ˜‰

  • so cute! what a great diy.
    kw ladies in navy

  • Ash

    I. Love. This. You are the bomb, for real. And since I already gushed about your hat on Instagram I will refrain. πŸ™‚

  • This is so amazing! I want to make one!!

  • pull that thing up and nurse away! you're right; it's way too cute to abandon for 9 more months! πŸ˜‰

  • My friend just got a sewing machine for Christmas so I told her to check out your blog to for some sewing tips and ideas πŸ™‚

  • Love how it turned out!! I was thinking you might do a stripy bottom to go with it but you completely surprised me πŸ™‚

  • CUTE! How about adding snap details to the shoulders?? (Kind of like those Seraphina nursing sweaters that are really cute.)

  • That's fantastic! I have a few yards of exactly that blue color of jersey waiting for just this project. Do you think it could work with a pregnant belly though?

    • Yes, definitely! Just make the top shorter so it's an empire waist and it would be FABULOUS!

  • OMG it looks so good! I am seriously so in awe of your sewing skills, because if I attempted it, it would just look like a hot mess. I've come to the realization that I can alter store-bought clothing, but I cannot create anything from scratch. Every project that I've attempted has resulted in a super ugly skirt/dress that will never be worn. πŸ™

  • I LOVE this dress! So so cute! I'm a beginner at this sewing thing, and I got a little lost on step 4… I didn't understand why you sewed 3 seams at the waistline–why not just 2?

    Thanks so much for sharing! Love your blog!

    • You don't sew three seams at the waistband…only two. The one to attach the shirt and skirt, and the one below it to create the casing for the elastic. Sorry if that wasn't clear…hope that helped clarify!

    • In looking back at step four and seeing that maybe the serged edge is what is throwing you off. When I sewed the shirt and skirt together, I left a big seam allowance and then serged the raw edge. Then I did the second seam roughly 1/4" below the straight seam (that attaches the skirt and shirt) and the space between these two straight seams created the casing for the elastic. Does that make more sense??

    • Thank you for your reply! Yes, this makes sense. Is there a specific reason that you didn't just place the casing between the surged edge and a seam 1/4" above the surged edge? Would that cause the surged edge to flip up and create a weird look?

    • I'm not quite sure what you're asking…

      If I'm understanding correctly, I think you're asking why I didn't put the casing JUST on the seam allowance. And if that is what you're asking, that wouldn't allow the skirt to stretch because the elastic wouldn't physically be attached to the skirt. So it has to be done the way I showed in order for the waistband to stretch so you can get in and out of the dress. Hope that makes sense and answers your question…

    • I think I get it…. Thanks so much for answering!

  • What a great way to refashion an old t-shirt! The dress turned out beautifully!

  • Awesome dress! You are so talented! I can't wait to try it out myself. Perfect for a sunny CA day!

  • Super cute and comfy lookin'! Way to go girl! Thanks for always posting great tutorials!
    Don't forget to link up to the Frugal Crafty Home hop opening at 4 central time!
    xoxo, Jordan.

  • This is so cute, and you wouldn't even know it was a dress! It seriously just looks like you paired a shirt with a skirt. Love it.

  • So cute & so comfy looking! You have the best tutorials lady!

    Enter My Lendperk Giveaway (Only a few hours left!)

  • This dress is adorable. I recently threw together a "back to front boat neck" so when I heard you were refashioning this stripey shirt I was a little disappointed because I loved how it looked before but the dress is definitely an amazing addition πŸ™‚

  • This is totally adorable!!!


  • Well maybe you can add buttons to the shirt?
    So you are able to nurse your baby πŸ™‚

    It's really lovely but I think I'm a little to much of a newbie to try it πŸ˜›

  • I love your tutorials and will definitely make this dress!I read your post a while back about different blends of jersey knit and am curious to know what the blue knit is made of. I'm new to sewing with knits and want to make some maxi dresses and skirts for summer- any thoughts on what the best knit blend might be? It has been tough to find rayon/spandex blends like what you said you liked best in one of your earlier posts. Thanks!

    • The blue knit is 95% rayon 5% lycra. That's a good alterative to the rayon/spandex blend…both are good. Lycra just tends to make the fabric roll at the edges which makes it a little harder to work with, but it's still a nice soft knit and I'd definitely recommend it if you can't find rayon/spandex knits.

  • Put zippers on the shoulder seams so you can nurse! I have the same problem. I've started sewing but have yet to attempt a zipper. But either hidden zippers on the front, maybe from the neckline angled down and out to the side seam (above the bust line), or zippers closer to the shoulder seam would work for nursing. Or maybe hidden zippers up the sides, or in a stripe. Then the dress isn't aesthetically modified but still can be sued while nursing. I really need to try zippers…

  • I love your tutorials! I'll try make something like this on weekend.. I'm just having trouble looking for a jersey knit fabric… Can I ask what fabric I could substitute to jersey knit? thanks!

    • Any kind of knit works…cotton poly blends, cotton spandex blends…just go to the apparel section of the fabric store and you'll find a few good options.

    • Thanks for answering!

  • You could always use a henley instead of a tshirt so you could nurse! πŸ™‚

  • I have had this in mind since you posted the tutorial. I finally got on my sewing machine and did it. You can see pics and I have linked back to this post