How to Make a Striped T Shirt Dress (Perfect for the 4th of July!)

red striped dress for the fourth of july

Need something to wear on the 4th of July? This striped t shirt dress is so perfect for your BBQ, picnic, or watching the fireworks. It’s comfortable, easy to make, and I’ll teach you how to sew it!

The 4th of July is right around the corner, so it only seemed fitting to make a patriotic dress! T shirt dresses and stripes are both always a good idea. 

I’m sharing how to sew this really easy to make tee dress with a contrasting stripe sleeve. It’s a dress you could make in an afternoon, so whip one up this weekend!

My red striped fabric is from, and it’s a nice, lightweight fabric without being too sheer. The stripes definitely keep it from being see through.

A swing dress is the perfect summer dress, and striped dresses are definitely summer staples in my closet, so this is a great one that combines the two for a cute, easy to make, 4th of July approved dress.

striped tshirt dress sewing project
this striped t shirt dress is so perfect for the 4th of july
this cute red striped dress is perfect for the 4th of july
the best fourth of july sales

Materials Needed:

2- 2 ½ yards stretchy knit fabric (I used this polyester spandex jersey knit)
Matching thread

Free Pattern Instructions

First let’s create all our pattern pieces. You’ll need a BACK, FRONT, 2 SLEEVES (plus extra fabric for the contrasting edge) and 2 NECKLINE lining pieces. Once you have pattern pieces for each of these, cut the fabric for each of these pieces.

[tip: if you don’t know how to create pattern pieces in this video RIGHT HERE]

striped tshirt dress sewing tutorial

Step 1.  With right sides together, pin the FRONT and BACK pieces together at the shoulders and sew together with a straight stitch.

Step 2. Take your sleeve piece and chop off the bottom 3-4 inches. Use that pieces as a guide to cut an identical piece with the stripes going in the opposite direction.

Step 3. Then with right sides of the fabric together, sew the contrasting fabric to the bottom of the sleeve with a straight stitch. Press it flat. Now it will function as a regular sleeve.

Step 4. With right sides together, pin the top of the SLEEVE and the top of the shoulder together, as shown. Continue down the rest of the arm hole, pinning the sleeve in place.

Step 5.  Sew the sleeve to the arm hole with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other sleeve.

Step 6. With right sides together, sew from the elbow to the knee with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Make sure your seams match up at the armpit!

Step 7. With right sides together, sew your NECKLINE pieces together to make a circle. Make sure this circle is slightly smaller than your dress neckline so it has to be stretched to fit around — trim if necessary before sewing the two NECKLINE pieces together.

Then, with right sides together, pin the NECKLINE circle the neckline of the dress, matching them up the shoulder seams and then stretching evenly so it fits around the neckline. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance around the entire neckline, stretching slightly as you sew so the pieces lay flat. Trim the seam allowance and then tuck the lining inside the dress and press flat.

Step 7. Using a wide stitch, top stitch around the neckline to tack the lining in place. Then hem the sleeves and the dress to your desired length. [tip: for a more professional look, blind hem stitch the bottom hem of the dress. This is a super easy video that shows you how to do it].

Press all your seams flat and you’re done! Happy weekend sewing!


Photos by Priscilla Frey

Shop this Post


  1. Lisa Mecham says:

    What am awesome tutorial! The contrasting sleeve detail looks great and you are soooo right, this dress is going to be absolutely perfect for fourth of july. I love that you linked to a video on how to do a blind hem stitch. I suck at those! This was so crazy-helpful.

  2. Maren Quakenbush says:

    Do you have any tricks for when you sew with knits? Do you use any sort of special presser foot or needle on your sewing machine?

    • Merrick says:

      Yes! Use a ballpoint needle – it makes SUCH A difference. Also when you hem you can use a double needle with two sources of thread (still one bobbin) so it creates two parallel rows of stitches on top and a zigzag on the bottom. It lets the hem have a little stretch so the threads don’t snap 🙂

  3. Paige Flamm says:

    I’m working on my personal progress right now with the young women from church, and I totally need to make this dress for one of my value projects! It’s so cute!


  4. Natali says:

    This is a super lovely and not that hard to make by yourself tshirt dress!
    thank you for sharing and inspiring! 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    Cute dress! I am inspired by your work and can’t wait to try this. Thanks a lot for sharing the great article.

Leave a Reply