Upcycled Sunshine Dress

The Upcycled Sunshine Dress is made from an old tank top and a sheet! This refashioned number can be adapted into a long maxi dress, or even a maternity dress.


You’ll need 3 measurements:

  • Shoulder to waist. (Or, if this is a maternity dress, measure from shoulder to beneath bust-line.)
  • Waist circumference. (Or, if this is a maternity dress, under the bust-line.)
  • Waist to knee. (Or, if this is a maxi dress, waist to ankle.)
How to:
made with
old tee shirt or tank top

We’ll start with the elastic. Cut the elastic 1/2 inch longer than your waist measurement. Serge or zig-zag stitch over the cut edge of one end.

Then form a circle by overlapping the ends by 1/2 an inch. With the raw edge on top, zig-zag stitch the elastic loop together. Set aside.

Next we’ll cut the skirt fabric. I’ve decided to double the fabric so a slip won’t be necessary. Multiply the waist measurement by 1.5, this is how wide your fabric will be. For the length, double the waist to knee measurement, so that we will have a lining.

Then, cut this piece in half across the width, so that we can have two side seams.

Fold the pieces in half widthwise, so that they are now the length of your waist-to-knee measurement. Lay the two pieces on top of each other, with the fold at bottom. Line up the edges and pin. Sew a 1/2 inch seam down the left and right sides.

Serge or zig-zag stitch over the seam’s raw edge to prevent fraying. Do this on both the left and right sides. Then iron the skirt.

With the skirt right-side out, top-stitch a 1/2 inch above the bottom fold to secure the layers and create a hem.

Switch to a basting stitch, and sew along the top raw edges of the skirt with a 1/2-inch seam. Do not backstitch. Then pull the bottom thread to gather the fabric so that it is the same width as your elastic band.

Slide the elastic band over the skirt’s top. They should overlap each other by about 1/2 inch, so pin the edge right below the line of basting stitches.

Sew the bottom edge of the elastic in place with a 1/2 inch seam using a zig-zag stitch. This should secure the raw edges of the skirt’s top.

Cut the top 1/2 inch longer than the shoulder-to-waist measurement.

The shirt should be pretty close to the measurement of your waistband, so you can probably skip the basting stitch on this step and just pin it inside the elastic band, adjusting the fabric as you pin. The elastic and the shirt should overlap by half an inch. (Make sure that the side seams of the shirt line up with the side seams of the skirt.)

Sew along the top edge of the elastic with a 1/2 inch seam using a zig-zag stitch, securing the raw edge of the shirt.

Like the headband? Click here for the Roxanne Headband tutorial.

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4 thoughts on “Upcycled Sunshine Dress

  1. neddie58 says

    tooo cute

  2. pinkydoodleful says

    Lovely! Great for little girls!

  3. marie says


  4. boldcreations says

    This is Darling! I think I will try it for my lil one :)

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