One of the easiest hacks you can do is to turn your favorite tee into a dress. Specifically, I’ll be showing how to do this with the Laundry Day Tee using the slash and spread method. This process will work with any tee pattern. Read on to find out how easy this is!
I’ll be showing you how to turn the LDT into three different types of dresses. The first dress is the simplest style. We won’t be adding any extra ease to the skirt portion, just lengthening.
First things first: print out your LDT using the tunic length view. Assemble your pattern. Cut the pattern apart on the lengthen/shorten line.
Next, decide on what length dress you’d like. I prefer a just-above-the-knee dress so I measured from my shoulder to my knee. I compared that measurement to the tunic pattern to find out how much length I needed to add. The difference I needed to add was 8″ for my 5’4″ height. This method will work for any length of dress, from mini to maxi!
Spread the top and bottom pattern pieces apart the 8″ (or how ever much you need to add). Be sure the center front lines are still lined up.Slip paper under your pattern pieces or use a tracing material (such as Swedish Tracing Paper) on top of the pattern pieces. Trace around the armscye, neckline, center front and hem. Use a straight edge to connect the bodice to the skirt starting from the bottom of the bodice piece ending at the hem.
And there you have your new dress LDT pattern! How easy was that?! If you’re using a tee pattern other than LDT (or a pattern without plenty of ease in the waist and the hips) you will need to slash and spread the skirt portion like I show in the next example.
LDT Dress Style #2
If you’re wanting a LDT with a bit more swing but still fitted at the bust here’s how you accomplish that:
Follow the steps above to lengthen your pattern to your desired length. Cut the bodice part apart from the skirt. Draw two vertical lines through the skirt portion, spaced approximately equidistant apart.
Cut on the lines on the skirt and pivot from the top however much additional swing you’d like to add. Keep the skirt piece on the fold line vertical and pivot the other two skirt portions out. The amount you spread the skirt portions is purely a personal preference, just keep in mind the width of the fabric you’d like to use. You don’t want the swing of the skirt to be wider than about 28″ if using 60″ wide fabric. In the sample I sewed up I spread each skirt portion 3″ and was just barely able to get a size medium on 2 yards of 60″ wide fabric.
Place the bodice part of the pattern back onto the skirt portion. Slip paper under the newly slashed and spread portion of the pattern (or use tracing material on top) and trace the new shape of the pattern.
And now you have your new LDT dress pattern that’s fitted at the bust but with more swing in the skirt.
LDT Dress Style #3
The final dress style I’ll show you how to create with the LDT is a trapeze style dress. This style dress is intentionally super roomy all over. This is not a style everyone can pull off (which is why you won’t be seeing me model this 😉 ) but it can be super cute.
First, lengthen the LDT tunic pattern to your desired length as show above in the first example.
Next, draw three vertical lines through the entire pattern. Cut on the pattern apart on the lines. Pivot the slashed pieces from the top and spread them apart as much you desire. Just remember you don’t want to make the swing of the skirt more than the width of your fabric.
Slip paper under the newly slashed and spread portion of the pattern (or use tracing material on top) and trace the new shape of the pattern.
And you’re done! You now have a trapeze dress pattern. Keep in mind that the neckline on the trapeze dress did increase a bit so be sure to measure the neckline and use 85-90% of that measurement for the neckband piece.
So now you have three dress options to turn your LDT (or other favorite tee pattern) into a dress.
Join the discussion 25 Comments
Amazing, perfect, awesome! Thank you so much. You make it all look easy! I just finished my third LDT today. What a great pattern!
Thank you Jeanie! It really is that easy. 🙂
Thanks so much for your time and effort on this, your work is awesome!
You are very welcome Elena!
So fun! Thanks for the great pattern and tutorial!
Thank you Tami you are so generous with your talent. Thank you also for enabling us to think outside the box of the given patterns and be able to experiment and stretch ourselves. Your ideas and patterns are wonderful and explained so well. I am enjoying my dressmaking so much more than ever and look forward to your input each month and that of all the friendly people in your group.
I may not ever catch up with actually completing all the patterns but they do inspire me. ?
You made my day Robyn, thank you for your kind words. 🙂
Wow, this is such helpful information! I’ve not used this pattern yet, but I’m inspired to go make something with it! Thank you for sharing your knowledge so generously. 🙂
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I am waiting, not so patiently, for my fabric to finish in the drier. I have the pattern all ready to go, per your instructions, and I am just wondering…would it be possible to make this sleeveless by adding a binding to the existing armscye?
Thanks so much for the great tutorial!
Winnie, I did an update to the actual pattern recently and added cut lines for a tank! Your account is updated automatically with the updated pattern.
If you wanted to just do sleeveless (as opposed to tank which is a skinny strap) you could certainly just leave off the sleeve and add bands or binding to the armscye. I would measure the completely armscye and start with 85% of that measurement for bands. Depending on your fabric stretch and recovery you may need to shorten it but generally, 85% is a good starting point.
I only recently discovered you and partly bought the LDT thinking of lengthening into a dress – and then realise you have this great tutorial for three different types of dresses! Thank you!
Good morning love your patterns. I have a question with the three different types of dress. I am doing #2 adding a swing below the bust. Once I spread the skirt part of the pattern and try to reattach the top piece I find the shirt piece no longer straight across the top. If I line up the centre pieces there is a huge gap in the middle. Should it not be straight? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is going to be my holiday outfit.
You would just blend that side seam so it smoothly connects the top and bottom. Hope that helps!
What type of fabric do you use here? And where do you get it? I really want to try this patten out!!!! Yours look so cute on you!
I do not have a printer so is there a way to get paper patterns.Even if I had one, I’m 73 yrs old and would not know how to run it on my iPad.but I really do still enjoying sewing and need some Sunday dresses and would love the Laundry day tee pattern to make some tops and longer for some dresses to wear to church.Thankd for letting me know.sue Mckee.
you could save the file to a USB drive and take it to a printing shop or the library and print it there.
Do you have a guide as to how much more fabric it will take for a swing type LDT dress?
Where will I find the free pattern for your LDT? Thanks
Here is the LDT pattern listing- https://www.lovenotions.com/product/laundry-day-tee-xs-xxxl. Be sure to join the FB Pattern Support Group to get the code that makes it free.
That´s exactly what i needed, thanks a lot
You really explains everything so easy! Now I think I have the courage to start using my serger more and change pattern. Thank you!