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Re-Tee Kids Dress

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This tutorial will help you to create a fun kids dress from an adult sized tee shirt. It even includes suggestions on how to make some accessories to go with it! This really is a tutorial more than a pattern, but if you follow along, you should be able to make your own version in a variety of sizes. You could even make an adult size if you can find a tee shirt large enough!

Re~Tee Kids Dress
Crochet Tutorial
Intermediate Skill Level
Designed by Jessie Rayot

The samples shown are about a girls 6 or 7.

Aunt Lydia’s Baker’s Cotton

Steel hook size 9/1.4 mm
US 1/B/2.25 mm

Whatever works for you!

Other supplies:
oversized tee shirt (the samples in the photos are adult medium)
yarn needle
safety pins
pen (a color just a bit darker than the tee is the best)

Stitches and Skills used:
ch ~ chain
sl st ~ slip stitch
sc ~ single crochet
sp(s) ~ space(s)
st(s) ~ stitch(es)

Getting Started:
This tutorial will walk you through how I created these fun outfits for my daughters. Follow along and create your own, but you will have to do some thinking of your own, this is not a pattern that you just follow and don’t have to think about.
This pattern is seamed using the single crochet join as you go method, which is explained here.

Prepping the shirt:
Step 1: Cut off the sleeves of the tee and the neck of the tee as close as possible to the seam, as seen in photo.

Step 2: Put the shirt on the person who will be wearing the dress. Use safety pins to pin in the shirt to the shape you want. I made mine almost fitted from the waist up, then I made a diagonal line connecting the waist to the very edge of the bottom so that the bottom hem would be as wide as possible. Mark where the new armhole will be as well.

Step 3: Remove the shirt from the model. Make sure the two sides look even. If they are different, try to even out the differences and try the shirt on again. Cut the shirt just inside the pins, make sure to mark where the side seam ends and the armhole begins, you don’t want to seem the shirt all the way up the sides and have no arm holes!

Step 4: Use the pen to make a small dot in 1/4″ from the cut edge at the base of the armhole on all 4 sides (front left and right, back left and right). Make the dots on the right side of the tee. Working each of the 4 sides one at a time, fold the side in half from the bottom to the armhole dot, and make a dot 1/4″ in at the fold, thus dividing the side seam in half. Fold from the new dot to the bottom and to the armhole to divide it in half again and make new dots ~ dividing the side seam in fourths. Do this two more time so you have divided the side seam in eighths. From here you should be able to place the dots for 16ths in between without folding (just eyeball it). Here is what the sides looked like on one of the samples, I actually added another set of dots between the 16th to make 32 evenly divided spaces along the sides of the tee. (There are no dots on the armhole section or the neck, they aren’t needed there)

Crocheting the shirt together into a dress:
Step 1: Decide how many stitches need to go between each of the dots, they should be no more than 1/4″ apart. For mine, I places one stitch on each dot, and 3 more stitches in between each dot. This method will space your stitches evenly up the sides of your dress and give you the same number of stitches on all the sides.
Step 2: Use the steel hook to single crochet along the 2 cut edges of the shirt, using the point of the hook to poke between the threads of the shirt. Work from the right (opposite of wrong) side and start at the shirt hem, work up the side to the armhole placing the stitches as explained in the previous step. Place a marker when you get to the armhole. Continue making single crochets along the armhole 1/4″ apart to the other side of the armhole. Place a marker when you get to the end of the armhole and continue single crocheting down the other side as before. Cut yarn. Repeat on other half of shirt.
*note: if you find the stitches are scrunching up, you may want to try adding in more stitches on step 2. Try placing 2 sc in every 3rd or 4th st when working step 2 and adjust from there. Stitches scrunching happens when the stitches are too far apart.

Step 3: Switch to larger hook, working from right sides again, single crochet in each single crochet made on one half of the shirt, turn and sc in each st to armhole marker, turn and sc in each st to the end. This will give you 4 rows of sc from the bottom of the shirt to the armhole on one end of this half. Working from the right side again, sc from the other marker to the bottom of the shirt, turn, using the single crochet join as you go method, sc back up from the bottom of the shirt to the armhole, joining to the other side of this half of the shirt. Repeat step 3 on the other half of the shirt.

Optional: Add a decorative bottom to the shirt! Try making 1/2″ back stitches around the hem of the skirt, then place your first row of crochet sts into the sts.


Wristlets: Make 2
Step 1: Wrap the sleeve around the wearer’s wrist and pin it in place as seen in the photo:

Step 2: Cut the seams along the pinned line. Fold and mark the seams in the same manner as for the top.
Step 3: Use the steel hook to single crochet along the right (opposite of wrong) side of one half. Switch to larger hook, turn, single crochet in each single crochet, turn and sc in each st to end. This will give you 3 rows of sc. Repeat this step on the other side of the wristlet, using the single crochet join as you go method to join the 2 sides together.
Step 4: (optional) This step is worked by crocheting into the raised seam made by the join as you go row. Turn, * skip 1, 5 dc in next st, skip 1, slip st in next st, repeat from * to end. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Step 5: Crochet 2 rounds of sc around bottom (forearm) end of wristlet. Crochet 2 rounds of sc around top (hand) end of wristlet. If making finger holes, then crochet a third round on top end, making chains and skipping sts to create the holes for the fingers. For the wristlets pictured, I chained 7 and skipped 5 sts at the beginning of the round for the thumb, and chained 5 and skipped 4 sts half way around for the pinky.
Fasten off and weave in ends. Repeat with other wristlet.

Headband: Cut the seam off the neckband. Leave the neckband folded in half. If you want more stretch in the headband, sew a piece of 1/4″ or 1/2″ elastic into a loop the size you need and slip it into the folded neckband.
Round 1: Using smaller hook, single crochet around the cut edge of the neckband, 1/4″ apart, slip stitch to join.
Round 2: Switch to larger hook, ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip stitch to join.
Round 3: * Skip 1, 5 dc in next st, skip 1 slip stitch in next st, repeat from * around. Don’t worry if the last scallop doesn’t end in the right place, you can place the flower over it.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Flower: Cut a spiral out of one of the sleeves. If you are making the Wristlets, be sure to cut those out first!

Make a running stitch along the spiral starting from the center. Pull the thread to gather the spiral and roll it into a flower. Sew some stitches at the bottom of the flower to hold it together and sew it onto the headband.


If you enjoy this free crochet pattern, please consider buying some of your supplies from one of these affiliate links. Thank you.



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