Friday, March 25, 2016

Upcycled Labyrinth Tee Dress

I am sure I am not the only one with a large collection of graphic tees! I have every type of graphic tee from bands to movie characters to just weird or funny sayings. Of course some tees wear out and develop wholes over time from washing and wear. Some of these end up being relegated to just "around the house" tees. But how many around the house tees do I actually need? Ugh. 

It always fun to upcycle the tees that are in bad shape instead. Turn them into something more useful for a second life.  Sometimes I turn old tees into pillows or quilted blankets. The designs can be cut out and used as patches on jackets or shirts also. Or they can be turned into something completely new like a t-shirt dress! 

This Labyrinth tee has seen better days. I bought it ages ago at a horror movie convention. Unfortunately the fabric was very unstable and the shirt started to disintegrate in the wash very quickly.  I loved the design because well, it's Bowie!, so I thought I would try and save it by using the front as fabric in a dress. 

The first thing I did was cut the top apart. Normally I use the back of the tee also but in this case the material was so bad I only recycled the front part with the design.  

Next I cut out a back, sleeves, and skirt out of new fabric. My blacks do not match perfectly but when do they ever match perfectly? I used one of my own patterns. A design I use over and over again so it's tried and true. 

I serged the pieces together in the usual way using a 4 thread overlock stitch. 

The neck step was to add some trim. I chose a sparkly silver ruffle for the neck and a silver and black lace for the hem and zig zagged it on. A little bit of sparkle seems appropriate on a Bowie tee doesn't it? 

Unfortunately there was a small hole on the front of the tee also. So I needed to add some trim to cover that hole. I decided to make it seem like it was supposed to be there all along by adding rows of lace and a small fabric rosette. To make a rosette just pleat and gather trim as you zig zag. I then take the gathered trim and roll it into a rosette.  The rosette is just zig zagged on top of the other trim on the tee by the neckline. 

And here is the finished dress! I'm going to be careful washing this dress from now on by using cold water and hanging it up to dry so that hopefully it doesn't continue to disintegrate. 



  1. That is so cool! What a gorgeous dress!

  2. Such a great upcycle! It looks gorgeous and the trim and rosette really add to it!

  3. I always hate it when my favourite tees wear out, and it always seems like the ones you like the most, wear out the quickest. I love what you've done to rescue yours, especially the sparkly bits!

  4. What a great idea! You're very talented with your dressmaking.

  5. What an inspirational post! That T-shirt dress is to die for! *goes to dig out all her old tees*

    (Just found you on FB, too)