Union St. Tee Hack: T-shirt Dress

When the weather started to turn warm here, I started craving a comfortable, non-fussy t-shirt dress. I’ve made a few Union St. Tees now and it has quickly become my favorite t-shirt pattern. A tried and true, for sure. Not to say I won’t use other tee patterns, but this pattern really is great and it fits how I want my t-shirts to fit (which is not too tight…but if you prefer tighter, you just size down). It’s got 3 different neck options, 4 sleeve options, and endless possibilities when you consider all the tweaks you can make to it to change it up. I knew turning it into a dress would be a breeze. It’s definitely not a new hack, but it’s a solid (and impossibly easy) one.

I really wanted a striped knit for this and I found this one at LA Finch Fabrics. It’s a little over $9/yard (they still have some). It’s a medium/heavy weight knit, it’s not see through at all, and the quality is awesome. They sent me a very generous 2 yards (um…more like 3 yards) so I have enough to make dresses for the girls or a cardigan or a shirt for Ben…I’ll figure it out eventually.

I wanted a contrasting neckband and I just used the reverse side of something I had in my stash. The gray fabric has stripes on it and it definitely shows through on the reverse. It’s kind of annoying being able to see the stripes, so I might unpick the collar and swap it out for something else, but I do like the contrast so I’ll just have to wait for the right fabric to come along.

Speaking of the collar (see how the stripes are visible?), I personally don’t like crew necks very much. I also felt like putting a scoop neck on the dress wouldn’t be giving me the laid-back vibe I was going for. So I put those two neckline pattern pieces together and drew another neckline that fell somewhere in the middle. I took maybe 1/2 an inch off the neckband piece (of the scoop neck) to make up for the change and it seemed to work really well.

I wanted the dress to hit right at my knees, so I put on one of my Union St. Tees (the one whose fabric most closely matched this fabric) and measured how much I needed to add to get to my knees. I only had to add 13 inches. And literally, it was just extending the hemline. No shaping whatsoever was involved. This is a size medium, for reference.

Halfway through sewing I was like, “Why am I not doing pockets???” So I fixed that real quick. If you do pockets correctly (including understitching and adding bar tacks), it can add a good amount of time to an otherwise quick project. But when have I ever thought, “Man, I sure wish this thing didn’t have pockets?” Never, that’s when. I didn’t take the time to bar tack my pockets at first and it resulted in the most ridiculously hip-accentuating loose dress ever known to man. After bar tacking the pockets in place it looks so much better. The pockets still poke out just a bit, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay to have pockets in my clothes. P.S. I cut my pockets out on the cross grain so that they don’t stretch down when there’s something in them.

You can kinda peek my bartacks in this pic

Sometimes I get so excited about the things I make that I post them as soon as possible which, truthfully, isn’t the best because how can I honestly say how I feel about wearing those things if I haven’t actually worn them? I made this dress relatively recently (maybe 2 weeks ago), but rest assured that I have worn the crap out of it so trust me when I say that it is awesome. I love how cool and breezy it is. And gosh it’s nice to just be comfortable, without worrying about waistbands or gaping necklines or any of the other unseemly things you have to deal with with uncomfortable clothes (*shudder*;).

This dress has just made me love the Union St. Tee pattern all the more. I see more of these dresses in my future (and definitely more hacks!).

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