Make This: The 30 Minute $6 Dress Tutorial

Guest post by Rachael at Talk 2 the Trees.

The perfect dress is hard to come by. I like my dresses to be cheap, and long enough. (I’m not a fan of super short dresses) When it comes to clothing, cheap and long dresses don’t seem to go hand in hand.. so, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! Here is a tutorial for a simple yet cute dress. It takes about 30 minutes to make and costs much less than most dresses!

Here’s Your Supplies List:

1. First you will need a ribbed tank top. I got mine from Walmart for 2.50. And you could also use a t-shirt. 2. You’ll also need 3 yards of matching fabric. *Clearance section is my favorite. I got three yards for 3.00 total. Quite the steal. 3. Scissors 4. Thread 5. Sewing machine


Here’s How you Make it:

1. Cut the tank top almost in half. This will depend on your bust size, and how short you want your dress as well. The shorter the tank top, the shorter your dress will be.

2. For the bottom part of your dress take the fabric and wrap it around your waist about 1 and a half times, and cut in a straight line. The fabric will come to you already folded, don’t unfold it. This way you have kind of a bubble hem. You don’t need to hem up the bottom at all, and the inside will look like the outside. I never measure, I never use patterns… Sorry if this seems silly!

3. Next you fold your fabric in half. Remember it’s already folded, so you are folding it again, creating a skirt. Sew up the short side. (There will be four layers of fabric that you are sewing.) So, you have kind of a big blocky rectangle skirt.

4. Next open it up and change your sewing machine’s tension so it will create the biggest stitches possible. Instead of sewing a waist band in like a normal skirt, you are just sewing a straight line around the two layers of fabric joining them together (You are sewing the raw edges, not the bubble hem).

5. We are going to create a ruffle. Don’t do a back stitch when you start sewing around the skirt or after. To make the skirt ruffle you hold the thread and scoot the fabric down. Make sure the skirt ruffles are evenly distributed and pretty loose.

6. Next, turn the skirt part inside out so that the raw edges (from when you turned it into that big blocky skirt) are facing out, and put the tank top inside as pictured.

7. Now pin the tank top and the dress together. Once it’s pinned make sure that the tanktop part of the dress folds out to be inside out like the skirt part.

8. Make sure that the tank top park lays flat and the skirt part is ruffled still.

9. Make sure your tension is set back to normal and sew the skirt and the tank top together just under the previous stitches.

10. Remove the pins and the dress part is done! Now for the sash.

11. Cut a strip out of the left over fabric, about double of how thick you want your sash to bed. Fold it in half long ways so that the printed side is facing in. And sew up the sides.

12. Turn it right side out and finish up the edges, and you are done! The sash is not actually sewn onto the dress, it’s removable and is just tied in the back. You could always use a regular belt or another coordinating fabric for the belt!

Here’s the tutorial in pictures…

Believe it or not, this dress only took about 30 minutes to make. And get ready for this… It cost about $6 total! If you are looking for a budget dress that you can make on your own, this is it.

About the author. My name is Rachael, I’m an artist, creator and blogger living in Utah. I have two silly puppies and a lot of creative projects cluttering up my house. I love a good adventure, and I love to document my explorations through various art forms. Follow my adventures at


52 comments | Click here to reply

How do you get it on?!?! I made it all and was so pleased then burst through all the stitches trying to put it down over my head.


I had trouble when making this, because the skirt piece pulled down on my shirt piece giving it a stretched look that was unappealing. How do I fix that?


So cute….just wish I could sew ;-(

Julie G.

I made a couple of these for a friend and one for me …so far! Love them and easy – no matter your size or shape!

You can use a variety of “t-shirts” – that helps give them a little give and take – comfort!

AND don’t toss the bottom you cut off the shirt – make a matching t-shirt scarf! Lots of patterns for these on Pinterest and other sites! Fast, easy and fun!


My best friend pinned this on Pinterest and . . . !!! This might be the thing that will make me get out my sewing machine for the first time since moving to NYC 6 and a half years ago. You are a GENIUS.

Unapologetically Mundane

Im 53 yrs old and I could wear this! You are very crafty this is great little dress keep posting your ideas they are wonderful


Wow, this is amazing! I’ll definitely try this out when I have the chance. 😀


i’ve already made six of these dresses…all sorts of color combinations..they are adorable with slouch socks and sneakers, or sandals..or high heels !! so cute !!
and SO easy to make !


That girl is even cuter!
i might do this though just to do it. i’ve been meaning to learn to sew, it would be a fun project for my mom and me.


Yeah…I’d do that.


OMG I LOVE IT im going to try and hand sewit with out the ruffle (they dont look so hot on big birls)


I love this dress it was so easy to make like you said, I think ill have to make a few different ones in various colors, lol. Thank you for posting this it was a great help!


Really cute Naomi… lovely work.


beautiful and simply! I love it!


whaaaaaaaaaat?! this is AMAZING!!!! what an awesome project! i wish i had a sewing machine to try it myself!!!

erin * sparkle & hay

Love the way you think. I would only change the wording in step 4 – change the stitch length (to bigger) instead of the tension. Called a basting stitch and commonly used to create gathers.
I try to avoid messing with the tension.
Sew on girl.


Oh wow, this is a really awesome idea! And so easy!

Julia @ Boredom Abounds

Hmmm…this is nice and has got me thinking- I bet this could be done with a variety of shirts!
How do you put it on? I have a few more curves and think it might be a tight fit over some areas with the waist. Maybe elastic to keep the gathers and be able to stretch a bit.


Awesome Naomi. I love it too. Rachael is definitely a talent behind the sewing machine. Thanks for stopping by!


I love it!!

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