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

[…] The 30 Minute $6 Dress Tutorial – You can use any knit shirt for this, like maybe one that you already have? […]

23 Free Sewing Tutorials for Women’s Dresses!

brilliant work!!! beautiful and (looks) simple! love it.


I am a very curvy women and finding curvy plus vintage dresses is a bit hard for me but I have a TON of vintage fabric, so I am going to make my own! Thanks!


Wow! That is so awesome! I’m gonna have to try that, especially because I hate using patterns. 😛


I just made my second diy dress. But its all sewn by hand. it took me couple of hours to create this dress.. so I’m planning to buy a sewing machine very soon.,

Velle Neis

Maybe some new clothes will chase away those teacher Back to School Blues. 😉 This dress would look really sweet with a little cardigan.


cute!!!! i gotta try, that looks easy enough!


Even though I work for McCall Pattern; I think this is a grand idea.


I have maybe 8 of these now… they are all I wear, and I’m practically famous at the fabric store!


Lou, I’m not sure (based on you using meters in your comment) if you’re in the US, but fabric definitely does not have to cost $8/yd. There are so many fabric store options, both with real storefronts and online, that offer tons of possibilities for under $3.50 per yard on the clearance aisles – sometimes as low as $1 per yard. JoAnn’s Fabrics (can also shop online), Hobby Lobby,,, even Walmart, to name a few. Maybe do a little more searching…


Thank you! I’ve got some old tanks, a sewing
Machine that I don’t know how to use and a lot
Of fabric… This will be lots of fun for me and my two


I’ve made a couple of these dresses now. I too have a larger bust and found that using a zig-zag stitch rather than a straight stitch when attaching the skirt to the top means there is more than enough give to get it on. One think though is that I don’t know how anyone could possibly make this for $6. At the best of times fabric is at least $8/m plus the top alone is about $6.


Wow! Awesome and easy! I absolutely love tutorials that are simple and use inexpensive materials! Keep up the great work!


Beautiful dress! It’s quite amazing to make it ready in just $6. Thanks for sharing…

Anand Mistry

This was a great idea, i just made one of these for my daughter out of one of her old t-shirts. Turned out great 🙂


This is a really great Idea!! I think i’m going to try and put an elastic in the waist band to make it a maternity shirt/dress! This is super cute! Thanks!!


Love your dresses. I learned a trick for those of you who might have a few more curves. I made a similar dress but used elastic thread in the bobbin when I attached the skirt to the tanktop. It gathers it as you see and gives it more stretch, making it easier to put on.

Julie Williams

For the sewing inclined – a 30 minute $6 dress. Simple & fast. #sewing #crafts

Wildly Romantic (@LovesDreams)

Ladies, can’t find a dress you like? You could make one yourself.

Michelle Funderburg (@sensei7)

CLEVER ALERT. The 30 Minute $6 Dress Tutorial:

ninandjuice (@ninandjuice)
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