A DIY Jane Austen-inspired t-shirt for the 21st Century Lizzy

One of the best things about the works of Jane Austen and the Regency era is the fashion! If you are a Jane Austen fan, I can 100% guarantee that you have wished/imagined/daydreamed yourself walking around in your own beautiful floor-length Regency gown, just waiting for your gentleman (or lady) to gallop up beside you. (Or maybe you’re the one doing the galloping!) We’ve all contemplated starting our careers in sewing by making a regency gown. But as Jane would say, we more often just “wish such gowns were to be bought ready-made.”

. . . Well, lucky you! Today’s DIY is an easy refashion that will allow you to upcycle any t-shirt you have into a totally wearable Jane Austen-gown inspired top. All you need is some pretty trims and glue (yes, this is a no-sew project — aren’t they all?) and a little bit of time. I chose a simple white t-shirt and a demure green as my trim, but be as creative as you want with your color choices!


1. Simple cotton t-shirt

2. Cotton ruffle trim (1/2 yard)

3. Wide satin ribbon (1/2 yard)

4. Fabric glue (I recommend Liquid Stitch)

5. Measuring tape

6. Scissors


1. Measure the distance around the sleeves.

2. Turn the t-shirt inside out.

3. Glue the ruffle trim to the edges of the sleeves. Set to dry.

4. Once the sleeve is dried, put the shirt on and see where your ribbon will be placed. It should be right under your bust. Mark it with a little dot.

5. Glue the ribbon to the front of the shirt (only put glue up to the side seam). The back of the ribbon should be loose. Let it dry.

6. You’re done! Enjoy your easy-peasy refashion!

A little inspiration: Unlike a full regency gown, you can definitely wear this t-shirt in 2015 wherever you go! Just in time for Spring, this t-shirt lets you be comfortable and inspired by your favorite Austen heroine. If you’ve been following me, you’ve built up quite the Regency wardrobe, so wouldn’t this be the perfect outfit staple to wear with your bonnet, shoes, or headband? Or pair it with skinny jeans or your favorite fit and flare skirt, and you’ll be ready to bump into that twenty-first century Darcy no matter where you go.