Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Make Your own Gathered T-Shirt Dress Part Uno

As you may recall, Cordelia and I have been recycling little girl t-shirts into little girl dresses.

I’ve also taught a few classes on how to make the dress, and had some amazingly talented students show up who made dresses that look like this.

Well today I thought I would show you how to make your own gathered t-shirt dress.
Are you excited?!
Let's get sewing!

First you will need to select a few supplies.
You will need:

1. A t-shirt that fits the child
2. One to 1 ½ yards of the skirt fabric
3. ¼ yard of the sash fabric.
4. Basic sewing tools.

Now that you have assembled all the ingredients, it’s time to get cutting!

First you will chop off the excessive length of the t-shirt. The easiest way to determine how much to take off is to put the shirt on the child, decide where you want the waist of the skirt to hit, and mark this location.

Add ½ inch of length for seam allowance and chop off everything below this mark.

To cut the fabric, determine the length of the shirt by measuring the child from the waistline to where you want the hem to finish.

Add ½ inch for the waist seam allowance and 1 inch for the hem allowance. This will be the length you need to cut the skirt fabric.

Unless you want an especially full skirt, or are making a dress for an older girl, I make the skirt piece 45 inches wide.

So, cut or tear a rectangle of the skirt fabric the length you decided you need by 45 inches wide.

For the waist tie, determine how wide you want it to be. I made mine to finish 2”. Double this measurement and add 1” for seam allowances. Cut 2 strips this wide (5” for my tie) by 45” long.

Now it’s time to start sewing the skirt!

First place right sides of the skirt together and sew the center back seam (unless you have two skirt pieces then you have 2 side seams). If working with one piece, this means you are sewing the selvages of the fabric together.

Finish this seam by surging, sewing a zigzag stitch near the edge or pinking it.

Now sew the hem.
If your fabric is directional--meaning it has a top and a bottom, make sure you hem the bottom edge!

Fold up the bottom edge ½” and press.

Now fold up a second ½” and press.

Sew next to this folded edge to secure the hem.
If you have it, this is a great place to use your edgestitch foot or # 10 foot for my fellow Bernina sewers.
Just line up the guide of the foot with the fold of the fabric and move the needle to the left,  You'll get a perfectly straight stitch every time!

Be sure to check back tomorrow cause I’ll be showing you how to finish the dress—I’m also going to show you a super nifty gathering technique I think you are going to want to see!

Happy Sewing
~Melisa & Cordelia

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