Partially Upcycled T-Shirt Dresses for Kiddos

Sunday, April 18, 2010

So, I finally cleaned out the girls' closets this weekend. Took out all the too small, too wintry and put all the warm-weather clothes in their rightful places! (Just in time for one last chilly day, ofcourse...!) That led to a frenzied making of dresses---made partially from old clothes, partially from fun fabric! YAY!
Here's what I started with:
The shirt will be used for the neck and sleeves of the dress and the blue cotton will be the skirt of the dress. BTW- This is going to fit a 3T kiddo, the top is a 2T though, just for your info.

Here's what you need:
-too small shirt (mostly too short, but still fitting in the head and arms areas), cut off the bottom. I only left about 5" from shoulder to cut.
-cotton fabric, I used a piece 16"X44" for the skirt and a 4" X 44" for the tie-back.

Here's how I did it:
1. Put the right sides together of your cotton fab and sew it up to make a tube. Sew on the 16" side.

2. Hem one of the ends of the tube. I double fold, iron and zig-zag stitch.

3. Now to sew the t-shirt top and the skirt part together. The right side of the cotton is on the inside, and you have the shirt right side out. Put the t-shirt top head down into the tube. The right sides should be facing each other. Make the seam of the cotton fab line up with the middle of the BACK of the t-shirt. Start by pinning the middle of the front, back and sides together. Then start your pleating. I pleated very symmetrically, starting from the middle front and back. I also sang "Pleat It"...the sewing version of the Michael Jackson song, "Beat It"...that part is optional, but not for me. I have to sing it everytime I do pleats...

4. Sew that all the way around, I straight stitched, pleats up. So, now it looks like this:

You could stop here. But my girls tend to be on the skinny side so I made a tie back so it would be less potato sack-ish.
5. I made a tie-back next by using a 4" X 44" strip of the cotton. I folded both sides in and then folded that over...iron and sew a straight stitch down, closer to one side. Find the middle, pin it to the middle of the dress where the t-shirt and skirt meet.

6. Then sew it onto the dress with another straight stitch, now closer to the other side so it just looks even. I just sewed from one side seam of the shirt to the next, not on the back at all.

YAY!! Partially upcycled dress!! Saves lots of time not having to fiddle with sleeves or neck line finishing...and the knit on the top makes it easy to take on and off.

I really liked the super short "top" of the dress. I also thought it looked sort of modern meets country. Benefit of the shorter tie back: the 2yr old can't reach back there and untie it herself---HAHA!!
I did one for big sissy too (bc you cannot make something during naptime for one girl and NOT make something for the other too!!)
With hers, I sandwiched a ruffle of t-shirt leftovers between the t-shirt top and the cotton fab when I sewed the tubes together.

Here are some more I have planned: The stripey tank top is paired with an old denim skirt of mine---uber upcycling!! I particularly love the purple and yellow!


Kaysi said...

That is super cute! I love the brown and blue one!

Bobbie said...

I love it! I have a link party on saturdays that I would love for you to join

Fawnda said...

Very cute! The possiblities are endless! :)

Lia said...

I loveeeee them!!!!

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