Sunday, November 18, 2012

T-Shirt Dress

I have not made one of these dresses in years!!!  
All Ella wants to wear are comfy knit dresses with leggings or tights.  Because of this, I have not really sewn very much for Ella lately.  It is just much easier (and usually cheaper) to buy knit dresses.  (Not to mention the fact that I am not the best sewing with knits, I just find them very tricky.)  
I have found some really cute/not too grown up dresses here and there and felt like Ella's closet was full.  But when I started using this fabric making the sandwich bags, I could not stop thinking about it as a dress for Ella.  I have not sewn a dress for Ella in sometime, so she was thrilled to have something that I made just for her that met all of her wardrobe requirements.
 

As I started making the t-shirt dress, I remembered just how easy these dresses are to make (not to mention they are super cute!).  You may have made tons of these for your little girls.  If not, you may now.  They are very easy, very cute and 100% guaranteed to make any little girl thrilled!


All you need is a t-shirt and about 3/4 yard fabric (fabric length just depends on how long you want the dress).
Measure the length of the t-shirt from the shoulders (I used a different dress of Ella's for the measurement).
and cut the bottom off of the t-shirt.
Measure fabric to desired dress length plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance and desired hem length.  I think I did an 1.5 inch hem on this dress.
One thing that makes this dress so easy is there is only one seam.
Sew the fabric together, selvage to selvage, making a big tube.
 (fyi, it was very difficult to take a picture of a tube of a piece of fabric this big.  this was my best effort)

Finish the edge.  You do not have to have a serger to finish your seam nicely.  Your zig-zag stitch works great.
 Next, sew in your gathering threads (set your straight stitch to the longest length.  do not finish the stitch at the beginning or the end so that you can pull the threads).
Side note:  even though I had read in lots and lots of places you should always sew two gathering threads, I never did because when I am sewing I am usually trying to get the most amount of sewing I can in the shortest amount of time.  Sewing an extra gathering stitch seemed like extra time I did not want to take.  That was until I got almost all the way through gathering a skirt or ruffle and my thread broke.  I now always sew two gathering threads!  It is time well spent!

Mark the middle front of your dress (the middle back will be the seam)
and the center front and center back of top.

Gather the skirt.
Gather the skirt to match the top.
Match the centers together with right sides facing each other.
Pin the top to the skirt.
Sew top to bottom.  Finish the seam with either zig-zag or serger.
 I really debated using elastic thread to attach the top to the skirt like I did here in the dress I made for myself this summer.  I never used elastic thread when I made these dresses for Ella when she was younger, but with more fabric pulling on the t-shirt, I don't think it would be a bad idea for older girls.  It might help give a little more shape to the dress.  I will let you know if I try it:)

Sew in the hem.
 And I could not resist adding my new tags to the back of the dress:)
 Ella loves having the tag on her dress!

If you need a quick, easy dress for your girls (or you are just beginning sewing) this is the project for you!  I hope your girls are as happy as Ella is about her new dress!

1 comment:

  1. So cute Kim! These dresses are great.....I am even cutting off a onesie and making them for Anne Harris. I started sewing 3 gather threads years ago....while it does take more time the results are so worth it....the gathers are so much prettier and as you have said, if one breaks you are still in business. After gathering and sewing I go back with my seam ripper and pull the gather threads out.
    Great sewing! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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