Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tutorial: Making a T-shirt Dress

As I have spent quite a chunk of time the last week making twelve of these T-shirt dresses, I thought I'd share my method.

Materials needed:
a T-shirt
3/4 yard of 45" fabric to 1-1/3 yard (depending on shirt size)
sewing machine
measuring tape
iron & ironing board

Step One:
Measure your fabric. These were all made from children's size T-shirts. Two large, two medium, one small, one extra small, then 4T, (two) 24 M, 12 M and two different sized onesies--3-6 month and 0-3 month. Here are the measurements I used:

Large T-shirts--made from 1-1/3 yard (4 feet). Cut two pieces of 4 feet of fabric that are 10" and 12". If your girl is a little taller, go one or two inches longer on each piece.
Medium T-shirts--made from 1-1/3 yard. 9" and 11" pieces.
Small T-shirt--made from 1 yard. 8" and 10" pieces.
Extra small T-shirt--made from 1 yard. 7" and 9" pieces.
4T Shirt--made from 1 yard. 7" and 9" pieces.
24 M shirts--made from 30 inches, 5/6 yard. 6" and 8" pieces
12 M shirt--made from 30 inches, 5/6 yard. 5" and 7" pieces
3-6 M onesie (the one demonstrated)--made from 27 inches, 3/4 yard. 4" and 6" pieces
0-3 M onesie--same as the 3-6 M onesie

Step Two:
Cut the fabric. I measured all the way down and drew a line to cut along with a pencil. If you have a cutting mat, you won't have to draw the line with a pencil.

Step Three: Fold fabric so right sides are together and sew at the end 5/8" from edge. Then press the seam.

Step Four:
Press hemline by folding over and then folding it under the first fold and pressing.

Step Five:
Sew the hemline.

Step Six:
Layer the two pieces with the shorter piece on the inside. Right sides are both facing the inside. Line up at the seam with raw , unhemmed edges lined up.

Step Seven:
Using a longer stitch selection on your machine, sew 5/8" from edge. It might help to pin these edges together. I did that on some dresses and others I didn't.

Step Eight:
Stitch another gathering stitch with a longer stitch length just 1/4" from the first one, closer to the edge. (1/2" or 4/8" from edge). I find it's easier to gather the fabric if you use two gathering stitches instead of only one.

Step Nine:
With right sides together, pin seam of skirt at seam of shirt. On the onesies, do this right above the leg hole opening. On the T-shirts, do it at the lower edge of shirt. Then gather the skirt until it matches the T-shirt/onesie width.

Step Ten:
Pin the gathered skirt to the T-shirt all the way around. Make your stitch length smaller again on your machine and stitch 5/8" (to match where the 5/8" gathering stitch is) all the way around.

Finally, turn it right side out and you have a T-shirt dress!

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