January 21, 2014 Re-Purposed T-Shirt Dress
This morning I woke up motivated to create. Titus, our youngest was sleeping nicely, the kids were at school, the sun shining brightly, the house was quiet, everything was perfect.
Some time ago I had book marked in my sewing category a simple dress made from a t-shirt. Kiki loves dresses, even in the cold. Whenever she tries one on, the first thing she does is twirl in it. She does not like leggings or tights, so finding longer dresses can be a bit of a challenge.
I had dug through her closet to find a shirt with long sleeves that she never wears. I found this:
I bought it last year thinking that she would like the ruffle on the bottom. It only irritates her, so she never wears it. I cut the bottom portion of the shirt off, including the ruffely-tutu part. Then I found a coordinating grey chevron fabric and measured and cut it out. For the skirt, the fabric was 60 inches wide and I measured her for the height. I also wanted to add a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt.
If you have never made a ruffle before, it is super simple.
Cut your strips however wide you want (mine are about 4 inches wide) and I doubled the length across for each side. (So if the shirt is 20 inches wide, I used 80 inches long of fabric, 40 for the front of the skirt and 40 for the back)
Once strips are cut, I sewed them together to make one long strip.
Then I set my machine for the ruffles. You can buy a ruffle foot attachment, or you can save your money and adjust your machine.
Turn the tension, width, and length to the highest setting and sew, without back stitching. It will ruffle for you.
Now the confusing part. After you have your skirt cut and ready to attach to the shirt, you will pin it, right sides together. Because the skirt is wider than the shirt, you will have to add small pleats as you pin. (I had an after thought that I could have also gathered the material like I did for the ruffle and attach that to the shirt, but the pleats were pretty easy to set.) My pleats were about a half-inch wide, every two (or so) inches. I like to work in halves, so I would find the middle of the front of the skirt, and the middle of the shirt, pin. Then half of the half, pin, and then divide what remained equally. It is confusing, but feel free to refer to the link above for clearer instructions.
Once you have it all pinned, hit the sewing machine, with a zigzag stitch. Be sure you change your setting from the ruffle setting.
With he skirt attached, then you can check your length. Either hem the bottom, or attach the ruffle made earlier.
I will be making more of these in the near future!