Saturday, May 28, 2011

the recycled t-shirt dress

So, one day I am shopping at Wal-mart and a woman says to me, "look at you with all your little ducks in a row," and I became obsessed with the idea of making little duck shirts for my babies.  I made the duckling shirts for myself for mother's day and that Saturday I thought, "I have nothing to wear for mother's day", and thus this dress was born.  I used a yellow t-shirt of mine that was too short (why is it after having babies 86% of your shirts become too short?) and a white t-shirt that I stole from my hubby.

Step #1 was to measure myself around where I wanted the white part to start (30") then I measured from that point to about how long I wanted the dress (23")

Step #2 I divided the first number in half and that gave me the measurement for my first rectangle, 15"X23"  and that is my back piece

Step #3 Now because I am trying to hide the fact I have had 3 babies and I HATE doing sit ups I added 3inches to the first number for my second rectangle so 18"X23"

Step #4 with right sides together sew your rectangles along the 23" seam

Step #5 now you have a long tube that will be your skirt, at this point I did a gathering stitch right in the middle of my front piece about 3 inches long and played with the gathers until the skirt fit and the belly was hidden

Step #6 I tried on the yellow shirt and marked where I wanted the skirt to start  and continued that line all the way around my torso.  I pinned my white tube to the top all the way along that line.  Now I had a vision of the raw edge of the knit being visible in the dress so I just sewed the skirt right onto the top, it did not look as awesome as I thought it would so when you connect the two you might want to sew them with the right sides of the fabric together.  Now your dress can be done, but mine wasn't it was lacking a little something.  I grabbed some of the extra t-shirt fabric from Izzy's dress and I made a little belt.

There are probably a million tutorials out there on how to make a belt, here is how I made mine...

Step #1 how long do you want your belt to be?  Add 2inches.  How thick do you want your belt to be? Double that and then add 1/4inch.

Step #2 cut your fabric according to the numbers you got above, now you have one loooong rectangle.

Step #3 fold your fabric in half, hot dog style, and iron (if you have a right side to your fabric make sure it is on the inside of your fold).

Step #4 sew the strip together to give yourself one long tube

Step #5 pin a safety pin to one end of the tube and begin to feed it back into itself turning your tube right side out, and turning your seam in.  Iron your tube flat and so that the seam goes down the middle.

Step #6 fold the raw ends of the tube inward and sew closed.

Step #7 try your belt on and decide how you want to close it, you can make your belt close any way you wish.  Here I added a button/button hole, you could also use Velcro, or snaps, even just tie it, its your belt do what you want!

TADA!  The t-shirt dress, not super original I am positive you could find better instructions out there somewhere.  This is just me, and how I made my first dress for myself using what I had on hand.

Now this little cutie...

is also wearing a dress made from one of Daddy's t-shirts for mother's day (see the little duck ;)) To make this dress I used a tutorial on MADE (I am pretty much in L.O.V.E. with her blog).  I did mess up a bit though, for some reason when I gathered the front of the dress, I didn't realize I should do the same to the back part of the dress.  So the yoke is too big and there is not enough fabric for a proper tie.  Unfortunately I also finished this dress that Saturday night so when I put it on Sunday morning we just had to roll with it.
I used freezer paper to stencil the duck on this little dress and also on her brother's t-shirts.
Trying to get a pic of anybody was like trying to jump over the moon!
There you have it, my crazy mother's day dress making extravaganza!

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