Just look at this sweet little dress I made for my daughter! Can you believe it started out as a woman's t-shirt that I bought on clearance from Wal-Mart? I think I only paid $1 for it.
Wanna see how I made it? WARNING: I am not a seamstress. This is my first attempt at making up a dress without really following a pattern. So the pictures you're going to see are not exactly pretty. But it's proof that you don't have to be a perfect sewer to make a cute dress. Who cares if it's not pretty on the inside? Nobody is going to judge you. Especially a sweet little girl who will just like having a new dress to wear.
The t-shirt was a size small to begin with. I would have gotten a bigger one if they had them so that I would have had more fabric to work with, but they only had smalls. I used another of Eliza's dresses as a very basic pattern. I started by lining up the neckline of the dress with the neckline of the shirt, then marked around the bodice with a roughly 1/2" seam allowance. Then I cut the bodice shape out from the t-shirt.
Next, I just sewed the top seams (shoulder seams, I guess?) together like this:
Simple so far, right?
Next, I did the sleeves. This was the scariest part for me. I haven't really done this kind of sleeve before. The "Sweet Dress" pattern that I've made before has a different sleeve type. I had no clue what I was doing, so I just punted. I cut off the sleeve from the original t-shirt and just kind of followed that shape but cut it down a little bit. I also added a little pleat to make the sleeve puffy. then I pinned that along the bodice and sewed it on.
Next, I closed up the bodice by sewing up the sides and under the sleeves.
The bodice was finished! Then I moved on to the skirt portion. This was really easy. I just cut off the bottom part of the t-shirt to the length I wanted. That way I could use the hem of the shirt for the hem of the dress. No hemming = BO-NUS!! I sewed a gathering stitch (longest stitch length, lightest tension, no backstitching at the beginning or end) around the top part of the skirt, like this (see the stitching along the top?):
Then I gathered the skirt and pinned it to the bodice. This was the other tricky part for me (besides the sleeves). In fact, I pinned it wrong at first and was halfway through sewing it together before I realized that the skirt part was going to hang inside out. I had to get out my trusty seam-ripper and start fresh. Basically, you want to turn the bodice right side out. Then turn the skirt inside out, with the hem away from you. Insert the bodice into the skirt so that the top of the skirt and the bottom of the bodice line up. The two pieces should then be right-sides together. Then pin. Sorry, I didn't take great pictures of this step because I was still figuring it out for myself.
Anyway, once it's pinned on, just stitch around it with about a 1/2" seam allowance. I then finished the edges with an overedge stitch (or you could just use a zigzag stitch) and trimmed the excess off (less bunched fabric rubbing the baby's body that way).
I turned it right side out, and voila! I had a little dress!
It needed something a little extra, so I made a big flower out of some knit fabric left over from another project. I followed this tutorial: How to make t-shirt fabric flower and sewed it on tight to the dress.
Then I put it on my model and went outside to get some pics. My model wasn't the most cooperative. She was more interested in turning her back to me and walking away, but here are some pics:
Then she started getting a little tired:
So we went inside.
Until next time,