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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you ever need a quick, fun, easy, **clean up your stash of excess fabric**, and attractive project...this is a great one. I read about this about a year ago and finally broke down and made one for my dd from a cheepy 3$ walmart tank top. It's SOOOOOOOO PRETTY and she is beyond thrilled.

it's a pretty pink tank with the skirt part serged on (but can be sewn on with a sewing machine) that is orange with pink "bubbles" and dragonflies. I had it made w/in 10 min. and it got rid of some of the over abundance of fabric I have
dh is begging me to do something with it. I am on the hunt now for more t-shirts that I can convert into dresses for my very girly girl that prefers dresses to anything else.
 

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Ahh, memories.. I used to have so much fun buying cheap tanks and t's on sale, gathering up 1/4 yd fabric, and sewing it on the bottom for my girls when they were toddlers. Sigh.. they are 10 and 11 now.
 

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I used to add a little applique from the skirt fabric to the top to really pull the whole look together!

Actually, I found one I started 8 years ago going through my stash last month, sewed it up and gave it to a friend. It may take me a while, but I do finish what I start!
 

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I just found the instructions on the do-it-yourself site! Very cute. I have a couple questions:

The diy site has a step where you attach elastic to it... is that necessary?

Also, they use a onesie, but it sounds like you mamas use regular ol' t-shirts? Sorry if all this is obvious.... I'm new at this!

Thanks!
 

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I used tanks or tshirts for my toddlers, up to age 3-4 even. I didn't use elastic. I sewed two lines of stitching about an inch apart. Then I sewed a basting stitch in between them (max stitch length on machine). Then I pulled the middle thread (forget if it was top or bottom) to gather up the length of fabric to equal the circumference of the bottom of the tank/tshirt. Then shirt right side out, little skirt wrong site out and arond the bottom of the shirt with the skirt flipped up over the shirt. HOpe that made sense.

I forget exactly how I gathered the fabric, but it was like I said above, or close to it. I know I never used elastic of any type.
 

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I checked the instructions on DIYnet, I think that those are great for the wee baby girls, but you don't need to use a onsie or elastic cord to make dresses like the OP.

The first step is to figure out how long you want the dress and how long you want the top (t-shirt) of the dress. Styles change and you can trim the t-shirt shorter and use a longer skirt, or vice-versa. So trim the t-shirt if you want. I would remove the hem on the bottom just to reduce bulk.

Fabric amounts and prep: You need 45" wide fabric, as much as you would like the skirt to be long plus 2.5 inches or so for a hem. If I am buying fabric, I usually purchased 1/2 yard, by the time it is prewashed and straightened, it is about the right length. So prewash and straighten your fabric. Cotton wovens can be straightened by tearing the fabric from selvage to selvage.

Skirt seam and hem: Pin together and sew a seam down the selvage edge. Press the hem edge up 1/2", then 2", then sew the hem into place.

Attaching the skirt: Gather the top edge by stitching two lines of basting (long) stitches. The first should be 5/8" from the edge, the second 3/8" from the edge. Make your life a lot easier by sewing these lines of gathering stitches on the right side of the fabric, then when you gather the bobbin thread, it will be on the wrong side which will face you when you pin. Gather the skirt by pulling the bobbin threads until the skirt top edge is the same as the width of the t-shirt bottom. Fuss the gathers so they are even. If one thread breaks, keep going, but if they both break, start over. Pin the gathered edge to the t-shirt, right sides together. I usually divide the skirt into quarters, the top into quarters, then match them up with the seam at center back. I am a perfectionist.
Sew. Open up the dress and press the seam up if you want, or not if you are iron phobic.

Optional: If you want to add a applique patch as I mentioned in a previous post, sew this on the t-shirt before adding the skirt. I just cut out what I liked, used a glue stick to hold it on the shirt, then used a close zig-zag around the edge. The glue stick is any old washable school glue stick I can find around the house. This is a good way to hide stains!!!

Variation: A friend of mine likes A-line skirts on her t-shirt dresses. She cuts her skirts into a trapezoid shape. The top of the trapezoid is the width of the t-shirt, the bottom a few inches wider, the length about 9 inches. Add seam allowances, sew as above without the gathering steps.

HTH!
 

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Gethane, I think you posted your instructions while I was typing out my book! :LOL It took me a while with my helpers around.


Where are you at in Nebraska? I did a couple of projects for work (back in my old life) in Lincoln and Omaha, and Nebraskans are just the nicest people!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for not posting directions or picts., limited "free" time to post.

What I did was get a 3$ cotton knit tank top (size 6 kids), some cotton knit fabric preshrunk (not sure how wide
I just cut it at 18" long, folded the fabric right sides together and serged (can be sewn with a reg. machine as well),attatched the front center, back center, two sides of the T to the "skirt" by a couple of stitches with sewing machine (hate pins) so all would be even and then stretched the fabric so no "bunching" and serged together (again, can be done with a simple straight stitch on sewing machine) then I did a decorative serged hem (but could easily be a reg. hem as well) since the top had some dec. serging. I didn't use any elastic or basting (too lazy) it took me all of 10 min to make.

Next time I'll cut the hemed part off the T so it's easier to make the skirt part and top part even. It comes out nice and puckered like I pleated and pinned it w/o doing the extra work. When I get a chance I'll take picts and post them (link). The cotton knit that I use for the skirt is pretty "busy" so not decorating the top (it's the balance for the eye
). I have some old jean fabric, think I'll dig out an old T of hers and make one like that.

glad im not the only one that loves this simple dress to make. ought to make myself a nursing dress with my old nursing Ts
hhmmmmmmmmm
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kari_mom
Gethane, I think you posted your instructions while I was typing out my book! :LOL It took me a while with my helpers around.


Where are you at in Nebraska? I did a couple of projects for work (back in my old life) in Lincoln and Omaha, and Nebraskans are just the nicest people!
I live about 45 minutes south of Lincoln! And worked in Lincoln until November when I quit to take care of this newest babe.

Your directions were SOO much better. And that was exactly how I used to do mine! Last time I did it, though, was problably 7 years ago, so I'd forgotten the specifics. I even accidentally had done an A-line and it was SO cute. It ended up being my favorite.

Man, you all are making me want "just one more honey" so I can maybe get lucky to sew more dresses hehee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm doing laundry tonight, when I pull her dress out of the dryer, will take a pict. and post it. If I sew another tonight, will make picts of my steps.
now, "As Time Goes By" is on and it's the only show I MUST watch
. OH and if tops are your issue
THIS IS the dress for you.
 

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Gethane, I hear you woman! I miss sewing for little girls, boys are not the same at all. But since our last three were boys I'd be scared to try just because I want a girl! :LOL I sew for the little girls I know when I have an excuse like birthday presents.
Half my fabric stash is little girl fabric I don't want to give up, but is too young for my dd.

Reese, I can't wait to see your dress! I agree, if sleeves and collars scare you, this is a great sewing project. Even if they don't, they take almost no time to turn out, a big plus for busy moms!. I think everyone is describing slightly different versions of the 't-shirt dress', your pictures will help a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I made another one tonight using a button up blouse and stretch jean fabric. I'm not sure how it fits dd since the only sewing time I get is when all are in bed, but I think if she unbuttons it and slips it up over her hips instead of down over her head it'll work. This is a blouse she hasn't worn in ages because she doesn't have shorts/skirt to go with it
now she does.

If how I did it doesn't make sense ask and I'll try to explain it differently.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wyo...bum?.dir=/6186
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by reeseccup
I made another one tonight using a button up blouse and stretch jean fabric. I'm not sure how it fits dd since the only sewing time I get is when all are in bed, but I think if she unbuttons it and slips it up over her hips instead of down over her head it'll work. This is a blouse she hasn't worn in ages because she doesn't have shorts/skirt to go with it
now she does.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wyo...bum?.dir=/6186
I added a pict of her wearing it!! It fits and she loves it. The blouse is more a fitted blouse so w/o pleating the skirt, it's a straight line. It was easy for her to step in and pullup ect. It was a sucessful idea!!
 

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Thank you SO MUCH for sharing the pics, reeseccup!! I've been following this thread, and I'm so intrigued by the idea. I'm always looking for cute, cheap ways to dress my girls. Now that I can picture it, I understand how to make it. Thank you!
 

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I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to thank you all for your tips. I have made 3 dresses in the last 24 hours for my DD. One Halloween theme dress with a patchy bodice, one A line blue toile, and one funky salt and pepper shaker longer print. I am a pretty new to sewing and I am teaching myself, so all the info is great!
I will try to get my pics up soon. I made them all for my DD who is only 11 mos. It might be fun to see the smaller versions of the dresses.
Love looking at the pics you posted Reese, I love your fabric choices and your babes are so sweet.
 
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