I am always finding fabric that inspires me to sew these cute little dresses for my grandbabies. I use inexpensive t-shirts, and cut them to make the top of each dress, then I mix up co-ordinating fabrics that make these little creations all cute and funky! Here are step by step instructions and a picture tutorial.
1. Cut the proper size shirt for the top about 2 1/2 – 3 inches from the under arm seam.
2. For size 2 and up, I use the whole width of the 45 ” fabric, for the width of the dress. Decide how long you want the finished dress to be. You can use a finished dress that fits to determine the proper finished length or measure the child from the under armpit to about the top of the knee, then decide how long to cut your main fabric, and consider whether or not you will use a bottom trim. The size 2’s that I have recently made usually measure about 16″-18″ from armpit.
3. I have shown in the pics 2 options, one is to sew on a flat alternating fabric at the bottom or you can use a gathered ruffle piece if you prefer. Many of my combinations come from recycling old clothes. The zebra ruffle in the picture was taken off the hem of an old dress that someone outgrew!
4. Once I have the fabric for the dress sewn to the trim at the bottom hem, if I want to add pockets I do it at this time, trying to place them to the left and right of the center of the fabric. After the pockets are in place, then I sew up the dress seam right sides together. Press the seam open, (if not using a serger) then I machine stitch two lines of baste stitches at the top of the fabric to use to gather up the top.
5. Pull the two top threads evenly throughout to gather, moving gathers along as you pull threads.
6. With RIGHT sides together, evenly distribute the gathers and stretch out to pin all around the bottom of the shirt. Once it is evenly pinned, machine stitch together.
7. Add trim or buttons. Keep in mind you can piece all sorts of fabrics together for the same dress, the more, the funkier! HAVE FUN with it!
8. You can use scraps of the knit t shirt to sew a stretchy headband and attach funky little scrap flowers on it to match the dress, like the ones in the last picture of my two little munchkins!
Check out the variety of combinations I have recently made, and check out my little cutie patooties!