I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

T-shirt Dress Tutorial

Yes, the third in what seems to be a long line of sewing tutorials. Hope you're up for it! Lots of pics in this one, as usual.

Matching thread
Sewing machine
Straight pins
Material to make the skirt

**If you want to embellish your t-shirt in any way (like I did with the cupcakes and ruffles) then do it now before you cut it and start to sew. It will be a lot easier now, than trying to add do-dads after you have a pretty full skirt around the bottom.**

Try your t-shirt on the intended wearer, and mark where you want the skirt to start. Then lay your t-shirt flat on a counter (or some other solid surface) and cut it straight across on your mark. The bottom will roll up on you, but don't worry about that.

Kinda looks like a google-eyed monster, doesn't it?

Measure the width of the t-shirt where you just cut it off, and make a note of it. If it's not on an even inch mark, round up to the nearest full inch. (For example, if your shirt is thirteen and 3/4 inches, round up to 14 inches.)

Have the intended wearer slip the cut shirt on, and measure from the bottom of the shirt to where you want the length of the skirt to stop. Remember to add two inches for hemming, and sewing the shirt to the skirt.

Fold your chosen material in half width-wise, making sure your desired length will still fit. For example, if your material is 45 inches in width, fold it in half to make it 22.5 inches wide. This was the perfect length for me, so I didn't need to trim it at all.

Measure across your material double the width of the t-shirt you measured in step two. Why? Well, we want our skirt to be a little gathered and full, don't we? And we can't gather a skirt that is the exact width of the shirt we're sewing it to. So we double the width and add a few inches for seam allowances. (My t-shirt measured 14 inches across, so I doubled that to 28 inches. Then I added two inches for seam allowances, so my width was 30 inches.)
Cut at the mark you measured for your width. Then (if folded) cut your material on the fold to make two panels. One will be for the front of the skirt, and the other for the back.
Your two panels.
[If your material isn't wide enough to fold, then measure your desired width first, and mark it. Measure your desired length, then cut on your marks. Make two panels this size. Continue on to step five.]

Lay one panel right-side down on your ironing board. Press the bottom hem on your panel up toward the wrong side. I made mine about an inch, but do yours however you like. Do the same for the other panel.

Lay your panels right-sides together. Pin down one short side, and sew the seam. (I don't pin with cotton. It doesn't slip much. But I DO hold it rather tightly to make sure the edges are lined up.)

Now that your panels are attached, sew up your bottom hem.

Then sew up the final side seam.And press your side seams open.
Now, turn your skirt right-side out. Set your stitch to the longest length, because we will be sewing a basting stitch now around the top of the skirt. DO NOT backstitch at the beginning or end. I started at one of the side seams and sewed all the way around so I could keep an eye on where my beginning stitch was.
At your ending stitch, leave a long enough tail to tie a couple knots. I usually leave two or three inches of thread to work with.

Tie a couple knot in one set of threads you just sewed, either the beginning or the ending threads. NOT both! Then cut the excess thread to get it out of your way.
Now, gently pull on one string of the threads you didn't knot. It will gather your material. You will have to slide the gathers down the thread to evenly distribute them.
You want to end up having your gathered material the same width as the bottom of your t-shirt.
(Your material will be right-side out, so ignore that part of this pic.)

When your skirt is the desired length, tie off the thread you were pulling on with a couple sets of knots. Trim the excess.

(I didn't get a picture of this step for some reason. Sorry!!)
Turn your t-shirt inside out. Slip the bottom of your skirt into the neck of the t-shirt and pull it through. Align the bottom edge of the t-shirt with the top edge (the gathered edge) of your skirt. This makes the right side of your t-shirt and the right side of your skirt facing one another. You can kinda see it in the pic below.

Line up one side seam of your skirt with one side seam of the t-shirt. Pin in place. Do the same for the other side. (No pics of this either. Sorry.)

Then pin all the way around, making sure the gathers are even. As you can see, I didn't skimp on the pins. You can use less if you want. I need all these pins!!

Very slowly and very carefully sew around the perimeter of your skirt/t-shirt. Pull out the pins as you go along. DO NOT try to sew over your pins, as you will probably hit one and break your needle. Not cool.

Turn your dress right-side out and slip it on the intended wearer. Watch her prance and do ballet! Admire your handiwork, and get a cup of tea. Or coke. Or water. And relax a few minutes before starting the next one.

Oh, and double check to make sure none of your basting stitches are showing on the dress. If they are, carefully remove them with a seam ripper. You want a clean look, not sloppy.
Good luck, you can do it!!


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