Friday, August 14, 2009

How to make a dress out of an old t-shirt

Here is one of the things I've been working on the past few weeks. I've been trying to purge and I found this tank top of mine. I love the print but have barely worn it since, well, I'm not 18. Yeah, it's cute but maybe a little too cute for me, so it's been sitting in my drawer for a few years. Here's me wearing it while I was traveling with work and visiting the Great Wall in China - that was over 2 years ago.

First I found a simple knit dress of Lilo's to use as a pattern. I folded the tank in half, matching the side seams and traced out the dress giving approximately 1/2" seam allowance and using the existing neckline from the tank. Then I cut the front and back out and sewed the side seams up. For the strap and to finish the armhole I had some elastic binding stuff. It's left over from one company that I worked for and was throwing it out. But regular bias tape would also work made from knit or woven. I sewed it around the armhole and to the shoulder leaving 1" of just strap at the top before connecting the other side.

The hem is the original hem of the tank top. I didn't end up getting a picture of Lilo wearing it since I never seemed to have my camera with me and I kept thinking I would take some adorable picture like on Grosgrain but that didn't happen. And well now it's too short. It was always short but it seems like Lilo's sprouted up and 1" this summer. Oh well, it will be fit Isla next summer or the following, or maybe I'll see if I have any coordinating fabric to make capris leggings for it.

Well, I loved this dress so much and it came together so fast that I went through my stash and found and old golf shirt of my husband's. The colours are fun but they were a little faded so I used the back of the fabric as it was more vibrant.

I used the same dress as a pattern and made sure it was longer this time. I actually thought since this is the 2nd time I'm making this dress that maybe I'll trace it on to paper so I can make it again easier. I have a bad habit of just placing an existing garment on fabric and tracing it out and not making a hard copy pattern.

Before photo of the shirt
To jazz it up a bit and to make it a little more girly - I added some orange ribbon on to one of the stripes. I measured every 1/2" on dress and 1" on the ribbon and just straight stitched it down.

Since I didn't have a finished neckline to use on this dress I made a little facing. Just trace the neckline and make about 1 1/2" deep. Sew it right sides together and then flip and top stitch down.

Then I sewed sides together and sew the binding around armhole and shoulder. Press and your done.

Pressing is a very important step, I find you can correct many mistakes from a good pressing. Everything lies flatter.

For some reason this is the pose I get most times when I try and take a picture of what she's wearing.

This time I took a picture right away even though I could get the best pose.

And I had to add her self portrait she took. I have a whole collection of them that I want to make a collage out of - I love them.

1 comment:

SnH said...

What an adorable idea - I love the repurposing of all those cute tanks that we don't wear anymore. Smart smart smart!