We recently made a bunch of little girl dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World at our monthly Friday Night Sewcial and I soooo wish I had thought of this idea earlier! I find this method to be quick, cheap and oh-so-cute. Give it a try if you have little girls in your life or want to donate to this fantastic organization.
I found these 5 tees in a matter of minutes at the thrift store. There were rows and rows of them, but it was easy to find ones that would work well as a dress instead of a tee. They cost 40 to 80 cents each!
I chalked a line just under the collar to get rid of the shoulders and sleeves.
Make sure your tee is laying super flat and even and cut through both front and back. You can cut the rest of the sleeve off at seams, but you might need to trim more than that later on.
Once I made the cuts, I carefully folded the tee in half to make sure the sides were symmetrical. As you can see, I needed to clean it up a bit.
Here’s what it looked like when everything was nice and even. Make sure not to cut your arm holes too big.
The big key to this project is FOE – Fold Over Elastic. You can find a billion online tutorials on the subject, but it was perfect for this project. It comes in a ton of colors and can be used as elastic (at neck) or just trim (at armholes).
Here, I folded it over the raw edge of the neck line and stretched it as much as possible while sewing to gather the tee.
Just use a long piece to start, because there is no good way of guessing exactly how much you need. If you pull the FOE as tight as possible you’ll get a nice amount of gather. But, you gotta PULL! I used a zig zag stitch to make it easier/faster, but you could use a straight stitch too. You need to pull a little from the back side, to keep it moving.
Lookin’ good so far.
I estimated 25″ of FOE or so for each armhole. You want enough overhang to tie into adjustable straps. Cut 2 even pieces and pin at starting points.
I zig zag’d from the ends, without pulling this time, then continued onto the joint and just went all the way around. You can backstitch at intersections and ends for security.
Just knot or tie in bows at shoulders. Pretty stinkin’ cute if you ask me.
Posted: March 3rd, 2011 under Tutorials.