Ahoy matey! My daughter asked to be a pirate for Halloween this year, so I transformed a $2.50 white T-shirt into a puffy pirate shirt/dress....it's what anyone who's a fashionable pirate lass will be wearing this season: http://ladybuggems.com/images/pirategirl2.JPG
It was really easy and took only a bit of time, elastic, and a sewing machine to accomplish. Here's how I did it:
1. Get your hands on a T-shirt. I used an adult medium.http://ladybuggems.com/images/tshirt.JPG
2. Measure your child's arm circumference and cut two lengths 1/4 inch wide soft elastic a bit shorter than the arm measurement. My daughter's arm was 7 inches, so I went with 6 inches of elastic. Sew the elastic on the wrong sides of the sleeves just above the hems using a zigzag stitch (stretch the elastic as you go).http://www.ladybuggems.com/images/cuff.JPG
3. Next cut a slit down through the center front of the collar and roll both edges back and hem. I cut about 1.5 inches down.http://ladybuggems.com/images/neckline.JPG
4. Sew a piece of elastic into the collar below the hem, stretching the elastic less than you did for the cuffs.http://ladybuggems.com/images/collar.JPG
5. Try the shirt on your pirate and measure from the bottom hem of the shirt where your child's waistline lies. For me this was 12 inches from the bottom of the shirt. Mark this distance with a horizontal line across the shirt (in disappearing ink or chalk). Measure the width of the shirt and determine how you'd like to divide it into the skirt pieces (hanging triangles). My shirt was about 20 inches across, so I divided mine into four 5 inch wide hanging pieces:http://ladybuggems.com/images/skirtprep2.JPG
6. Cut along the above lines:http://ladybuggems.com/images/skirtcut.JPG
7. Zigzag over all the cut edges (both the ones still attached to the shirt and those that have been cut off).
8. Sew the cut out triangles to the waistline between the ones still attached (on wrong side of shirt).http://ladybuggems.com/images/skirtsewn.JPG
9. Sew elastic to the wrong side of waistband, and then you are done!http://ladybuggems.com/images/waist.JPG
This could also be used for a fairy, elf, or Peter Pan costume as well. For the pirate, we added a black leotard, red pirate sash, and swashbuckling accessories.