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Topic: Tutorial: knit dress from a t-shirt (LOTS of PICS)  (Read 17392 times)
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christephi
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« on: February 19, 2009 02:23:50 PM »



Simple, quick, and cheap. Here's a cute and comfy dress that you can whip up in no time flat...you and your kids will love it!



-= MATERIALS NEEDED =-

Adult t-shirt
T-shirt that fits your kid
Ruler or tape measure
Pins
Sewing machine or serger

-= PREPARATION =-

Pick out a cute t-shirt. The size you need depends on the size of the kid you're sewing for. I've used a Youth size 14/16 and a Women's Medium for my size 2T daughter. Obviously for a bigger kid, you'll need a bigger shirt.



Carefully cut off the sleeves at the seams.





-= BODICE =-

Determine whether or not you're going to need to adjust the shoulder seams. On the one I made from a Youth size 14/16, I didn't need to adjust the shoulder seams because the neck size was almost identical to the one on my daughter's shirt.  (The width of the binding doesn't matter, just the inner edge).



Lucky for you, the shirt I used for this tutorial was quite a bit wider at the neck, so you get to see how to adjust the shoulder seams.



If you're not sure, just try it on your kid and see how the neck fits!  Definitely too big, see?



Line up the inner neck edge of the kids shirt with the inner neck edge of the big t-shirt.  The idea is to get the neck to come out the same width. I'm not doing so well explaining this part, hopefully the pictures will help!



Once your shirts are in position, you'll need to know how long you want the bodice of the dress to be. I did mine at 7 inches, plus a half inch for seaming and mistakes (just in case).  You could do a dropped waist or a higher empire line, whatever suits your fancy!



Here's where it's nice to use a striped shirt...you can just follow a stripe across, but beware! Store bought clothes are sometimes pretty crooked!  I cut the front and back pieces separately so nothing goes awry.





Cut straight up along one side of the kid's shirt...remember to leave room for a seam!




Fold in half and cut the other side.




Since my shoulders only needed to be moved down about a half an inch, I decided not to cut it first. I just turned it inside out and serged new seams a half inch down.  You may need to cut it off a bit.  Just use your kid's t-shirt as a guide...and remember to add seam allowances.


(The pins are just to show you the sewing line...don't pin like this if you use a serger!)

-= SLEEVES =-

Use the sleeves of your kids shirt to determine the new sleeves width.



Cut across following the general shape of the original underarm seam.



Measure sleeve length and make whatever adjustments you need. Six inches would be down to my daughter's elbow, so I cut off about an inch.




Use the first sleeve to make the second sleeve. Easy peasy.




-= ARMHOLE SHAPING =-

Use the curved edge of the sleeve as a guide for the armholes.  Err on the side of caution...it's better to cut the hole too small and have to cut it bigger later!  The pin is marking the center fold of the sleeve so it can be aligned with the shoulder seam.





Fold the bodice in half and cut the other side to match.





Whew, that was the hard part. After this it's all smooth sailin'!

Pin the sleeves in place and sew. Don't forget to put right sides together! (Check the hems to know which is the inside and which is the outside of the fabric). For the best look, press sleeve seams.



(I thought my poor, old serger deserved 2 seconds of fame. Okay, let's move on.)

Sew side seams.



-= SKIRT =-

My bodice is 7 1/2 inches, and I want my finished dress to be between 17 and 18 inches, so I measured 11 up from the hem and cut.  You may want more or less depending on your kid...and also on the size of your shirt.





Use your favorite method of gathering...I used my longest stitch on my sewing machine.  Pin skirt to bodice matching center front, center back, and side seams. Be careful to get right sides together again. It's easy to mess up since both sides of the cloth look the same.



Even out gathers and sew.





TADA!

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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009 03:09:24 PM »

Thank you so much for putting this together!  I love the stripped shirt that you used for the tute also.  It looks so cute on you little one.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009 03:09:39 PM »

What a detailed how-to! The little one looks adorable in her "new" dress.
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christephi
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009 03:46:11 PM »

Thank you so much for putting this together!  I love the stripped shirt that you used for the tute also.  It looks so cute on you little one.  Smiley

I have two more just like it, but in different colorways. I'll probably end up making them into dresses too. :-)

It took ALL DAY to write the tutorial and post the pictures...but only half the morning to do the dress. *whew*
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whiteiris717
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009 05:06:31 PM »

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this tutorial!  It will be great for my daughter. 
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threegirlsandaboy
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009 06:59:54 PM »

My goodness, what details!  Thanks so much!! 
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009 07:22:11 PM »

awesome, thank you!

Quote
It took ALL DAY to write the tutorial and post the pictures...but only half the morning to do the dress. *whew*
don't I know it!
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Pink*Marshmallow
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009 07:33:52 PM »

That is too totally awesome!  Thank you so much!  I will definitely be making these for my little one.

You rule.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2009 06:28:12 AM »

OK, I think I understand everything EXCEPT the neckline part......

Did you just re-sew the shoulder seams so that the neckline was smaller, and matched your munchkin's neckline?
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009 06:48:27 AM »

This is so awesome!!  I can't wait to do it - and clean out my tee-shirt drawer in the process!
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christephi
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009 07:12:59 AM »

OK, I think I understand everything EXCEPT the neckline part......

Did you just re-sew the shoulder seams so that the neckline was smaller, and matched your munchkin's neckline?



Yes, exactly.  Sorry! I have a headcold and just couldn't generate the proper words for that part! :-P  On the blue one I did first, I didn't need to change the shoulder seams 'cause the neck fit her just fine the way it was.  But that was a youth size t-shirt and I'm guessing most adult size t-shirts would have to be taken in at the neck.
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McJulie-O
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2009 08:12:27 AM »

OK, I think I understand everything EXCEPT the neckline part......

Did you just re-sew the shoulder seams so that the neckline was smaller, and matched your munchkin's neckline?



Yes, exactly.  Sorry! I have a headcold and just couldn't generate the proper words for that part! :-P  On the blue one I did first, I didn't need to change the shoulder seams 'cause the neck fit her just fine the way it was.  But that was a youth size t-shirt and I'm guessing most adult size t-shirts would have to be taken in at the neck.

You did great! I just was having a brain misdirection, and now that you've confirmed the method I see the pictures that show the new shoulder seams just as clear as day! Thanks so much for the inspiration and the education!
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009 10:23:17 AM »

I was so inpired I took one of my old shirts and made a dress for my daughter this morning, she is now napping in it but I will post a photo this eveneing once she is up and my hubby is home to alow me time to update it.
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2009 11:34:07 AM »

I was so inpired I took one of my old shirts and made a dress for my daughter this morning, she is now napping in it but I will post a photo this eveneing once she is up and my hubby is home to alow me time to update it.

YAY! I can't wait to see it!!!
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2009 01:55:30 PM »

OK here it is,  this was my first exercise in gathering so it was a great projct since I had been meaning to try.

My daughter would not smile or stand still for me so here are the best pictures I could get.



thank you so much for the tutorial.

I'm not quite happy with how the neck turned out my shirt had a boat neck and it sometimes falls off her shoulder but over all I really like it.
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2009 03:37:21 PM »

I'm not quite happy with how the neck turned out my shirt had a boat neck and it sometimes falls off her shoulder but over all I really like it.

That's super cute! I love the longer sleeves.  Maybe you could find some cute buttons to tack to each side of the neck and bring it in a little?
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2009 03:48:18 PM »

thanks, that is actually what i had been thinking, because if i just take it in a bit it will not actually fit over her head.

the other option is to take it in at the neck and cut a slit down the back. and add a button there.
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2009 01:47:20 AM »

Thanks so much for the brilliant tute!
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2009 09:09:30 AM »

Adorable and comfy! Perfect for the kiddos, I'm off to raid the stash of saved clothes in the garage.
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mamalusco
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009 04:13:58 PM »

Thanks for the great tut!  I've always been scared of neck binding on knits, but your idea is brilliant!  Makes me want to find a tee to try one out...
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alethea007
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2009 04:45:45 PM »

Hi there,

Could someone please help me?  Im having a little bit of trouble understanding how to make the armholes.  When and where am i ment to cut them after making the sleave?
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CraftyVeganCMP
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2009 08:12:35 PM »

Bookmarked!

Great job on the "new" dress for your little one!

Thank you so much for the detailed tut and tons of pics.  Gonna raid the back of the closet tomorrow!
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brandybollen
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2010 12:45:26 PM »

I did it!! Thanks for the inspiration and the tute!



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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2010 05:36:26 PM »

Yay!  Very cute choice of shirt...and super cute girlie!!  Thanks so much for sharing...you just made my day! :-)
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2010 12:45:58 PM »

Thanks so much for this. I need to whip up some little dresses.
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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2010 09:08:21 AM »

Love this tute!!!

Thank you for sharing!!!  Wish I had come across it a few weeks ago, was given many t-s and had NO use for them so I freecycled them.. UGH, totally could have made at LEAST 18 dresses!

I know now for next time, for sure! 
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amomschoice
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2010 08:16:15 PM »

Great Job. Your little girl looks great. Love the step by step.
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