This is a dress I made from 3 old size small T-shirts. It took me several hours to complete--I didn't have a real pattern and it was my first go at shirring--but I'm pleased with the result.
The first thing I did was shirr the waist. I was nervous at first and couldn't get it to gather as small as I wanted, but some patience, adjustments in stitch length and bobbin-winding tension, and more rows finally did it. I tied my threads at the start and end of each row because shirring introduces a significantly higher risk of your threads coming undone. (Case in point: I had to use a crochet hook to fix the shirring on the dress I used for inspiration/measurements (pictured below), and that dress was store-bought.) I used this tutorial
to learn how to shir. I really couldn't believe how easy it was, when it was all said and done. I'll definitely be shirring some more of my T shirts here and there.
Here's the dress I used for the skirt dimensions and some upper measurements as well. I made my dress a tad bit longer than this one because I'm more comfortable in it that way.
I even ripped the seam of the original tan T-shirt's bottom hem to extend the length because the bottom brown piece, leftover from this cropped tee
, was only so long. Anyways, after I shirred the waist I cut the sides of both my brown T-shirt bottom (which started out a big fat tube) and my tan T-shirt. The front-and-back panels of the two T-shirts were very close in length (within an inch or so) because they were both size smalls, although they don't have the same fabric content so they stretched differently through wear and wash. Then I brought in my third T-shirt. I needed this because I wanted a factory hem around the bottom of my dress and one adult small T-shirt was not big enough around. So I did a little math with the skirt measurements I'd taken from my pattern dress and cut two triangles to insert in the sides.
One final touch before I sewed up the sides of the triangles with the front of my dress was to insert pockets. I'm a firm believer in dresses with pockets; dresses with pockets are like pb & j sandwiches with cinnamon. Or hot cocoa with cinnamon for that matter. Anywho, I used some sleeves to make the pockets, using the pockets of my pattern dress for shape and placement.
I didn't use the top of my pattern dress as a guide for my neck and arm holes because I would've cut through the pattern on the back of my tan T-shirt.
However, after removing the collar and sleeves, I did use my pattern dress's shoulder-to-waist measurement and made a deeper shoulder seam on my tan T-shirt accordingly. I also took in the sides (tapering in from the shirring) so that the bust was the same width as my pattern dress. But as far as the armholes and collar went, I was on my own. I ended up just pinning the raw edges over like I was going to finish them, trying the dress on, and then trimming deeper and pinning again where necessary. I repeated this process several times until I was satisfied. Then, I just sewed them down and I was done.
The dress is also cute with the shirring covered up by a nice big belt. Although I thought the shirring was really cool and not too hard to do, if you're not comfortable with that you could do the waist with some regular half-inch elastic, sewn right on, or in a casing. Or you could just wear a belt with it as I've modeled, adding belt loops to the waist if you felt so inclined.
It's versatile too. Cold weather? No problem. When fall comes I'll make some of these boot toppers
and pull on a pair of leggings to complete the look.
So there you have it. Feel free to leave comments/questions below; I'd enjoy your feedback. I'd like to acknowledge my fabulous mother for taking the pictures of me. Speaking of pictures, it's nearly impossible to take pictures outside without snapping a few of our friendly, lick-your-face-off dog, so here's one last pic for you.