Monday, February 17, 2014

Favorite Shirt to Princess Dress tutorial

Christine has a favorite Cinderella pajama shirt that is just too small. She loves it so much she couldn't bear to let me put it in the donate box. Usually these clothes become Tangie Bear's wardrobe (Tangie Bear is a stuffed bear who also, for some reason, must have daily wardrobe changes including pajamas at night ) Tangie Bear's dresser drawer is full, so I thought I could come up with a fun way to keep the Cinderella shirt around a bit longer.
I chopped off the sleeves cut a slit in the back and added a skirt from some sparkly princess fabric that I let Christine pick out, and bam! we had an awesome dress-up outfit to wear while we belt it out to "Let It Go"

Do you have an outgrown top that your kid just can't bear to give up? Here's how to turn it into a dress-up. You will need 3/4 to 1 yard of fabric. I bought 3/4 of a yard and had enough for this size 2/3T
Get your outgrown top
and cut the back open
Now cut the sleeves off. I just left the edges raw because I wanted this to be a quick and dirty project. If the raw edges bother you and you have a little extra time, feel free to bind the edges with a little ribbing (Shwin & Shwin has a good tutorial here)
Now you are going to cut strips for the back placket. Cut two strips, 5 inches wide and length of the shirt long (length where you cut the shirt from top to bottom plus 1/4")
The reason why you added a little extra was for this step, you are going to fold the top down 1/4", this will finish your edge all pretty and smooth.
Now fold in half, wrong sides together (and let's pretend that all my fingernails are painted and not just my thumbnail)
Now match up the raw edge sides (NOT the folded edge) to the shirt edge and pin in place. Sew.
Repeat to the other side (I top stitched these, but that is not necessary)
Cut your skirt piece. You will want to cut it as wide as you can (to maximize fullness of the skirt) and then the desired length of the skirt plus 1-2 inches for your hem and 1/4" for seam allowance.
Time to sew. First sew the sides together, leaving the last 3 inches on the top unsewn. Then baste (sew with a long stitch length) along the top edge of the skirt. Gather until it is the length of the shirt.

Fold the edges under along the side seam gap (I folded under 1/4" because I sewed the side seam with a 1/4" seam allowance)
Then pin to the bottom of the shirt, wrong sides together. Sew across
Now top stitch along that folded edge of your 3 inch gap, going back and forth a couple times along the bottom. You want to reinforce that seam
See how that gap will give more flexibility to your dress? That way the velcro can overlap a little or a lot.
Speaking of velco, it's time attach the velcro to the dress. I used three pieces about 3 inches long and put one on the top, middle and bottom (always use sew-on velcro. Do not ever attempt to sew sticky back velcro it will do evil things to your sewing machine!)
To finish up, just hem the skirt. I like a nice thick hem, so I folded it up 2 inches.
and you are done!

I may add some more embellishments, like a sparkly ribbon along the bottom and maybe a bow.

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