Toddler Dress Made From a T-shirt

When I set out to design a dress for my baby, I decided to make one that was too big for her. Since she grows so fast, I wanted to make something she could grow into. If I made something that fit her right now, she would not be able to wear it very long.

The bodice of this dress is pretty much the same design as the shirt I made in my post Baby Shirt Made From A T-shirt. Aside from size, there are a couple of other things I did differently. I redesigned the sleeves. They are a slightly different shape. I made a facing instead of a neckband, and I sewed on snaps instead of a closed back, and I made a skirt to transform it into a dress. I really like how this one came out, and I’ll probably make her more of them in other colors and sizes. This one is fairly plain, so next time I may put on an appliqué or some ribbon trim.

First, I cut out all the pieces I would need. The green fabric came from a size small t-shirt that had writing on the front, and the black was from a size large t-shirt. I still have left over fabric from the black shirt, so it will get used again.

After everything was I cut, I sewed the shoulder seams. Like many of my previous projects, I sewed a 5/8″ seam, and then trimmed it to 1/4″. I zig zag finished the raw edge and on each seam I back stitched the ends, and tied knots.

Next, I sewed the shoulder seams in the facing. After pressing them with my iron, I zig zag stitched the outer raw edge of the facing.

After the facing was finished being prepped, I pinned it, right sides together to the neck of the bodice. After sewing this seam, I  under stitched the facing. Under stitching is stitching that is sewn close to the seam line on the facing. You basically sew the seam allowance to the facing. This helps the facing or lining to stay unseen. I sewed this with a zig zag stitch. After the under stitching was completed, I pressed along the neck line with my iron. At the seams, I hand stitched I few stitches in the facing securing the facing down.

Then, I sewed on the snaps. On one side I sewed them on the right side of the fabric, and on the other I sewed them to the facing. There are no threads visible on the right side of the fabric.

Next, I decided I would use one of my cams to make some fancy stitches along the neckline. Different sewing machines have different stitch options available. I have an old machine, and with mine I have to put a pattern cam in the machine to change to a fancy stitch. Since this dress was going to be black and green, I changed the thread to black and sewed a fancy stitch along the neckline.

Following that, I pinned the sleeves, right sides together, to the bodice, sewed them on and clipped the curves. After they were on, I finished the ends. With right sides together I pinned a piece of black, single fold, bias tape to both sleeves. I sewed along the first fold line, then folded the bias tape toward the end of the sleeve, and sewed a zig zag stitch on the bias tape. Then, I folded along the edge of the bias, and pressed with my iron. To finish the sleeve, I sewed 1/4″ from the edge.

Next, I pinned the sides right sides together, and sewed a 5/8″ seam. I trimmed and finished them like the others, and clipped the curves.

After that, I prepped the skirt. First, I hemmed the bottom edge. I folded the bottom edge over and pressed with my iron. Then, I folded it over again and pressed again. That way there were no raw edges exposed. Then, I sewed down the hem 1/4″ from the edge.

I gathered the edge of the other long side of the skirt. To do this, I set my sewing machine on its longest stitch length and sewed a line 1/4″ from the edge. On one end I tied the threads, on the other I pulled the bobbin thread and pushed the fabric along the thread.

Once I had gathered it enough, I pinned it to the bottom edge of the bodice. With right sides together, I made my seam.

The last thing was to close up the back. I pinned the back pieces together, and sewed the center back seam.


Filed under Baby And Toddler Clothes, Crafts, Sewing, Tutorial

6 responses to “Toddler Dress Made From a T-shirt

  1. this looks so cute! :) you seem to have this down to science. i still have to work out some kinks!

  2. I like this idea and may try it in a larger size for my 10-year old daughter as a play dress. Thanks for the idea.

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