Tuesday, May 27, 2014

T-shirt Dress

I know today was Tuesday... but it was really a Monday. You can't get any more Monday-ier than the day after a three day weekend.

The Man goes off to work leaving me with a very sad child (she loves her some daddy-time) and we cuddle. A lot. So with all that one-on-one, "play-with-me", constant-skin-on-skin-touching time we needed today I was very thankful for naptime.

And then I remembered it was "Monday".... and I needed to make something.

And I knew what needed to be done.

See, little girl had a batman phase. I don't think it's 100% over, but it's not as pronounced as it used to be. So when she got a batman shirt for Christmas she was excited. Now, it's passed over every morning for skirts and dresses. So I thought a batman-dress would be a perfect solution to keep the item in circulation.

This past weekend I found the perfect "batman yellow" shirt at the thrifty shopper to use for this project.

It was time... to make the shirt-dress.

You will need: 

A t-shirt that fits your child. 
(It's OK if this shirt is a little too short like the one used here. 
You're gonna make it much longer soon.)

An adult size shirt (basically, a ton of fabric for a little bit of money)

*optional- Computer with Netflix subscription playing Season 2 of Parenthood (So Jasmine can go all the way to Europe for work but Crosby has to be "on duty" 24/7? Oh, and Julia wants another kid so we should just do it? Fine... whatever. Dude, don't even get me started on Adam. He's gonna burst. I just know it. Dude's gonna blow. a. gasket.... Sarah? I like Sarah in a "cheer for the underdog" sort of way but I'm glad she's not my sister. Girl's got iss-ues. )


You're gonna wanna cut the sleeves and the collar of the big shirt off. 

ah-like so

Then, using your serger (or your friend's serger) or your sewing machine (or your friend's sewing machine) or a needle and thread (I'm pretty sure you're on your own on that one) sew from the top of the shirt all the way down to the bottom.

See, when you use a serger you get a nice, "professional", edge which is why I suggest bringing that serged edge all the way to the bottom.If you're using a sewing machine there isn't much reason to go all the way to the bottom save having a "store bought" look. So if you wanna save yourself 10 minutes you totally could just sew a line where the sleeves were in order to make a tube.
At least in my opinion. 
(For goodness sakes, it's 10:30 and I'm exhausted just re-reading this! Do whatever you want.)

Once you've got yourself a large fabric tube you attach that to the smaller shirt, right sides together. You can baste the skirt to the top to give it a ruffled look. You can pleat it and pin it so you have little darts where you want it.... do whatever you want. I'm betting that if you're still reading you have a basic grasp of sewing on a machine. Most everyone else has checked out right now. 

A serger really comes in handy for projects like this one. 
If you don't want to invest in a serger, invest in a friend with a serger. 

Now this is where you stop. You make a loosey-goosey simple dress for a girl in your life. Don't complicate it. Move on. Don't try to be fancy. You'll save yourself an hour + of your life.

If you do decide to be fancy you're gonna wanna take the sleeves off, attach new sleeves made from the sleeves of the "skirt material" shirt, attach one perfect and spend at least 30 minutes trying to make lightning strike twice. You'll also decide to shorten the skirt part, forgo going upstairs to get your mat and circular blade, just "eyeballing" it and taking it up 5 inches too short, deciding that you want to try to give it a "cabbage leaf" edging causing you to adjust every. stinking. dial on the serger. All while sweating profusely because who turned the summer on?!

Then naptime will be over. You will not have done dishes, put away laundry or even showered. But you will have a gift for your sweet child. 

And this is how it will look. 

Her face says it all.
Her words? 
"Can you try again? This is for a boy."

Rating: 7/10. Would do again. Would stop before trying to be fancy. Would get the circular blade out. Would measure... would choose pink or the color du jour: "Elsa-blue".


  1. Jess - Love it! The best part is that even though she wasn't thrilled -YOU were not defeated. I LOVE this quality in you. Keep truckin' mama. You are awesome!