T-shirt summer dresses

July 8, 2011

I made 4 of these yesterday, I think they took about a half an hour each, however I have had the t-shirts/bodysuits and fabric knocking around now since our last/only spell of hot weather in april. Same concept as the maxi dress I made for myself last year (https://mrspeacocksthingstomakeanddo.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/maxi-dress/) They are ‘sew’ easy (see what i did there?).

For Martha’s (4 year old’s) dresses, I took a pack of cheapy t-shirts – I think these were from sainsbury’s (3 for £7) and bought in some fabric for the skirts of the dresses. For the plain white t-shirt I bought a half a metre of fancy floral patterned cotton (£2.25), and for the patterned t-shirt  half a metre of plain old coloured cotton muslin (£1.12) . I made the skirt of each one first by sewing a shear stitch around the top of the skirt to gather it, on the floral patterned fabric which was a bit wider I sewed it twice to gather it up a bit more. To sew a shear stitch replace the bobbin thread with shearing elastic (Gutterman do this in matching colours to your fabric) – I hand wind my elastic bobbins and my machine stretches the elastic onto the bobbin as it winds and the stitch doesn’t work. Then when it was about the same length as the double the width of the t-shirt I swapped the bobbin for the usual thread and sewed the seam and the hem. After measuring her, I made Martha’s ‘skirts’ 40cm long. I marked a line with a pencil 20cm below the neckline all the way around the t-shirt then with the skirt the wrong way out and upside down (see picture) pinned it so the shear stitch followed the pencil line all around the t-shirt. If this sounds confusing my mantra while dressmaking is “good sides together sew on the wrong side”. Swapped the bobbin for the elastic one again and sewed it all the way around, then pulled the skirt down over the bottom of the t-shirt and pressed it down a bit.

I made Alice’s ones with bodysuit/baby vests (sainsbury’s again, 5 for £6.50 I think), -the ones with poppers at the crotch -which provides internal pants to cover her nappy, but in exactly the same way as above.

They are super cute and probably work out at about 3 quid each, maybe a fiver for the one with the fancy fabric, so pretty economical too! I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mum for letting me have the 2 hours required for this project by minding the nippers for me yesterday morning, otherwise I would have had the t-shirts and fabrics sitting about until next summer!