Monday, December 17, 2012

Tie-Dye T-Shirts Are Now a Dress!

This dress is so super cute! And it's so comfortable to wear! Maybe that's because it's made out of t-shirts.  T-shirts that I tie-dyed myself. I'm very proud of these t-shirts.  I dyed them in a crinkle pattern. That's exactly what it sounds like. I crinkled up the t-shirts and applied the dye in a random pattern. 

But then I realized, when am I going to wear these? The shirts I had were too big for me, and tie-dye t-shirts really aren't my style. 

But maybe a tie-dye dress would be.

Here's how I made it.

What you'll need:
2 mens t-shirts, the same size, a few sizes bigger than would fit you snuggly. 
A sewing machine
Thread matching the colour of the shirts
Good scissors
A measuring tape
A pencil
An iron

Step 1.  Measure from the top of your shoulder to your waist, or where you want the waist of the dress to sit. If you have a larger bust, you'll want to measure your front and back separately. Add an inch to each of those measurements, for seam allowance. Mark these measurements on the first t-shirt and cut off the excess.

Step 2. Cut off the sleeves and the collar. You can make the neckline as high or low as you want.

Step 3. Measure the circumference of your waist. Add 4 inches. Then divide that number in half. Measure the waist of the t-shirt bodice. Subtract your measurement from that of the shirt. Divide that result in half. That's how much you need to cut off each side of the shirt's waist.  Use the same method to ensure that the bust is the correct width. Mark both measurements on the shirt. You can take as many measurements and make as many marks as you need to to be sure that the bodice will fit.

Step 4. After marking where the armpit of your sleeve will be, sew, with right sides together, from there to the waist. Use a zig-zag stitch to finish the seam and trim the excess.  Press the seam to embed the stitches.

Step 5. Now we're getting started on the skirt.  Same idea. Measure from your waist to where you want the hem of the skirt to hit.  (The shirt may not be long enough, but we'll deal with that in a second.) Again, add an extra inch to that number.  Measure that length from the hem of the second shirt and mark a line. Mark as many lines as you need.  Cut along those lines.

*P.S.* Also, measure your shoulders, from where you want the neckline to be to where you want the shoulder seam to sit. Cut the shoulders to fit, leaving an extra inch for the seam.

Step 6. Time to gather the skirt.  Make a running stitch along the top edge of the skirt, from one side to the other. Do this on the front and the back. Make second lines of stitching about a half inch below the first ones.
Pull these stitches so that the fabric gathers. Pull until the waist of the skirt matches the measurement of your waist. Even out the gathers. Using a sewing machine, sew the gathers in place.

Step 7. Slide the skirt inside the bodice, through the neck hole, so that the waist of the bodice and the waist of the skirt line up, with right sides together. With a straight stitch, sew them together. Finish the raw edge of the seam with a zig-zag stitch, trim the excess, and press.

Step 8. The collar. An easy way t finish a neckline is by adding a collar. Use the piece you cut off of the first t-shirt as a stencil, to cut off the same size and shape from the leftover neckline of the second shirt. Then, figure out how wide you want your collar to be. Add 2 inches to that So let's say, a 4 inch wide collar, plus 2 inches. That means you'll cut 6 inches away from the neckline, all the way around. You can make a slit in the middle of the front, because that's how collars look anyway.

Step 9.  Fold over the outer edge of the collar, and sew it closed. Do the same the slit in the middle.

Step 10. Pin the collar inside the collar of the bodice, with the right side facing you. So not right sides together, not wrong sides together, but right side to wrong side. Sew the collar in place (remember to take the pins out as you go) and finish that edge.

Step 11. Fold the collar over, so it now sits, visible, on the outside of the bodice. Press that in place with the iron, and sew, again, a half inch from the neckline, all the way around.

Step 12. Finally, the sleeves.  Measure the armholes of the bodice, and then cut the leftover sleeves, from underneath, so that they match. You can shorten the sleeves as much as you want, or leave them the length that they are. sew the edges of the sleeve together, to make a "tube"".I made mine little cap sleeves. Then, right sides together, (with the sleeve folded over the shoulder) sew the sleeves to the bodice, and finish the edge. You can choose to finish the edge of the sleeves if you want. I chose not to. I liked the unfinished sleeve.

The cap sleeves did end up smaller than I would've liked, because, by then, I was tired and got lazy with my measurements. But I still like it.

I liked wearing this with a skinny belt, a cardigan, and my grey tights, with black shoes.

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