The husband, baby and I headed back to Nashville last week to visit our amazing new niece. We had to stop by Jack White’s Third Man Records shop where we picked up this toddler tee that was far too large for our girl. I thought I’d try to make it into a dress. I’m a beginning sewer and have never worked with jersey before, so this is a super simple project that took about an hour; I think it turned out pretty cute in a rocker kind of way. Check out the DIY after the jump…
1. Start by turning the tee inside out and cutting the sleeves and neckline off, then iron it flat:
2. Draw a straight line from the top corner to the bottom corner (just inside the seam on the hem of the tee) with a washable marker:
3. Sew a straight stitch along that line on either side with thread that matches your tee:
4. Cut the excess fabric off. You can finish your new seam if you know how to do it without a serger, but i don’t.
5. Fold the top edge down, iron and pin in place, then hem with a straight stitch:
Now you’ve got a stretchy little tube dress.
6. I needed to make straps but i didn’t have enough excess fabric, so I deliberated and came upon this solution. Take the discarded sleeves of the old tee:
Cut the hems off:
Cut each hem so that it is open on both sides like a tube so you can loop turn it. I have a loop turner but I haven’t mastered it, so I use a safety pin. To do this, attach the pin to one end of the hem:
Turn it around and push it back through the fabric and out the other side. The fabric will bunch up; just gently help it along until it gives and your tube turns right-side out. Repeat on the other hem, then iron them flat with the seam in the middle so you can only see it on one side. Here is one mid-turn and one already turned:
7. Pin your straps to the dress after trying it on your model child (there are no pictures of me trying it on her because i didn’t – lesson learned, see below). Sew the four strap ends in place along the first seam you made and again right above that at the top of the dress for extra strength.
Now you’ve got a tank dress:
I thought I was done until I tested it out on my model:
Too big, the straps wouldn’t stay up:
8. So I repeated the loop turning process used to make the straps, but this time I used a bit of the neckline from the old tee. I wrapped the new piece of strap around the two straps, turned it inside out and sewed it together, then flipped it back over to create this little doodad:
Done! And when she gets a little bigger, I can snip the doodad off and it will magically be a tank dress again. If there is a name for this doodad please let me know. It seems like everything in sewing has some crazy name I’ve never heard before. Anyway, look how cute:
Might need some leggings, boots and a leather jacket for winter, right?