In a world where access to sustainably made clothing and resources is not only becoming essential but difficult to maintain, ways in which we can help make suggestions and give tutorials can make the world of difference.
And learning how to mend clothing or create a new purpose for clothing is always a useful skill to have.
Making your little girl a homemade dress from an old, but loved shirt can also create a memorable piece of clothing that has sentimental value to it for you and your little girl in the future.
So, don’t miss out on the chance to get creative and find enjoyment from a project that uses a shirt that is just not worn enough, or holds a special place in your heart.
Chucking old shirts that mean something is never easy or fair, so we’ve provided you with an option to help that shirt live on for a new purpose.
Method And Instructions
You’ll want something with a soft material to make a little girl’s dress out of as anything that’s gentle on the skin will also be gentle on a child’s skin too.
Once you’ve found the right shirt to use, you can make a start by laying the shirt out on the floor or any flat surface that works for you and matching the seams of the shirt so that the front and the back line up and that there are no obvious creases in the way.
Any surface will really work as long as it’s flat so for those who suffer from backaches or generalized pains and aches, if you require a raised surface at waist level, feel free to get creative and use whatever suits you!
As for the creasing, this is to ensure that the pattern you make will be thoroughly even as creases can dramatically affect the overall shape and if things don’t line up when sewing, they won’t sew.
Next, you’ll want to lay the dress you’re using as a template or pattern on top of the shirt, lining up the bottom of the dress with the bottom of the shirt.
Trace and cut around the outline of the pattern you’re using and make sure to leave a ½” seam allowance on all sides of the dress that requires sewing.
This is crucial as when sewing, as little as 0.5mm can affect the overall fit of a garment and tarnish the project.
In this case, you shouldn’t have to worry about it being precise, however, do remember to include the right seam allowance so it fits your child.
Measure one side of the neck opening you just created and double this measurement, this will give you the bias strips measurement from the sleeve of the shirt that you’ll need to cut to finish off the neck of the dress.
Unpick or cut the sleeve open and lay it flat out, grab your measuring tape and place it diagonally across the sleeve, and cut a 1.5” wide strip that measures the same length as your neck opening times 2 plus ½ extra for the seam allowance of course.
Take the strip you’ve cut and fold in the edges length-wise to meet the middle to create your bias binding strip, ironing as you go.
Fold this strip again so the edges fold in on themselves and set this aside for later. Match the front and back of the dress, right sides together, and sew the shoulder seams closed with a ¼” seam allowance, repeat on the other side.
Next sew the sides and the under armholes closed using a ¼” seam allowance again, pinning beforehand to secure everything in place.
Grab your binding strip from earlier and fold over the ends by a ¼”, then pin it to the neck opening making sure to insert the fabric of the neck opening in between the bias strip folds just like a hot dog in a bun if that helps to visualize it!
Pin this in place so it doesn’t move and sew along the edges of the bias strip getting as close to the edges of the strip as you can.
And there you have it! A beautiful, unique dress that you made yourself for your little girl.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Sew A Dress Template To A Shirt?
You’ll want to make sure you lay the dress template onto the front of the shirt, using the buttons as the lineup for the front of the dress.
Allow space for a ¾ inch seam allowance and pin the template to the shirt.
When you’ve cut around the template, pin the right sides together and sew the side seam and shoulders until you’ve got the outcome you wanted to achieve.
Because you will have used a men’s shirt to upcycle for a new little girl’s dress, you can utilize the remainder of the shirt’s fabric for other things for the dress or outfit as a whole, or make something else!
How Do I Make A Skirt Out Of A T-shirt?
If the t-shirt is old don’t worry about this next step, but be sure to wash the shirt or fabric you’re using especially if they’re new to avoid any shrinkage problems that could occur before you go ahead and start sewing anything.
Try putting the t-shirt on, around the waist and hips to see where you want it to be, and mark with either fabric chalk or straight pins where you want the start of the skirt to be.
When you’re happy, you can take it off and make the necessary changes until you have the perfect skirt made out of an old t-shirt!
Don’t miss out the trying it on stage before pinning as because t-shirts are often made of jersey materials which have stretch in them, they will change when cut or sewn.
So you don’t want to eyeball this too much, to be honest.
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