My brother Joe came out to visit for Christmas last year. He has always lived a lot farther away then the rest of the family and we love it when he can make it out for a visit! This time when he cam he left a blue button up shirt. The shirt has been hanging around my apartment for a long time. I figured if he hasn't asked back for it yet he isn't planning on it. So I finally decided to do something with it. So I have come up with this simple and cute tutorial for a little girl dress!
First thing i did was measure around my daughters chest. Take that number add 2 inches then divide it in half. That will be the width of your chest piece. Then add four inches. That will be the width of your bodice piece. So say your daughters chest was 20inches around. Add 2, that makes it 22 then divide in half. That makes it 11 then add four so 11; chest, and 15; bodice. (These numbers are made up don't really use them, make sure you measure whoever you are making the dress for! ) Remember these numbers. Lay your shirt out flat and buttoned up. You are going to draw three boxes on the front of the shirt.
The width of your first box will be the smallest number you just measured(11). This is for your chest piece. I guessed how long I wanted it to be I did like four inches I think, three inches for the actual length then one inch for seam allowance. Make sure you center all your boxes over the buttons! This is very important so all the buttons align in your dress at the end. Then draw the second box under it (15). This is for your bodice piece. For the length of this one I measured one of my daughters other dresses to get an idea of how long I wanted it to be. Then i subtracted the three inches from the chest piece. So say the dress I measured was 24 inches long, take that number minus three. So the length of your bodice piece will be 21 inches. Your third box will be the width of the entire shirt. This is the ruffle at the bottom. The length will be how ever much room you have left on your shirt. I think I got like three inches squeezed in there.
Cut out all you pieces. You should have a front piece and a back piece to each box. Keep the front pieces buttoned. Put the front and the back pieces right side together and sew 1/4th inch seam on each side of all three boxes. It will look something like this when it is done.
Sorry there isn't the ruffle piece in this pic I don't know why it's not in here! So now take your bodice piece and unbutton it. Set your sewing machine to the highest tension and to the longest stitch. Sew around the top of the bodice piece so it gathers together. Do the same with the ruffle piece.
Then take your chest piece unbutton it lay it out. Take the bodice piece you just gathered and lay it on top of the chest piece pin them right sides together. You might have to pull your gathering out a little. Just make sure you have the buttons on the same side so the dress will button up right! It should look something like this. Then sew 1/4th in seam. Then iron it down really well.
Then take your ruffle piece and align it to the bodice piece. Right sides together and sew 1/4th inch in and iron it really well. Pretty much the same thing you just did. Again make sure to align the buttons on the right side! Just like this.
Now you are going to hem the top and the bottom of the dress. Iron and double roll the top and bottom about 1/4th inch and pin. Then sew around the top and the bottom.
Next you need to make the ties for the straps. I used the sleeves of the shirt and cut out 4; 1 inch wide and and 6 inch long pieces. Then I ironed both edges in to the center then folded it in half and ironed it down again. Then I sewed across it. It is essentially like hemming.
Then I measured the outside of Sophia's arm to the armpit. I buttoned up the dress and took the length of her arm to armpit and measured from the edge off the dress in and that's where I added the straps. Like this.
I just sewed across them. Try to line it up to your existing hem line so you don't have a random extra line across the top. That's it! Your dress is done! It should look something like this on your little girl!
As always you can add all kinds of different options to make it unique. You could add pockets or thick straps that don't tie or fun shoes like Sophia's! Try it out and send us pics!!
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