Monday, April 26, 2010

From out like a light to out on the town

Well y’all, I mustered up all my DIY Day courage and decided to tackle my biggest sewing challenge yet: a whole dress. Or, umm.. a night shirt,

refashioned into a dress.

Otherwise known as, “how to spend five hours getting to know your seam ripper really well, but ending up with a cute dress that costs less than a buck.”

First step, cut off the sleeves at the seam.

Second, ruffle the sleeves by sewing across the shoulder seam with the stitch length set to 5 and the tension set to 9.

Next (and this is where it gets tricky) try the “dress” on inside out and pin where you need to take the armholes in to give the dress a better fit. I also pinned a bit down the sides to give a slimmer fit, but you could skip this if you want the bust of the dress to be more loose and blousy. Sew where you pinned.

Now, try the dress on right side out and figure out where you want to gather the waist. MARK THIS VERY WELL! I did not and suffered the consequences.

You need to make a casing for your elastic waist. I cheated and used the waist band from an old t-shirt, since it was already sewed into a nice tube the right size for my elastic. Noting where you marked for the waist band, sew the casing to your dress, as close to the edge of the fabric as you can manage. Leave a little extra fabric and keep each end open. Thread your elastic through the casing. I cut my elastic about two inches shorter than the size of my waist. Sew the ends of the elastic together, and overlap some of your extra casing fabric to create a finished band. I had to do this whole process twice because the first time my elastic was crooked and two inches too high. NOT FUN. Learn from me and take the time to make sure you’ve marked exactly where the elastic should go.

I added a few ruffles to the front of my dress (create long strips of fabric. For stretchy knit, create ruffles by setting the stitch length to 4 and the tension to 7. I just pinned them on and sewed in place.

I LOVE the finished results.

But I will never, ever, forget to mark a measurement again. Ever.

Still, cute dress for less than a buck? I’m a happy girl!



Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You did a GREAT job! Love the red. :) two thumbs up for you. :) Visiting from Kimba's party. :)

Shellee said...

Very Very cute and creative! Great job!

Rene @ cottage and vine said...

OMG that dress is adorable!! You did an amazing job!

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

no freaking way!! you've got mad skills, girly.

Tim and Tracy said...

Please, please, please let's have a girls sewing weekend so you can give me a hands on tutorial. A couple of dresses like this would be my whole summer wardrobe. You look fantastic! This might be a whole new business for you. :)

Anonymous said...

That looks incredible! Well done!

Della said...

Way too cute! You get a ton of creativity points!

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

absolutely adorable! so sweet and charming! Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day this week when you get a moment. I have become a follower and would be honored if you choose to do the same!

Nori said...

i love this dress... just beautiful! i'm def going to try it... i just always struggle with cutting into a perfectly fine t-shirt.

great work! thanks for sharing!