Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sew adorable

I got a sewing machine last year, on the logic "I'm out of needles for hand sewing Girl Scout patches and machines come with needles, so I should just buy a machine". Since I managed to slide that one by RF,  I decided I should probably actually learn to sew. I've gotten fairly decent at it, though by no  means any kind of professional. Several weeks ago, a friend mentioned that she wanted to convert her step son's baseball jersey into a dress for her preschooler's birthday. I told her it would be super easy and I see stuff on Pinterest like that all the time.  She decided that I should probably go ahead and handle that, so I did. She brought me the jersey and I made THE CUTEST DRESS EVER!

Step one: get a large shirt. Depending on the size of the child, you can use anything from a youth medium, up through adult sizes. Fit the shirt to make sure the neck line isn't too large.  If it is, you'll need to refit the neck, which will add a lot more fiddling to your project. Fortunately, I didn't need to, so I don't have a tutorial for it.

Shirt photo image-5.jpg

Step 2: get a shirt that currently fits the child. If you can get on with straight sleeves and sides, this is best. Ruffles will mess up your cutting and the shape the of the final product. Lay the larger shirt out smooth,ironing if needed with the smaller shirt on top. Match up the necklines and shoulder seams. Trace around the smaller shirt with your tailor's chalk or fabric marker, leaving about a half inch for seam allowances. (You notice in my pictures that I left more than that and that is because the template shirt I used was getting a little short and I wanted to lengthen it slightly).  

Fit shirt photo image-6.jpg

Step 3: take your rotary cutter and zip around the lines you just drew.

Rotary cutter photo image-4.jpg

Cut shirt photo image-2.jpg

Step 4: toss the sleeves and the sides and set the bottom aside. Then turn the shirt inside out, so the right sides are together and sew from the bottom up, turning carefully and sewing along the bottom of the arm. If you are doing a short sleeve shirt, hem your sleeve, then turn your shirt and do the same on the other side.   If you are doing a long sleeved shirt, you might be able to preserve your cuffs and can avoid having to hem the sleeves. 

 photo image-7.jpg

(I didn't get pictures of the next several steps, because I was busy sewing! :) )

Step 5: now is your chance to adjust the length of the skirt. If it too long, trim from the cut edge until it is the proper length. Leave the finished edge alone or you will have to re-hem it and no one wants that.  Once your skirt is the desired length, stitch all the way around the top of the skirt with a loose basting stitch. Don't back stitch on this step!

Step 6: once your skirt is basted, scrunch the fabric of the skirt until it is the same size as the bottom of the shirt. If you are making major size changes, it will be very scrunchy. Minor changes will produce less scrunches. 

Step 7: attach your skirt to your shirt. Start by turning the skirt inside out and the shirt right side out.  Put the shirt inside the skirt and match the seams.  Pin the skirt to the shirt and begin sewing.  You will want to sew over the scrunchies, to create a ruffled effect.  

Step 8: Trim excess fabric at seams and admire your cool new dress!

Shirt photo image-3.jpg

Step 9: Have the adorable birthday girl model her new present!

Dress front photo image.jpg

Dress back photo image-1.jpg