Turn old unused shirts into a magical princess dress comfortable enough for her to wear every day!
You'll need approximately 4-5 large adult t-shirts, depending on the size of dress you'll be making.
Step 1: Sew the Bodice
To piece the sleeves and bodice, I worked with Simplicity pattern 5695 - but any pattern with an elastic neckline and sleeves will do.
Since this is an upcycled dress, take advantage of the existing hemming by using it as casing for the elastic.
To give it the feel of a pieced bodice, I stitched three lines down the top in contrasting thread.
Step 2: Add the Skirt
Once the top is complete, it's time to add the skirt.
To measure the fabric:
- Length: Measure from the bottom of the top to approximately ankle length and add about 1/2 inch.
- Width: 2.5-3x the width of your bodice
Sew a long straight stitch around the top of the skirt, leaving long threads at the beginning and end. You'll use these threads to gently pull the fabric into a ruffle. Keep pulling and ruffling until the skirt opening is the same size as the bottom of your bodice. Pin the right sides of your skirt and bodice together and sew them together.
Step 3: Bustle the Skirt
Bustle the skirt by sewing two 9" parallel long and loose stitches about every 6" around the base of the dress. Securing the top and bottom of each set of thread lines with a pin, gently pull both threads to ruffle the fabric to the desired length. Once you've ruffled all of the sections, place stabilizing fabric underneath and sew right over the top. Remove the original long/loose threads, and your dress is complete.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Now, embellish your dress however you choose! I was going for a Sleeping Beauty dress, so I sewed a simple collar and tacked it along the neckline (sewing a small bit every several inches to allow for movement). I then folded 5x5" squares of fabric into triangles and tacked them around the waist.
Step 5: Voila!
Think of how many different ways you could customize this princess dress: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle...there are so many possibilities! Enjoy!
Like this tutorial? Check out my blog, Five Marigolds, here.