In this instructible I'm going to show you how to take a shirt that most people would probably throw out because it isn't usable. I was at a thrift store and found this shirt that was not in wearable condition. The fabric itself was all intact and was very beautiful so I felt it was up to me to rescue it. Maybe with the help of this tutorial you can rescue an old garment that isn't getting love.

My starting shirt was smocked but yours doesn't need to be. It's easy to do on your own. Just follow along to read how.

What you need:

Old shirt
coordinating scrap fabric
ribbon or lace or braided fabric for straps
yard stick
sewing machine
chalk/pen/marking device (if you are using something permanent then I suggest drawing on the inside of your shirt instead of the outside also DO NOT USE A MARKER. It will bleed through the fibers and not look pretty.)

The amount of scrap fabric you need depends on what size jumper dress you are wanting to make and how big the shirt you are starting with is. If the shirt you are working from is large enough you may not need any extra fabric at all unless you just want the contrast.

This can cost as little or as much as you want. You could use another shirt for you scrap fabric even if you wanted and if you have the shirts already or someone gives them to you then you could do this for free assuming you already have your sewing supplies.

Step 1: Getting started

First you need to know your measurements.

You want the length around your child's waist, chest, and the length from the bottom of where your bodice will be to the bottom of where you want the shirt to fall on their leg.

Now you need to prepare your shirt for cutting. Mine had a trim around the neck which I picked off with a seam ripper and put aside for later.

Lay out your shirts as smooth as you can with the front and back lined up as best as you can.

If your shirt has smocking like mine did then measure from the top of the smocking to the hem to see if this would be a suitable length for the skirt of your dress. This will be the length of your dress minus the bodice. You want to mark it with an extra 1/4" above what you need. If not then don't worry you can cut a piece of your coordinating fabric to add to the bottom as trim and this can make up your length.

If you're shirt does not have smocking then measure the length you need it to be and you will need to add some extra width if you plan to add smocking. To do this simply take the waist measurement and divide it in half. Ideally you will want to add around an extra 4"-5" to this half measurement. Now lay your yard stick over your shirt and mark your lines.

In order to smock all you need to do is lightly wind some elastic thread around your bobbin. Then using a normal thread for your top thread you will stitch lines from one end of your fabric to the other width wise approx 1/4" apart. It doesn't have to be perfect so don't worry. I would say 8 to 10 lines should be enough. Just be sure that you put the right side of your fabric facing up and the wrong side facing down so the elastic thread is on the inside when your finished.
Does anyone know if it's ok to post a link to your blog on your tut? I want to be respectful of the rules but I do post tuts normally on my blog and I did post a link from it directing to here so I was wondering if it was ok.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I have 5 beautiful children who are both my inspirations and my distractions. Someday I hope to fulfill my lifelong dream to travel. I love ... More »
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