In this instructable I am going to show you how to take a nice tshirt and a nice tank top which together cost just over $5.00 CDN and put them together and have a dress that would sell in Canada for about $45.00. In this instructable you will also learn how to pleat. Skirts are very often gathered when they are full but sometimes it looks nicer or suits a person's build better if the fullness is pleated. Both of these items are new but together they provided me with a very nice dress and it was a lot of fun putting it together.
Step 1: Step 1: Assembling Your Supplies
1 Tshirt with a pleasant pattern on the lower part of the tshirt.
2 Tank top in a coordinating colour.
3 Scissors, ruler, pen, pins and sewing machine.
Step 2: Step 2: Cutting the Tshirt
Take the patterned tshirt and fold it in half by taking one sleeve and pushing it through the tshirt so that it slides into the sleeve on the other side. The inside of the 2 sleeves will be facing each other.
Place a mark on the tshirt immediately under the junction of the two seams, one seam on the side and up under the arm and the other coming from the shoulder to the underarm.
Measure to ensure that the mark on the other side of the folded tshirt will be the same distance from the bottom hem of the tshirt.
Cut from one mark to the other keeping your cut line straight. Put the top portion aside.
Step 3: Step 3: Checking the Width of the Two Pieces
Take the patterned tshirt portion and measure its width. Do the same with the bottom hem of the tank top.
In this case the tank top is 28" across the bottom hem and the top edge of the patterned tshirt is 42". Attaching the 2 pieces will present a problem as one is appreciably wider than the other. Not to worry. This gives us an opportunity to incorporate a neat design feature.
Put the width amount of the smaller over the width amount of the larger and you will end up with a fraction 28/42. This reduces to 2/3. So we need to reduce the width of the wider one by 1/3.
I have shown a plain piece of fabric to show you how to reduce the width by 1/3.
Step 4: Step 4: Learning to Pleat
Turn the fabric inside out. Fold the fabric in half lengthways and with the side seam closest to you, starting at the seam at the side measure and mark 2", 3", 5", 6", 8", and 9" away from the seam. Carefully turn the fabric over and starting again at the side seam, repeat the procedure above.
When you have all of the marks made, unfold the tshirt fabric and starting at the 2" mark bring the 2" mark over to the 3" mark and with the two sides facing each other bend the top fabric back on itself so that you have a sandwich of 3 layers of fabric. Pin the 3 layers of fabric. Then bring the 5" mark over to the 6" mark and proceed as above. And do the same for the 8" mark.
Now do the same for the other side of the fabric. Make sure the the folds are going in the opposite directions so that the fold face each other on each side and do not all face in the same direction.
When you have all of the pleats pinned, the centre front should be flat with the fold each facing the centre. Press all of the pleats from the back side.
Now do the same thing on the back side starting from the top.
Step 5: Step 5: Finishing the Dress
In the first picture the pin is showing the mark that the top mark should overlay.
The second picture shows the 2 marks on top of each other and the fabric bent back on itself.
The third picture shows that now the 2 widths are the same and it also shows the right side results of the fabric folding that was done on the back.
The fourth picture shows the 2 pieces attached. Notice the flat appearance in the centre.
With all of the pleats pressed flat, run a line of stitching a 1/2" down from the top edge and another line of stitching 1/2" below that. Placing the tank top finished hem on top of the top edge of the fabric, stitch in the ditch with matching thread. You can if you want, make the stitching in the same fabric as the lower skirt for a design feature. In that case you might want to run 2 or 3 line of stitching.