I saw the shirt one day on my way home from dropping The Boy off at school in one of our neighborhood's notorious "free" boxes out on a corner. I was drawn to these great red-white-and-blue stripes that I thought would be so fun for the Fourth. It was one of those quintessential '70's big-pointy-collar button-downs. So I took it home and washed it (on extra-hot); Colby still thought it was gross that I would use abandoned clothing from a stranger to make something for our daughter, but oh well.
I mostly followed this tutorial, but as usual I made my own adaptations. The first thing I noticed was that she says the bodice will be about 4 inches high, but on my shirt the back seam was much closer to the top of the shirt than that. So I used the fabric that was in the collar in my bodice too. I had to do some creative fabric folding to get it to lay flat, but I actually like the effect of the seams in the bodice.
The other main difference is that I made the center of the bodice (the part inbetween the straps) higher up. The writer of the tutorial uses a cute trim to raise the neckline, but I didn't have anything handy so I just used more of the collar fabric.
Finally, something that I DIDN'T do differently but will if I make this dress again--I had a really hard time turning under the curved hem for the ruffle sleeves. Next time I would just cut two pieces for each strap, sew the wrong sides together, then turn it right-side out and sew a casing for the elastic.
Overall, I thought it was a great tutorial--easy to follow, and with great results. I especially love re-using the button placket for the back of the dress. I like it when the new item, while totally looking like its own thing, still retains some sense of the garment that it came from. Mostly so I can say, "Look, I made her dress out of an old men's shirt! See, there are the buttons!" Hold on to those old men's shirts--I can't believe the great ideas these ladies on the internets have come up with for them!
|Grandpa helping Little Sister model for me|