I made two of them, and I did basically the same fit on each--pretty loose and slouchy with a slightly empire waist. They are so comfy and easy, and will fit for quite a while with leggings underneath!
In both of these dresses, I used a size Youth Large t-shirt (both 100% cotton, bought at Dollar Tree!), and made a size 2T/3T dress. There was hardly any waste, but the end result is such a different look than the original shirt!
For the overall shape, I followed this tutorial from Justine at Sew Country Chic, but left out the painted stripes and buttons, and added a step.
I knew I wanted it to be looser than this t-shirt, so it was just a guideline. First I cut the bottom of the t-shirt off. I didn't measure; I just cut where I thought I'd want the waistband to go. Then I laid the template shirt on top and cut out the underarms of the bodice.
|I made the sleeves and the bodice wider than my t-shirt template.|
When I made the purple dress, I added gathers to the sleeves using the method described in this post from Craftiness Is Not Optional--which is basically to sew a length of elastic to the inside of the sleeve to create the gathers. It is important to attach the elastic BEFORE you sew the side seams, because you won't be able to get the sewing machine inside your little sleeve once it's closed up.
I learned that the hard way when I made the white dress. I was going quickly and not really thinking about it.
All was not lost...I just opened the sleeve up and added the elastic, then sewed it back together.
|I don't know what I'd do without this thing.|
|Um, not like what is shown here.|
Oh, I added one more step to the tutorial I linked to above--I did a row of topstitching on the bodice of the dress, just above where the skirt is joined. I like to do that to stabilize the gathers and I also just like the way it looks.
|You wanted to see what the back looks like, right?|
I made the balloon dress first. It started out as a plain purple dress (Little Sister saw the purple t-shirt at the Dollar Tree and had to have it, so I thought it was the perfect excuse to try out this dress). When she saw it as a dress, she asked me if she could have a picture on it, and I was happy to oblige.
|This is how Little Sister usually feels about posing for me.|
|Until I start throwing raspberries at her.|
With the white dress, it didn't end here either...
As you know, we went to Holden Village this summer for our vacation. Our friends had been the year before, and let us know that one of the kids' favorite activities had been Tie-Dye Tuesday.
Here is Little Sister's result:
Don't worry, the rest of the fam got in on it too:
|The Boy's pose is cracking me up here--what is this, Glamour Shots circa 1992?|
But really, it's a look best sported by the kiddos.
MAN what a cute group!
The kids loved doing the tie-dye so much, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw some more tie-dye projects popping up on here. Stay tuned!