Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fourth of July dress!

I did another refashioned dress for Little Sister, and I am just kicking myself that I was in too much of a hurry to get going on the project that I neglected to get a "before" picture of the shirt that I made this dress out of. The transformation is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

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

P.S. Now that Little Sister can walk/stand by herself, I should have an easier time getting pictures of the clothes I make for her, right?  Right?

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