Monday, April 22, 2013

DIY Little Girl Dress from Adult T-Shirt

DIY Child Dress
I usually consider a t-shirt the most boring thing in my wardrobe, sometimes I try to dress them up a little bit, but usually they are what I wear just around the house. Who knew with a little bit of sewing, some ric-rac, and the new heat transfer from Cricut, a simple t-shirt could become the perfect dress for your little girl?

You will need:
A t-shirt to transform (this one is an adult medium)
2" Grosgrain ribbon, large ric-rac and a smaller grosgrain ribbon 
Cricut Heat Transfer
1/4" elastic 

DIY Child Dress
 The first thing you need to do is cut the neck and sleeves of the shirt off. Don't discard them, we will use them later. Make sure when you are cutting the collar, that you just cut the collar. You want to leave the material on the back, or it will dip down just like the front. 
Cut a length of elastic, so that it will fit around the neck of your child comfortably. Sew the elastic into a loop. 
Turn the shirt inside out and pin the elastic evenly around the neckline then stretch the elastic out as you sew it around the neck. It will make the shirt bunch up, which is exactly what is supposed to happen.
 The neck should look gathered after you sew the elastic on. 
 The arms holes will be way too big. Try the shirt on your child and make a nice size arm hole for them and then put a pin in that location, separating the arm hole into two part. Sew a simple seam down in the extra arm hole area. This will make the shirt go out to a point, don't worry we will fix this later. 
 Now with your new smaller arm hole, repeat the same steps you followed for the neckline, using a piece of elastic that will fit comfortably around your child's arm. 
The basic dress is now finished and ready to be embellished. 
Cut the pockets from the leftover sleeve material. You want to cut the pocket with the seam at what will be the top of the pocket. This saves sewing later. 
 Cut out your pockets. 
If you want to add ric-rac or ribbon to your pocket, this is the place. Sew the ric-rac onto the top of the pocket, making sure there is enough to wrap the ric-ric around the edge when you sew the pockets onto the dress. 
Fold in the edges of the pocket and iron.
 Pin the pockets onto the dress. For me, I have found the best way to do this was to pin the pockets on while my daughter was wearing the dress. I pinned the pockets without it on her the first time and I had to unpick and resew because they didn't hang in the right spots when the dress was on. After you pin your pockets, you are going to want to add your heat transfer design. I did this before I sewed the pockets, so I could make sure the heat transfer and pockets were where I wanted them in relation to each other. 
Princess Dress
I used my Cricut Mini and the new Cricut Heat Transfer to cut the crown and the word princess. Make sure if you are printing words to flip the images before you cut them. Each sheet of heat transfer has two part to its a plastic sheet and the actual heat transfer. In this case the heat transfer is pink and gold, this is the part you want face up on your cutting mat.  
Cut the images and then weed out the excess vinyl. Set your iron to the highest setting and preheat the area of your fabric you want you image to adhere to. Place the image vinyl side down on your fabric. Using a a piece of fabric or dish cloth, cover your image and plastic sheet. Iron the image for about 30 seconds with medium pressure. Flip you project over and iron the back of the image for another 30 seconds. Allow the project to cool and then peel the plastic sheet off.
Sew on the pockets and then sew on the ribbon at the bottom. The largest piece of ribbon should be sewed right about the hem of the shirt. The next piece of ribbon just above that and the last piece just above that. 
 Now here is where we fix the weird points on the sides of the dress. Take a length of ribbon, long enough to tie a bow and, fold the unfinished edge over and then fold one more time, so the edge is hidden inside. Pin to the area of the dress that comes to a point and sew. Repeat on the other side. 
This will create a tie in the back, that can be used to help the dress fit better and hide the points from the sleeve holes of the shirt. 
The finished front and back of the dress.
Shirt Dress
 Honestly, once there was a clear vision of what this dress was going to look like, it came together pretty fast. Sewing on a knit t-shirt, is pretty easy compared to most materials, just make sure you take into account the shirt will stretch when pinning on embellishments. 
A special thanks to my best friend Lorene of Just Lu, who helped make this dress happen! 
I love the end result and my little girl does too. She asks to wear it absolutely everyday. I absolutely love the new gold heat transfer from Cricut. My little girl can't stop talking about how her princess crown actually glitters. Love the new heat transfer too? You can buy it one of two ways right now, get $15 off the vinyl bundle here or with a machine and tool kit, at an incredible discount for only $199, regularly $319. Seriously, an awesome discount. 
(I was given some heat transfer from Cricut to try for this post. All opinions are my own)
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