Today was Anti Bullying Day at school for my 5yr old. To show their support, all of the children were supposed to come to school wearing pink.
This was cause of much distress to our munchkin, as we came to find out she doesn't really have any pink in her wardrobe. Much to even my surprise all I could find was an old hoodie, and when I offered it to her she shrieked "I can't wear THAT!", and then when I suggested she wear something of her sister's as they are virtually the same size, she cried. It was a fashion crisis of monumental proportions.
I was annoyed in that moment and almost told her, tough. Going shopping in this little town isn't really an option, so last minute outfits can be a challenge. Then, I looked down at my 5yr old yoga pants that I have worn through two pregnancies and realized it hasn't always been this way. I'm not sure what has happened in the almost six years of being a mom. Maybe it has been the fact that I haven't had a continuous night of sleep in six years, or that I live off half eaten grilled cheese sandwiches, but I used to care what I wore too. I think I even had some fashion sense at one time. So, then I felt badly for my daughter's plight and told her we would come up with something.
You will need:
- T shirt
- Fabric (1 to 1 1/2 yrds depending on the size of your child)
- Scissors and/or rotary cutter
- Measuring tape
Measurements for 1/4 inch seam allowance
Now, the first thing you need to do is ignore that this photo is sideways. When I upload it, it is not sideways!
The second thing you need to do is determine where you are going to cut your T shirt. There is no right or wrong length. I want this dress to have an empire waist, so I have chosen to cut off the bottom of my T shirt 1 1/2 inches below the underarm seam.
The best thing to do is to try the T shirt on your little one and mark where you want the skirt part to start and cut it off there. I have chosen to just cut mine straight across but you can also cut the front so it dips down in a slight curve. Just make sure it is even on both sides!
Put your trimmed T shirt on your kiddo and measure from the bottom of the T shirt to where you would like the bottom of the dress to hit. Pretend I'm showing you a picture of this. From the bottom of the T to where I wanted the dress to fall on my kiddo was 21 inches.
Grab your fabric because you are now going to cut your skirt. You need three tiers. Take your length measurement (remember mine was 21 inches) and follow this formula to get your lengths of each tier:
Tier 1 and 2 = (length measurement divided by 3) + 0.5 inch
Tier 3 = (length measurement divided by 3) + 1.25 inches
So, my top two tiers will be 7.5 inches long and my bottom one will be 8.25 inches long
Don't cut yet because now you need to determine how wide to cut your tiers!
Grab your T shirt and measure the width across the bottom. As you can see, mine is 13 inches. Follow this formula to determine the width of your tiers:
Tier 1 = (Width of T shirt X 1.5) + 0.5 inches
Tier 2 = (Width you determined for Tier 1 X 1.5) + 0.5 inches
Tier 3 = (Width you determined for Tier 2 X 1.5) + 0.5 inches
So, for me my Tier 1 = 20 inches
Tier 2 = 30.5 inches
Tier 3 = 46.25 inches
Take your length measurement and your width measurements and cut your tiers! You need 2 of each. So here is my cutting list based on my measurements:
Cut 2- 7.5 inches by 20 inches
Cut 2- 7.5 inches by 30.5 inches
Cut 2- 8.25 inches by 46.25 inches
Most fabric only comes in 44 inch widths, so I cheated a little bit and only cut my last tier 44 inches wide, not 46.25 inches. This won't be really noticeable so don't worry about it if you decide to do this too. The main premise is that your next tier should be 1 1/2 times the previous one so try to stick to that.
If you want a REALLY twirly skirt you could decide to have each tier double the one before. Keep in mind you will have to cut extra widths of fabric and sew them together so they will be long enough. This is also A LOT of gathering later. Girls love them though!
Now sew each "pair" of tiers right sides together down the short ends. Do this for all three.
Zig zag stitch your raw edge to prevent fraying.
Pretend here I am showing you how to gather. You will want to do this the very same way that we did the ruffle on the ruffle jeans. See THIS post. The only difference will be, you will do this on ONE edge of your fabric (do not fold the fabric like you do the ruffle on the jeans). While making this dress I had a two yr old on my knee while sewing which was making it challenging!
Attach tier 1, pull out your gathering stitches, and zig zag the raw edge of your seam. Press your seam up towards your T shirt and turn over and topstitch approx 1/8 inch in.
Do what you did with tier 1, but with tier 2 and attach in the same way.
Now, you will have this!
Remember 2 yr old little dude has attached himself to me. Forgive me! Imagine you are seeing this with tier 3.
The last step you need to do it to press up the bottom of your dress 1/2 inch, and then 1/2 inch again and sew your hem.
Quick and easy and now your girly has something pink to wear for Anti Bullying Day if you are short on time too!
I would LOVE to see your T shirt dresses! fromanigloo (at) gmail.com
Let me know if you don't want me to share your photos!