No Sew T Shirt to Dress – again!

We did it again!  Because there are just far too many adorable little sisters rooting for their big brothers –  

Angelstshirtdress    Angelsshirtdress2

This little cutie has a brother playing for the As – so I scrounged up some t shirts in the right color, pulled up a comfy chair at baseball practice and starting snipping…shout out to my baseball moms for your input!

So, here’s how you get there – 

Choose your shirts – the bodice shirt should be a good imagefit or close to – it’s ok if it’s a little baggy – but if it’s too big, you’ll need to go a different route with this – which could also be done without sewing – comment if you do, and I’ll help you get there 🙂 – but let’s stay focused…

The how to is a bit wordy – it’s really easy and quick, though, promise 😉

Take your t-shirt that you will use for the skirt part of the dress and chop it off – just below the armpit.  Don’t worry about the length for now.

Cut a long strip off the top about 1-2 inches wide – what you will do here is start, circle around once (only cutting through one layer at a time) – don’t meet your starting cut with your finishing cut – you are going to taper down a little and go around the shirt again so that your ‘ribbon’ is three to four times the circumference of the shirt – you need a long enough strand to wrap around the waist of the child and tie bow, one strand to go around the imageneckline and tie a bow, and two strands long enough to go around the arm holes and bows on the shoulder.  If anyone needs help with that, I will gladly do that again and get a better visual of that for you.  I’m sure that I can find a reason to do this again :)…

You can cut a little length off the top of your skirt, or save that until the end and cut length off the bottom.  Raw edges are good…

Cut the neck-band and sleeves off of your bimageodice  shirt. You can also cut the hem off  so that you will have a raw edge.  If your shirt is bigger, cut the shirt to length you want it…

Cut horizontal slits in at the bottom of your bodice, and coordinating slits at the top of your skirt.  It’s probably ok if they are vertical slits, but less chance of ripping with horizontal.  Your slits should be just wide enough to slip the ‘ribbon’ through, and mine were about 2-3 inches apart from each other.

Turn your ‘skirt’ inside out, tuck it inside the bodice, so the top raw edge of the skirt meets the bottom raw edge of the bodice.  It’s wrong in the first picture – that’s how I started (right side to wrong side), but changed my mind.  So, you can see what not to do :).  For yours, wrong sides should be together. The wrong sides (like the second picture) together creates a cute little trim/gather when you are finished…

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Start in one of your front center slits (I had them slightly off-center, so the bow will fall in the center.  Thread your ribbon in first so there is a strand hanging out the front. Thread alternating in and out until you meet back up in the front to tie a bow – if you end up a slit short – just snip another one :).  Gather a bit, and tie your bow.  You can adjust the gather once you put it on your ‘lil sis.

Moving on to the bodice –  This part is completely optional – you can leave them raw with imageno embellishment – but adding the ‘ribbon’ adds a little more character and allows for a
better and more customized fit –

For the neck – cut slits around the neckline (parallel to the edge – I’d say horizontal, but it curves…so ya know – go along the edge about an inch or so in from the edge.  I put my bow in the back (ADORABLE) because my shirt was so busy in the front.

For the arm holes – cut slits around the open arm holes, again parallel to the edge.  I put my bows a the top of the shoulder.

If you run out of ‘ribbon’, just cut another strip from the skirt.

My dress was made for a little one that wears a size 18 m, so I didn’t even try to make it a full length dress – because, well…that doesn’t work so great with all the climbing around at the ball park.  If you do care to sew, you can even use your discarded sleeves to make some shorts or bloomers.  I didn’t do that this time around.

I gave sweet little A’s Mama the left over  scraps from the shirts, and she tied them up into a perfectly awesome southern bow.  And I knew she would – cause she’s one of my go to gals for bows.  Didn’t she do a great job? And doesn’t she make beautiful babies?

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No Sew T Shirt to Dress

It took me longer to write this tutorial than to make the dress – no joke.

Give it a shot!

First, grab your supplies –  I started with a youth size medium sleeveless racerback T shirt – this will work with any sleeveless shirt with a binding.  We’ll try it with a regular t shirt next time…

You will also need –

  • IMG_1753Scissors or a seam ripper
  • About 3 – 3.5 yards of ribbon (1/8″ is easy to pull through – you could go up to 1/2″)
  • A Bodkin (this is a sewing tool used for threading elastic and turning things – mine is ball point) or a safety pin small enough to fit into the binding.  Make sure it’s nice and sturdy.

Grab  your scissors and start snipping:

No Sew Shirt to dress

Now grab your ribbon and bodkin or safety pin:

No Sew T shirt dress ribbon threading

A few close ups of the Ribbon Threading to help you along:

And there you go! Pull your ribbons through and tie off as desired, trim to the length you like.  I found it best to make sure the shirt is gathered in the front and not in the back – it will lay better that way.

Embellish your dress, and make it awesome! Here is ours finished (though as of yet unadorned) – best pictures I could get with my ‘I’m not so much in the mood for this right now’ model –

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Hope you enjoy – Happy NO SEWING!!!!!