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Recycling clothes: sewing patterns

Dress, Green crafts, Recycle, Sewing  |  September 6th 2011  |  0 Comment

The Playdate dress: a tutorial

I’ve been getting better braver at sewing with knits, and I spotted this cute dress  and knew I had to make one just like it! I also just happened to have a tee shirt in my refashion pile that was the same striped print, and some green knit, sooo….I went for the whole she-bang with this refashion/knock off!
[inspiration dress]
[pretty darn close]
Just about the only thing that I did differently was to add some green to the pocket-it helped it stand out more. I wish I had been able to gather my flutter sleeves more but oh well. I was working with limited fabric.
Click below for the how to!

You’ll need:
large tee shirt if you’re going to refashion route, knit yardage if not. (how much depends on your child’s size of course.)
ballpoint needle
matching thread (polyester works well with knits)
I have a bodice and sleeve pattern available in size 2T. Sorry it’s only the one size, but I am only one woman, and not quite ready to delve into pattern sizing yet. It might work to scale up or down on a printer, not sure how to do that though. Good luck if you try!
So here’s what I started out with-some thrifted shirts. Thrift stores are great places to find knit tees to refashion-our local stores often have quality tees that are in great shape!
So first you’ll need to make a pattern if you’re not using the 2T pattern. Using a tee shirt that fits your kiddo, trace around it to make a basic pattern.
tada! easy peasy. Make sure to add in seam allowances on the side of the shirt, armhole, and shoulder seam. (I usually add 3/8″-1/2″) Trace the front neckline too. (I ended up scooping mine lower than this tee, it didn’t fit the first time-Sadie has a big noggin)
Next I cut out my pattern and traced the top part of the pattern again.
I wanted to have the front bodice go into the armhole, so I drew a line where I wanted that to be. Then I added seam allowance to that line. (you could easily just have it join together under the arm, I just have a habit of making things harder than they need to be)
 Then, for the skirt pattern,  I traced the armhole again, across where the bodice ended, and then drew a slight A-line dress shape. (you can measure your kiddo to see how long it should be)
Added seam allowance to the top of that pattern piece too.
I also added about 3 inches to the skirt’s fold line for gathers.
If you’re using the pattern I provided, here is a picture of the pattern on my measuring board for reference. From the fold, on the bottom is 9″, and the skirt is 18″ tall. (basically an 18″x18″ square) At the bodice it’s 7″ wide (folded), and then I cut it at an angle from the bottom to the top. You’ll also need to cut a little bit off the top corner for the armhole. Hope this pic helps!
So now the pattern pieces should fit together like this. (with the seam allowances stacked, and seam lines matching up)
Then I made a sleeve pattern by tracing the armhole, coming up a few inches above the shoulder seam, and back down. The extra room up top is for gathering. The top is the fold, sorry didn’t mark it in that pic.
Then I cut two of my skirt piece, 1 of my front bodice, 1 of my back bodice, and 2 of the flutter sleeves.  (all on the fold)
I cut two strips of my jersey fabric (doesn’t need to be on the bias) 1.75″ wide. I cut them as long as my fabric allowed and trimmed down after making the neckline and pocket.

I use spray starch to get the knit to sit still, it works wonders!

So, now pin one shoulder seam right sides together and sew.
Then make some “bias” tape by using these instructions.
Then start pinning at one side of the open shoulder seam, enclosing the raw edge, and continue around to the other end. Insert a tag here if you wish! Then sew close to the edge, making sure to catch the other side of the tape in your stitch.
Then give it a good steam with your iron and pin the other shoulder seam (RST) and sew together as well.
Next, sew a gathering stitch along the top of the skirt panels and gather to fit the bodice. Pin and sew both of those together.
Then sew a gathering stitch (I didn’t have much room to gather since I wanted to fussy cut my sleeves to have vertical stripes) along the curved part of your flutter sleeve, and gather to fit your armhole.
Then pin them right sides together, and sew them together.
Next pin the skirt panels right sides together and sew those up as well!
For the pocket, I drew a quick pocket pattern out, just a simple shape. Cut it out, and ironed the sides in about 1/4″. You can see where it started curving it got tricky. So I sewed a gathering stitch just along the bottom curved part, pulled one of the threads to gather it, til it pulled the raw edge in nicely. Pressed that.
Then I sewed the tape on to the pocket following the instructions here, and then pinned it where I wanted it on the dress, and sewed it on!
All done! Now you have a comfy and cute playdate dress!
Source: craftinessisnotoptional.com