Monday, August 9, 2010

Knocking Down My List

LittleGirl has a new dress. Yes! I can mark another item of my To Sew list! This is an upcycle project. LittleGirl really loved this 'pink top with the sparkle flower;' however, it just didn't cover her tummy any longer. I let her dig through my stash. She's been eyeballing this cupcake fabric for quite a while. I had originally purchased it to make LittleGirl an apron and chef's hat. That, obviously, didn't happen. So I agreed to use it to convert her favorite shirt into a dress. This was an easy-peasy-20-minute project. If you have a knit top and some fabric, I encourage you to take a break from your regular sewing and create a dress for your little one. I didn't take pictures of the steps, but I'll list what I did so you can give it a try.

1.  Measure 3 inches below the armhole of the shirt. Mark each side. Draw a chalk line across to connect the points.

2.  Cut shirt on marked line. I like to use my straight-edge and rotary cutter for this step. Save bottom scraps for another project.

3.  Determine the length you want your 'skirt' to be. LittleGirl likes long and full dresses so she can feel like a twirling princess whenever it suits her fancy. I used two 28-inch long x WOF (width of fabric) pieces of cupcake fabric.

4.  With wrong sides together, stitch (¼ inch seams) down the length of fabric on right and left sides. Trim seam allowance to ⅛ inch. Press seam. Turn fabric.

5.  With right sides together, stitch (¼ inch seams) down the length of the fabric. Press seam. Turn fabric. You've just created a French Seam! If you'd prefer, you can skip step 4 and use your serger to finish the edges of the skirt.

6.  Use your preferred method to gather the top of the skirt. I use a micro-cord and zig-zag stitch:  Place cording under the center mark of your presser foot. Using a wide and long zig-zag setting, stitch over the cording, being careful not to catch the cording in your stitches. Leave about a 5-inch tail of cording on both ends. Now, just pull on the cording to gather your fabric. It should slide through the zig-zag stitching. Easy!

7.  With right sides together and matching the side seams of the top and skirt, pin together.

8.  Stitch top and skirt, using a ½ seam.

9.  Stitch again, using a ¼ seam, to reinforce skirt. LittleGirl may love to twirl, but she also likes to run and climb and monkey around with her big brothers. I've learned to reinforce all her dresses! :o)

10.  Add a hem. I prefer deep hems (3-4 inches) so we get more mileage out of LittleGirl's dresses. She grows taller faster than she grows in girth. ;o)

11.  Show your little girl and watch her face light up as she twirls around the room in her 'new' dress!

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