You can make cute dresses for special little girls that require no pattern, are guaranteed to fit and cost very little money. This type of dress eliminates the need to create a fitted bodice by using a colourful T-shirt or blouse as the top of the dress. The skirt is made from coordinating fabric that has been gathered into flouncy ruffles. This project offers the sewing enthusiast, as well as the beginner sewer, an opportunity to be creative. Since there is no pattern, the dress can be made to fit girls of any size or age.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Coordinating fabric
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine
- Buttons, flowers or lace trim (optional)
Choose a colourful T-shirt that fits the little girl, and choose coordinating, easy-to-care-for printed fabric for the skirt of the dress. Wash fabrics before cutting and sewing to ensure that colours will not run and to allow for any shrinkage. Iron fabric flat before measuring and cutting.
Allow the little girl to put on the T-shirt. Starting at the bottom of the T-shirt, determine what the finished length of the skirt will be, using a measuring tape. Add 4 inches for seam allowance and hem. Record this measurement.
Measure the circumference of the bottom of the T-shirt with a measuring tape. Multiply that number by 3 to create a full, flouncy skirt. Record that measurement.
Cut fabric based on measurements. Hem the bottom of the skirt before gathering and attaching it to the T-shirt, as this will make the job easier. Fold the bottom of the skirt fabric 1/2 inch, and press with an iron. Fold again another 1/2 inch and press to hold the fold. Secure folds with straight pins. Sew hem by hand with coordinating thread and a needle. Use small straight stitches, or sew hem using sewing machine.
Divide the skirt fabric into four sections, and mark lightly with a pencil on the wrong side of the skirt fabric. Gather the skirt fabric by sewing long, running stitches by hand with a needle and thread through the entire top of the skirt fabric.
Pin the skirt to the T-shirt, right side of the T-shirt to the right side of the fabric. Line up marks on the skirt fabric with the side seams and with the centre front and back of the T-shirt. This will help position the gathered skirt fabric evenly when it is attached to the T-shirt.
Adjust gathered skirt fabric to the T-shirt, and pin into place. Sew the skirt to the T-shirt on a sewing machine. Remove straight pins. Turn dress right-side out, and press with an iron.
Sew on buttons, flowers or lace trim as desired.
Tips and warnings
- Create variations of this dress by using a tank top or button-up shirt.
- Change the silhouette of the dress by shortening the length of the top to create an "empire" look. Add a belt or ribbon where the top meets the skirt.
- Trim the T-shirt or tank top with lace, and repeat at the hem of the skirt.
- Create a "bubble" skirt by gently gathering the hem of the skirt.
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