Friday, September 7, 2012


Here are my CO granddaughters Hallie and Sadie in their latest T-Shirt dresses that I just made....with ruffles this time.  While they might look like they are made the same, they aren't.  

I will show and explain briefly how they differ.

For Hallie's dress:

I started by cutting two strips the width of the material --  one 6-1/2 inches wide and the other one 4-1/2 inches wide. (1)  I cut off the selvage and then sewed the ends together with a 1/4 inch seam.  To finish off the seams, I sewed the seam together with an overcast zigzag stitch. (2)
I pressed the seam to one side and then pressed up 1/4 inch on one side (3) to make a narrow hem.  To make the narrow hem, just fold another 1/4 inch from the pressed part (3) and stitch close to the edge. (4)

Instead of cutting the t-shirt off at the desired length to sew a single panel, I left the t-shirt its length....actually I added to the length by carefully taking the hem out of the shirt.  It didn't take as long as I thought it would by using the seam ripper and scissors to cut the threads.  I marked with dots the t-shirt all the way around where I will be sewing the top ruffle. (1)  This is where I would have sewed the "skirt" if I had just had a one-panel skirt....I would have cut the t-shirt off 1/2 inch below this mark.  This is what I did when I made their Patriotic T-Shirt Dresses with an eight vertical panel skirt.  (Check out  HERE)  (2) shows the dress after I sewed the 6-1/2 inch panel on the bottom of the t-shirt with a 1/2 inch seam.  If you need to see instructions on how to make the gathers, pin, and then sew it on, you can go to the link above for the patriotic T-Shirt Dresses.

Sewing the top ruffle on is where the dresses differ.  After pressing and sewing the narrow hem in one side, I wanted to sew this ruffle on top of the shirt and needed a finished edge above the ruffle.  To do this, I pressed under 1/2 inch of the other side and stitched the gathering stitch just about 3/8 inch from the edge (1).  Normally I would notch the centers with a clip, but since the top of the ruffle will have a finished edge, I marked the other side,  center front and back with small safety pins. (2)
After I pulled the thread to gather the ruffle, I used a pin stuck in the gathering stitch to match up with the dots I marked on the t-shirt. (3)  With a normal stitch length on my machine, I stitched right over the gathering stitch to sew the ruffle to the t-shirt. (4)

Here it is finished....

And the dress on pretty Hallie.

For Sadie's dress, I decided to make the difference in the two ruffles less. (Hallie's is about half way)  To do this I cut both panels the same width (6-1/2 inches) and the difference was made up from the extra length of the t-shirt since I didn't cut it off.  I did take the hem out to make it a longer section like I did with Hallie's shirt.  The pictures below show the finished side seam after sewing the panel ends together. (1) The pressed up 1/4 inch to make a narrow hem in bottom. (2)  Sewing the narrow hem by turning up 1/4 inch one more time. (3)  and then the finished narrow hem. (4)  I did this with both panels.

After lengthening the stitch on my sewing machine to the longest stitch (5.0), I made the gathering stitch 1/2 inch from the other raw edge.  I gently pulled one of the threads to gather the panel to about what I figured it would end up being. (I've done this so many times)

As with Hallie's, I marked all the way around the place for the top ruffle (once again where I would have sewed the panel to make a simple t-shirt dress). (1) Unlike with Hallie's dress though, I sewed the top ruffle on first.  With the t-shirt right-side-out and the ruffle turned so that the right sides will be facing, I pulled the ruffle over the t-shirt (2) and matching centers and sides having the raw edge meet the marked line (3), I pinned the ruffle to the t-shirt (4), and back to a normal stitch length sewed directly over the gathering line.

Then I repeated the process and sewed the other panel on the bottom edge of the t-shirt with a half inch seam.

And here it is finished.

 And pretty Sadie wearing hers.


Here are both of my beautiful CO granddaughters in their new dresses.  I love making these dresses and it pleases me even more to know that the girls love wearing them just as much.

Check out the latest ones I have made HERE.

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