Thursday, February 21, 2013


Last Friday Janice was sick so we didn't get to go to estate sales as we usually do on Fridays.  I had awaken earlier during the night and couldn't go back to sleep.  Laying in bed, I started thinking about the new t-shirt dresses I needed to make for my CO granddaughters.  When Janice sent me a text saying she felt like "yuk" and was going to stay home, I knew I would be sewing that day.

I managed to get Sadie's dress made Friday afternoon and then Hallie's on Saturday.  The t-shirts were alike and so was the material I planned to make for the skirts.  (I have had the shirts and material for the skirts since the fall when I was making their dresses they like them a little different.)  I decided to make Sadie's with a ruffled skirt and Hallie's just a solid one.

Here is what they looked like when I got them finished.

When I make a ruffled skirt, I take the hem out of the t-shirt so that I have 2 - 3 inches extra length for the shirt.  I sew the first ruffle at the regular measured place usually 3 - 4 inches below the waist.  Then I sew the second ruffle 2 inches below the first one.  (If you want more distance between the two ruffles so the skirt will be longer and you have the extra length from the t-shirt, you can sew the second ruffle more than 2 inches below the first one.) 

I cut both ruffles the same width - 6-1/2 inches (I have a 6-1/2 inch wide ruler), but the second ruffle ends up looking 2 inches longer. Allowing for a 1/2 inch seam at the "waist" and 1/2 inch for the shirt tail hem, the finished ruffle is 5-1/2 inches. I am sure that width will increase as they grow.  (To decide the width you need, put the t-shirt on the child to check where it comes to on the hips.  Then measure the distance to the knee or however long you want the skirt to be. They are cute with tights or leggings.)

Since the girls, especially Hallie, are growing, I had to cut the skirt for Hallie's 1-1/2 inches wider than earlier ones I have made....12 inches wide (11 inches finished).  Here is a hint when you need to cut the material wider than your "ruler" is.  
The longer ruler is 6-1/2 inches wide.  So I laid the smaller ruler 5-1/2 inches from the cut edge.  Then "butted" the longer ruler up to it, making sure it was straight with the fold.  Holding the longer ruler in place, I also carefully moved the smaller ruler up and down to make sure the "strip" would be evenly cut the 12 inches.  Then I cut along the right side of the longer ruler with my rotary cutter.

I cut two strips for Hallie's skirt the width of the material.  This made it two and a half times more than the total width of the t-shirt so the gathers are thicker.  I wasn't sure how it would look, but I think it was perfect.  I need to start doing that from now on. Sadie's ruffles are about one and a half times the total width of the shirt. 

If you are interested in seeing more detailed instructions for making t-shirt dresses, you can check HERE  and HERE.

I also really like making the ruffled jean skirts.  You can check them out HERE.  Another fun thing I made with jeans was a ruffled jean apron.  I used the back of the jeans only and of course chose jeans with cute pockets.  You can see how to make it HERE.  While the apron was made for a child, you could easily make one for an adult by using larger jeans.  Would be really cute at a cook-out.

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