Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bohemian Upcycled Dress Tutorial

Just in case you missed my tutorial over at The CSI Project here it is!

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One of my obsessions is shopping for my kids clothes. {Shh! Don't tell my hubby.} Just kidding. He knows. Well, knows some of it... Anyway, I love dressing them super cute. When shopping for my little ones, Gymboree is one of my first stops. I love their designs & quality. But the prices...not so much.
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I picked up this adorable dress for half price. And the fairly new seamstress in me, thought, "That would be so easy to make." And that's how my project was born!
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I'm going to show you how to go from
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You'll need
One of your old shirts {mine was a size Small & was perfect for a toddler size 3-4}
simple dress or tank to trace for pattern
tracing paper or freezer paper
pencil
6mm elastic
matching thread
zipper {probably optional}

{Step 1} Making your pattern
Lay out your tracing paper or taped together freezer paper with your dress or tank.
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This was super easy for me since I had the inspiration dress, but you can create the same look by tracing your dress or tank as is & adding 2-3" to the waist line & neckline & keeping the width of the bottom hem & the arm hole the same width.

Don't forget to add your 1/4 to 3/8" seam allowances!
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Just an example. I'm obviously not an artist.

Once you get the pattern drawn, cut it out.

{Step 2} Cutting your pieces
Fold the shirt in half & lay the pattern cut out over the shirt. Pin the pattern in place.

Cut along the pattern. And that's it. You have your dress. Really, I'm not kidding! You'll do straps later, but how easy was that! No dissecting the old shirt first :)
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{Step 3} The Zipper
This was pretty intimidating to me. I've done zippers before, but I've always been following a pattern.

If you decide to add the zipper, this is how I did it. I really think you could do without, it would just be a little snug to pull on. The next one I do will definitely be zipper free.

First, figure out what side you want your zipper on. Mine is on the dress's left.
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1 - Pin your front & back pieces together {right sides together}. Lay the zipper out so you can see where the zipper will start. Sew the front & back pieces together and stop at the point where the zipper will go.

2 - Fold & iron the rest of the edges of the front & back piece to create your finished edge. Mine was 3/8". Pin to the right side of the zipper.

3 - And sew.

4 - Pin the front piece in place to hide the zipper.
And sew!

It wasn't that hard was it?!?

{Step 4} Finishing the main part of the dress
Pin and sew the other side of the dress with the right sides together.

To finish the arm holes, cut out a 3/4" strip of matching fabric shaped the same as the arm holes. Iron it in half.

Pin in place & sew along the edge. Make sure to fold the top of your zipper down to hide it.
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{Step 5} Adding elastic to neckline
Start out by folding your fabric over & ironing a thin seam. Fold over again ~1/2". Sew very close to the folded edge of the neck to create a casing for your elastic. Do this on the front & back necklines.
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Thread your elastic through the casing. I attach a safety pin the end to help pull it through. Sew securely, but neatly {unlike mine. thank God the thread matches the fabric.}.
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Bunch the neckline up until you reach the length of the desired neckline. Pin & sew the other end of the elastic securely.

Repeat on the neckline of the back of the dress.

{Step 6} Gathering the waist
For the waist, you need to create another casing. I used a white muslin fabric to create mine.

Cut a 1" strip of fabric that is the length of the waist of the dress. Iron the edges over 1/4" to create finished edges. Pin to the inside of the dress and sew along both edges as straight and as close to the edges as possible.

{Of course, this is the picture that I missed...}

Add the elastic the same way as when you did the neckline.
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Before sewing the 2nd end of the elastic in place, I highly recommend trying the dress on your little one if possible to adjust the tightness of the gather. I repeated this step like 3 times. The seam ripper was my BFF.

{Step 7} Final Step!! The Straps!
Try the dress on your girl & measure to see how long you need your straps.

Create a pattern by looking at the shape of the dress above. Your pattern will look something like this.
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Cut out 4 straps in your desired fabric. I ran out of shirt fabric, so mine ended up white.

Sew two of your four pieces together {right sides together} to make each strap. Flip inside out.
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Iron it flat & stitch along the top edges to create a cleaner edge.
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Pin & stitch to the neck of the dress.
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And there you have it folks! A dress that cost $0.67 made out of a shirt that momma hadn't worn in three years. Momma's old treads to Sis's new dress!

Partying at these :)

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Fresh Poppy Design
Fine Craft Guild

6 comments:

  1. So cute!!! I love both the original dress and the new one, darling design and style. Your blog is really cute too by the way...love your graphics and colors :)

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  2. Saw you at quiltstory! Great job. I like the original and the new one both! :-)

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  3. Absolutely adorable. Come link it up at our linky party this week, here: http://www.finecraftguild.com/craft-party/
    Love to see/read more of your work. stay in touch!

    Rose

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  4. I saw you on Creative Bloggers Party. I'm your newest public follower. I love how this project turned out. The fabric is fantastic. I am so impressed with all the talent I found in this party. I would appreciate you following back http://talesfrommyjournal.blogspot.com I would also appreciate if you would like me in facebook http://www.facebook.com/DeniseMartin.LillaRose and in twitter @DeniseLillaRose. I always follow back. Just leave me a note so I know you stopped by.

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  5. very cute. when i first clicked over here, i was positive that you bought that dress as-is, not that you made it! great job!

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  6. Popping over from All free sewing - love this dress :)

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