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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Upcycle: From a Boys' Button-up to a Little Girl's Dress

Who's ready for another creative upcycle? You are going to LOVE this one! Today we have a guest tutorial from one of our fans, Lindsey Jones, who loves to sew for her little Chick. (That's her above!) Lindsey wowed us in our patterns group with this little dress she made for her daughter using her big brother's shirt. We asked Lindsey to share the steps with us today. You'll soon see that she did a fabulous job making it easy to follow! Here is Lindsey with today's tutorial:

Step 1: To start off with, the shirt I used is American Eagle men's extra small. It was a shirt that my older son outgrew. This was the perfect size shirt for me to make Journee's dress. She wears 2T on a regular basis. Obviously, a bigger shirt will be needed for a bigger size dress. 

 Step 2: Deconstruct the shirt at the seams. I removed the sleeves, collar and yoke. (I like to use a shirt with a yoke because it makes a perfect lined front bodice piece.) Notice all of the buttons that are on scrap pieces -- save those! We'll use them later. 

Step 3: Because I cut right below the seam on the yoke, it needs to be split. I pulled out my handy dandy seam ripper for this.

Step 4: Fold both yoke pieces in half and use your favorite CKC bodice pattern to cut it out. I used Kiki's and modified to cut off the "hump", making it a straight front bodice.

Step 5: Open the sleeves at the seam if you haven't already.

  Now fold them in half and cut two back bodice pieces, one from each sleeve.

Step 6: Now take the main part of the shirt, which will become our skirt, and cut a straight line across it right below the arm holes, as shown in yellow in the picture above. I got lucky with this shirt because I just used the plaid lines as a guide. At this point you can remove the pocket using a seam ripper if you want, but I like the look of the pocket so I usually leave it. 

Step 7: Use the extra scraps of what you just cut in the previous step to make the straps. Again, you may use the measurements from your favorite CKC pattern. I just free-handed mine by cutting four strap pieces that are 2" by 14" each. 

Step 8: Put two of the strap pieces right sides together and sew along both long sides and one short side. Repeat with the second strap. Use a chopstick or pin to turn the straps right side out. Press until crisp and top stitch.

Step 9: Using the pattern piece guide, pin the straps to the right side of the front bodice piece. Top with the front bodice lining, right sides together, making a strap sandwich! Sew along the top of the bodice.

Step 10: Take the two back bodice pieces and place them right sides together and sew along the top. 

 Step 11: Open the front bodice piece and lay it flat with both of the right sides facing up. Then open the back bodice piece and lay it on top, with both of its right sides facing down. Pin the sides and sew them together, as shown in yellow in the picture above.  

 Step 12: Fold bodice pieces down, press, and top stitch all around the top of the bodice. Check it out! The bodice is done! 

 Step 13: Now take the skirt piece and lay it on a flat surface. 

Pin the button panel closed on the front. 

 Sew both sides of the panel closed along the existing stitching. 

Step 14:  Gather stitch along the top of the skirt. 

Step 15: Gather the top edge of the skirt evenly and pin it to the bodice. Sew along the top, all the way around the bodice/skirt. 

Step 16: Top stitch 1/8" above the seam all around the bodice. 

Step 17: On the back bodice, measure and create your button holes for the straps to go through, according the the CKC pattern you are using. 

Step 18: Shirr along the back bodice. When you are done it will look like the picture above. 

Step 19: Remember the buttons we saved for later? Well, now it's later! Remove four buttons from the scraps.   

 Two of the buttons are used just as embellishments on the front bodice. Sew them in place below each strap as shown above.

 20 The other two buttons will go on the back sides of the straps, to button them in place on the bodice. I actually measured the strap button placement on my daughter Journee - or Chick as we all call her. 

The great thing about the bottom hem is that it's already done for you!  However, depending on the size of the shirt and the length you're going for on the final dress, you may want to cut and hem the bottom. I wanted a longer length for this dress so I left the original hem.

And that's it!  Now we're done!  Here are some more pictures:


Isn't Lindsey wonderful?!  Please comment below to show her some love! Also, feel free to share this tutorial with your friends. (We made it easy with the Pinterest share button up on the first graphic.) I love this last pic of Journee with her big brother. Upcycling is so rewarding for mom and kids alike!   

Let's Create!  ~ Kristen 

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