One big Cover-UP after another…fun sewing tutorial!

Okay…so confessions first:

First, I have to admit…this fabric is the best EVAH!!! I LOVE this line, Sweet Divinity! I can't stop making fun stuff with it! So tonight, I'm going to share a fun project I did today in one day…

Second confession…

I am not a clothes seamstress…Actually, I really stink at it, but it's just because I haven't really worked at learning the basics. I am going to do that this year, for sure!! and at the end of this post, I'm gonna tell you how I'm going to do that!!

For this tutorial, I'm going to give you a couple of tips on how to make it through!! I know there are perfectionists that would do things differently, but there are some crafters out there that are deer in headlights (ie…won't start projects) because they want to do it perfectly!! First word of advice…just like Nike says…Just Do It!! You don't have to be perfect…I promise!!!

Here's what we're making tonight…

a t-shirt dress!!! yipeeeee!!!

I have an 8yo (she's almost 9!! yikes!!) who loves dresses. As soon as spring hits, I'm going to whip out gobs of dresses for her!! (My 11yo is not into the dress scene…and my 16yo and handmade dresses from mom??? uh yeah…not gonna happen!) and this little dress, even though I had issues, was super fun to put together!!


****one adult T-shirt (first hint…Don't use a V-Neck…I did here and it made it much harder!!)

****scraps of your fave fabric (three fat quarters will be enough for your ruffles at the bottom!)

****embellishments (buttons and crocheted flowers…pure awesomeness!!)

****Steam-A-Seam fusible web

****Sulky stabilizer (the kind that tears out easily!)

****really fun thread


Start with your child's measurements…


I measured Lillian's chest and her bicep…


I sewed a piece of the fun white fabric from Amanda's Sweet Divinity over the V using a decorative stitch along the V…remember if you don't use a V neck tshirt, you wont have to do this part!!

Take your t-shirt and cut open the sides and cut off the sleeves. You can use your kiddo's chest measurements to get it small enough (I added 1.5" on either side of her chest measurement then I cut away!)

Now…it's time for the puffy sleeves…

Take the measurement of your kiddo's bicep and double it!! Cut a piece of fabric that length and the width of your choice (I used 5.75" width, 18" long)


Double hem one side of the strip and do a basting stitch on the other side!

Gather that basting stitch to the length of your child's bicep measurement + 1 inch! 🙂

Now you want to attach that sleeve to the tshirt…Here's an easy way to do that.

Put the shoulder seam on your cutting mat measurement at the halfway point of your measurement. Lil's was 10 inches, so I put the seam at 5". Then I matched the gathered sleeve onto each side and PIN, PIN, PIN!!! (pins are your friend…keep telling yourself this until you can't stand it!!) LOL!

Then sew…Make sure your seam is on the outside of the basting stitching. After a straight stitch, run the length of the seam with an overlock stitch, or zigzag stitch. Or you can use a serger…someday I will learn how to use mine!! That's another thing…*sigh*


Pin your sides together (right sides together…don't put the sides wrong like I did with my first attempt at the sleeves…*sigh*)…

and sew…first straight stitch, then zigzag…that's what I did…

btw, if the bottoms don't match, it's okay, you'll be covering those with ruffles!! yay!!


After the zigzag stitch, cut the excess fabric off…

(I have the weirdest thumbs!! LOL!!)


try the dress on your kidlet! When I did, I found that it was too wide, so I pinned the bodice and then sewed it (with the seam on the inside!! even though I pinned it out).

I measured a piece of that fabulous crown fabric while Lil was trying it on…I cut it, hemmed it, and sewed it in, using a straight stitch in the seam of the V-Neck. Now, I don't know about you, but that seam down the middle, and my apparent inability to match the edge of the V bugged me…so it's time for the first big COVER-UP!!

These flowers are from Riley Blake and Amanda, and I LOVE them!! 🙂


Time for the bottom ruffles…Measure out three strips of different coordinating fabric the length of the fat quarter (or the width…I actually used the width – 18" each x 5.75" wide) and sew them together, hem them, and do a basting stitch again at the bottom to create a ruffle. I then actually sewed it into a circle, gathered the basting stitch and put it up on the bottom of the tshirt:


Here's the trick…Make sure they are right sides together and that the hemmed edge is on the top.

Do this twice…ie…two ruffles. You can do a third if you leave enough room at the bottom of your tshirt. And don't forget to pin, pin, pin. It makes it all so much easier and it looks sooo much better, too!! trust me on this one! :) 

Finish the seam…ie, zigzag it all around and then cut of the excess fabric and your ruffles are done!!! I did iron the seam down. I love ruffles!!

So remember that big seam down the front of the dress? Here I added Steam-a-seam to the back of my fabric and put it through my Big Shot die cutter with my funky heart die…and got these:


I ironed them on to the front on top of the goofy seam (COVER up #2), and zigzagged around them…LOVE the red thread…

I used a tearable stabilizer to make the zigzagging easier. Love love love that tip!! 


then you just tear it out!! and they are stable! heehee…

I added one more flower and two buttons and I was done!! 


Isn't this the perfect Valentine's Dress????

Here is our photo shoot!! (can you tell it's 28 degrees and very cloudy here in Houston???)


Lil's comment?

This is the funnest photo shoot with chocolate!!!










thanks, Lil for your fun photo shoot and for being my model today!!


(btw, she still has it on!! the best compliment for a handmade garment is that the wearer won't take it off!! LOL!!)


Thanks sooo much for sticking with me with this tutorial! I am kind of an outloud person, but I hope not to admit all of my shortcomings each tutorial!! LOL!! My whole impetus is to encourage you that you, too, can do this!! It's like when I used to teach rubber stamping…if something isn't stamped right, flip the paper over or stamp something and glue it right on top of what you messed up!! 🙂 (confession #3 – I actually threw this tshirt away about a quarter of the way through the process…Luckily I believe in perseverance!! yay!!)

And I encourage you to join me in upping your sewing skills this year. Get a book from the library or bookstore like Stitch By Stitch. I actually have this book…boy, do I need to work through it! Another idea is to go to your local Quilting store and take a class… Or join us over at this site, 365 days of Sewing, to learn something new EVERY day about how to sew!! I'm excited to learn with you!!! yay!!!

and don't forget to let me know if you use this tutorial or make something similar!! 

happy day!!


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