Saturday, April 20, 2013

Upcycled t-shirt pillowcase dress

A friend asked me if I knew how to make a t-shirt 
in to a pillowcase dress so I thought I'd give it a try.

I found this shirt for 50 cents at a garage sale.  
It seemed like a great shirt to experiment with.  

This was a youth size medium and made a 3T size dress 
You can see that it's a little long on my girl that just turned 2.  
It could easily be made shorter though.  To begin, turn the shirt inside out.  Mark the sides and top of the dress as shown.  
I have a 2T armhole template but just drawing a "j" shape would work too.  
Pin the shirt together along the edges.

Sew the sides of the shirt together up to the armholes, 
then cut off the excess.

Turn the shirt right side out, fold the edge of the armholes down, 
pin in place, and sew.

Fold the top of the front down to the desired location.  
Then fold the top portion in half to make a channel for the ribbon to go through.  Use the front as a guide for the back channel and then sew.

At this point, you could just put a ribbon through the channels and be done.  I thought the dress was too plain though and wanted to add a ruffle.  The fabric for my ruffle was 5" long and twice as wide as the perimeter of the dress.  I folded the bottom edge over twice and sewed it closed to 
keep the raw edges from being exposed. 
 Sew a loose straight stitch (don't back stitch!) along the top.  
Pull on one string while pushing the fabric and it will ruffle.  
Turn the dress inside out and pin the ruffle in place as shown.  
Make sure to leave some space between where you're sewing 
and the bottom edge of the dress. 

Sew the ruffle on and then turn the dress right side out.  Pin the ruffle down again and sew once more.  

For the tie, I used 3 1/2" x 44" of fabric and sewed it in to a 
tube with one end open.  Turn it right side out and use iron-on tape to seal the open end.  Feed it through the channels and you're done!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hooded towels for toddlers

My daughter just turned two and her baby towels just aren't cutting it anymore.  
I figured the toddler size towels wouldn't be hard to make, but I just never got around to it.  At a consignment sale, I found a ladybug towel for $5 and knew it would be perfect for my daughter, especially since she loves ladybugs and this is a towel for "big kids".  
Turns out it was a great template too!  I made this...

using this!

I taped two pieces of paper together and traced around the head.  
I ended up with two templates; one for the front of the hood and one for the back.


I don't know how to make a pdf, but hopefully you can make your own template based on the measurements.  The hood is 9" tall and 8" wide.  The front is the same as the back except for the cut out.  The distance from the top of the hood to the cut out is 5.75".  Place your templates on a folded towel and cut. 

If you are planning to embellish the hood, now is the time to do it.  I have an embroidery machine so I appliqued a face on to the hood.

After the design is done, zig zag stitch or serge the bottom edge of the front of the hood.  Towels shed like crazy (see the floor?!?!?!?) so this step can not be skipped.  After the serging is done, pin the edge up to the inside of the hood and sew it in place.

  Place this piece over the back of the hood and figure out where you want your ears (if you are adding them).  The ears will need to be on the inside of the hood during this step but will end up on the outside when you're done.  

Straight stitch along the egde and then go back and zig zag stitch or serge it 
to keep it from fraying.  Lookin' good!

Because I made a panda towel, I wanted to add a black band on the towel.  I decided to make it 6" wide, but any width will work.  I could have just used a black towel... Too late now.  Anyway, I marked 6" with chalk and cut along that line.  Then I placed that piece over the white towel and used it to guide me in cutting off the white strip.  I sewed the strip on to the remaining piece of the white towel.

The pin marks the half point of the towel.  This makes it a lot easier to line up the hood.  
I marked the middle of the hood too and after I lined them up, I pinned everything in place.

Do some more straight stitching followed by zig zagging or serging, and your towel is almost done.  I decided to do another straight stitch along the seams to keep them down.  I used black on the hood because the stitches are going through the black on the outside and I didn't want white stitches showing.  I used black for the other seam for the same reason.

Now I have a very happy little girl with two toddler towels!  I imagine more will be coming soon.