Monday, July 13, 2009

tiered teeshirt dress

Here is another variation on the teeshirt dress. I think this one is easier than the circle skirt variation (although that one is not really hard, either) and after making a few of these you will be a pro at gathering!

First, gather your materials. You will need a teeshirt and skirt fabric. The skirt fabric is totally up to you. You can use all one fabric and use the tiers to create fullness or you can use multiple fabrics. Not all these examples are on a teeshirt dress, but you can get an idea of the different things you can do with a tiered skirt:
bug dress

Once you have decided on your fabrics you need to do some (simple) math. Decide how long you want the skirt to be. Divide that by the number of tiers you want your skirt to have. This is how WIDE each tier of the skirt will be except for the bottom tier. For the bottom tier you need to add a hem allowance. If you're folding up twice and stitching like we did in the first dress, add 2 inches.

So, if I want my finished skirt to be 15 inches long and I'm using 3 tiers, the first two tiers will be 5 inches wide (15/3= 5) and the bottom tier will be 7 inches wide (15/3= 5+2= 7)

My formula for determining the length of the tier is:
1st tier = X
2nd tier= X + (1/2 * X)
3rd tier= 2X

My most often used value for X is one cut salvage to salvage (side to side), or 45 inches. The second tier is then one cut salvage to salvage plus another 1/2 cut salvage to salvage and the third is two cuts salvage to salvage.

Sew your tiers together. They should look something like this:

Now you're going to gather the longest tier to fit with the shortest tier. Sew the two tiers together being careful to keep the same seam allowance the entire time. This is Very Important to the finshed skirt!

repeat, gathering the middle layer and attaching it to the top layer:

Fold the skirt in half, matching the tiers up as much as possible (this is why it was so important to keep the same seam allowance! If you didn't your tiers won't match up!) and sew up the side:

Gather the top of the skirt and attach to the shirt in the same way you attached the regular teeshirt dress. Finish the hem and you're done!

Teeshirt Twirly Dress


Haha! It's been waaaay more than a few days. Oh well, better late than never, right? This is my favorite version of the teeshirt dress to make for my daughter. It uses a little more fabric for the skirt and cut in a way that makes it nice and twirly, which is a must for the 3-4 year old set.

First, gather your materials. You need a teeshirt (duh!), a pattern for a circle skirt (I like Favorite Things Little Circle Skirt.), and about 1 yard of fabric. You might get by with less depending on the print you choose.

Cut out your skirt pieces based on your circle skirt pattern. Don't cut out any waist bands. You don't need them because you are attaching the skirt to the shirt. Pay attention to the arrow on the pattern piece: that should run up and down with the fabric. It may be tempting to try to conserve fabric by turning the pattern piece sideways, but don't do it! This is important to make the dress hang right when it's finished. Also cut your teeshirt off if you need to.

Now, sew your skirt pieces together. It will look like this when you are done:

Fold the skirt in half. You want to be looking at two seams in the front with NO seams on the side. If you line up the seams so that there are two on the sides, you will also have a seam right down the front and right down the back, which is NOT flattering. ; ) Take pins, or a fabric marker and mark where the sides are. (Different fabric to make it easier to see the seams.)

Now line up those side markings with the sides of the shirt. The shirt should be right side out while you will be looking at the wrong side of the skirt fabric. Apparently I neglected to take a picture of this step with the circle skirt, but it's the same way you attach the skirt in the regular teeshirt dress:

Sew the skirt to the shirt. You will need to stop frequently to adjust the skirt as you are sewing a curved line (the skirt) to a straight line. Pull on the skirt fabric to make it somewhat straight as you sew it. Also try your hardest to line up the side you marked on the skirt to the side of the shirt.

Now all that's left to do is to hem!