Hi! My name is Marta and I live in Cascais, Portugal, near a beach called Guincho. That’s why my blog’s name is DoGuincho (it means “From Guincho”) and it posts my adventures as a crafter, architect, windsurfer and mother of two girls.
Today I’m sharing a tutorial to transform a man's shirt into a summer dress for a girl.To make this dress you need a man's shirt and 15cm of fabric by 1.50m wide. I’m making a dress for Ines, my younger child who is 3 years old.
To make the pattern, start by taking the measurement around the chest and the height from the chest to the knees of the child. Ines is 52cm around the chest and 40cm from her chest to her knees.
As the front and back of the dress are alike, make the following calculation to obtain the upper width:
1 - Divide the chest measurement by 2: 52/2 = 26cm2 - Add 1cm so that the dress doesn’t fit too tight: 26 +1 = 27cm 3 - Add 2cm for the side seams: 27 +2 = 29cm 4 - With a total of six pleats, add 2cm for each pleat: 29 + 2x6 = 29 +12 = 41cm For the bottom width it is best to use the shirt’s full width as long as it doesn’t exceed twice the final chest measurement. If you are using the shirt’s original hem, the height you measured will be the final height of the pattern. In Ines dress it is 40cm. If you have to make a hem you should add about 3cm. Now that you have all the measurements it is time to draw the pattern. You can draw it directly on the back and front fabrics of the dress. First mark the height from the hem to the chest (40cm in Ines dress) and trace a line with the chest width (41cm in Ines dress). Then draw two perpendicular lines, about 12cm long for the pleats. Finally draw two diagonal lines down to the hem.
For the sash cut two strips of flowered fabric 7cm wide and 70cm long. Add some length if you are making the dress for an older child.For the top finishing band cut another strip that should be 7cm wide and have the chest measurement plus 6cm. For Ines dress: 52+6cm = 58cm. For the shoulders straps cut two strips of 7x30cm. Add some length if you are making the dress for an older child.
Repeat for shoulder straps but sewing along one long side and two short ones, leaving a small opening in the long side so you can turn around the straps right-side out. Close the opening with handmade invisible stitches.
Draft three equidistant pleats on the top of the two sides of both back and front main panels of the dress, a total of 12 pleats. Do not forget that the pleats are all facing out, to the sides of the dress. Mark the pleats from the middle of the dress as follows:
1 – Measurement from the middle of the dress to the first pleat: 2.5 cm2 – Measurement of the pleat: 2x1cm 3 – Measurement of the space between pleats: 1.5 cm That is: 2.5cm + 2cm (pleat) + 1.5cm + 2cm (pleat) + 1.5 + 2 (pleat). Pin the pleats and, at the base of the front outer pleats, pin the unfinished ends of the sashes. Sew each one of the pleats with the defined height (12cm for Ines´s dress) and then topstitch them.
Pin and then sew the front of the shoulder straps to the inside of the dress, aligned with the outer pleats. Before sewing the back straps try the dress on the child to adjust their length. The back shoulder straps can be sewn aligned with the inner or outer pleats. In Ines dress, I aligned them with the inner pleats.
Now you just have to steal an old shirt from your husband, father, friend or brother ... and sew!
If you want you can also change the buttons.With the sleeves you can make a hair ribbon to match.