Whether you call it upcycling or refashioning, it's all the rage. Everywhere I look, people are converting old t-shirts into fabulously funky kids' clothes. Although I own more fabric than I'll ever be able to sew in my lifetime, I couldn't help myself and had to get my hands on some fun vintage shirts.
So I shopped Etsy (though thift stores would surely have been better) and paid too much for a sparkly(!), rainbow(!) carebear(!) t-shirt straight out of the 1980s. I cut it into a dress bodice and then began second-guessing my design choice. Should I use raglan-style sleeves? Should I use a waist strip of coordinating fabric? Should I make the skirt twirly or a-line? Oh no!
Then I did what any reasonable dress maker would do. I ran to Target and bought a cheapie t-shirt so I could make a sample dress (again, nevermind that I have cabinets full of fabric). I chose coordinating fabric that I had on hand, but I didn't bother to prewash anything (gasp!). This is what I came up with, though the photo makes the neckline look a little wonky, which it isn't really:
My twirly girly loved it. Apparently it was the perfect dress for happily making mudcakes.
Carebear is now on the backburner though, because I decided to first convert an old Kermit the Frog shirt of mine, which I wore many years ago for an artichoke/crazy shirt party (yes, really), into a dress. Strawberry Shortcake is waiting in the wings too. I can't neglect my little guy, so Captain America is in the queue for him, for conversion to hoodie. (Let's not talk about the fact that my pre-kids self swore to avoid licensed characters.)
Pattern Notes: I started with the Lil Blue Boo Sienna Dress pattern. After studying lots of pictures of dresses made from this pattern, I decided to lower the neckline slightly in front and raise it slightly in back. I also altered the front armpit-to-neck angle slightly. I determined neckband length as 80% of the opening. I added a waistband strip. I used a circle skirt, guided by the MADE's calculation instructions, (radious = waistband measurement without seam allowances divided by 6.28).