Oh boy, am I tickled with this one! I giggled the whole time I was sewing this up. It's been in my head for a long time now. Back in February, I blogged about an art lesson I was teaching my first graders. They answered the question, Is clothing art? and designed their own clothing using all sorts of wallpaper scraps. It's a great lesson. We designed clothing on a large sheet of paper underneath an oval. At the end, we cut out the oval and the kids "try on" their creations by holding their face up to the oval. Hilarity ensues.
Anyway, last year I had students spend a day sketching ideas first, much like a real fashion designer would. Six year old fashion designers! Their drawings were so amazing- I was totally inspired. I knew I had to try and make something they designed. I finally got around to it this past weekend.
I had the perfect fabric in my stash for the little green top- this stripey rayon knit. Don't you love the scallops? Ha! That's what convinced me to make it up. It's not exactly like the drawing, of course. Just my interpretation of it. The fabric is quite possibly the most difficult fabric I've worked with yet. It's lightweight, bouncy, super drape-y, clingy and very stretchable. I fought with it. Battled with it. I ended up underlining it with a cotton interlock that was much better behaved. I was very careful not to stretch out the rayon knit as I basted it to the interlock. I think it worked out. I'll be interested to see what happens when I wash the dress.
It's definitely not perfect, but I love it anyway. I used my favorite Burda 2-2011 long sleeve tee pattern (are you tired of hearing about it?) to make up the dress pattern. I also used my a-line skirt pattern to help guide me on width and length for the bottom half of the dress. I wish I had actually made a paper pattern because I'd love to make another tee shirt dress in the future, but I didn't. I just pinned everything on the fabric as I went. I had to piece the back because of the direction of the stripes. We'll just call that an intentional design feature.
Alright, so it may make my butt look big-- I'm okay with that. It's a tee dress. For loungin'.
I sewed the scallops first. I fused tricot interfacing to the hem of the rayon knit and then sewed the scallops with the interlock, right sides facing. Sherry, your tutorial was mucho helpful. I flipped the interlock to the inside, carefully poked and pressed the scallops. It didn't take long at all. Then I treated the interlock like an underlining and basted all the edges. At risk of upsetting the sewing gods, I didn't do it by hand. I used a super wide zig zag stitch and loosened up the top thread tension all the way. Worked like a charm. Then I sewed up the rest of the dress with a narrow zig zag, matching stripes. One sleeve is a tiny bit off. Luckily I am not a perfectionist. I love the neck binding and how it looks like two different pieces.
I had an incredibly awesome time making this. So much fun bringing one of those drawings to life. I may have to try another soon. That bicycle tee is calling my name...