I have recently found cute pictures of shirt dress that were made. I just loved them and really wanted to make one. So since my nieces are still in town, I bought a few things and started working. I decided that I would make this into a tutorial, for my sister mostly, but just in case anyone else wanted to know how I made it and/or if they wanted to make it. If you have any questions please let me know!
1 shirt of any size and color * I am making this a size 5T but also made a 3T.
(3) 3/8 of a yard of fabric, matching the color of your shirt.
Ribbon or bow
Begin by cutting your material into 4” strips. *You will have extras
Then cut your shirt. I took off 3” off the bottom. But if you want you could put the shirt on your child and pin or mark where their hip is. This will be where your layers will begin.
Now you will need to gather your stripes and sew them together. These are the different lengths that I have my tiers in.
Tier 1 – 4” x 40”
Tier 2 – 4”x46”
Tier 3 – 4”x52”
Tier 4 – 4”X58”
*Note- if you want a more “gathered” look you can add more length to your tiers to achieve that, but you will need more material.
Sew the edges together and open the seams and press.
To make my seams easier for me to use for when I gather it, I divided my strips in half, so I will have 2 strips that will equal the desired length.
Once you have your stripes all sewed together you can now gather the top edge only of the strips. (If you have an easier way of doing this section, feel free. This is how I was taught to gather)
Loosen your stitch width and length. This will make it easier to pull the thread. Stitch all the way around your strip. I start at one side of the seams and stop just on the other side. (This includes stitching through the other seam) Make sure to leave a long tail of thread.
Now pull one of the treads, this will make your strip “gather”
I gather the strip quite a bit, that way when I match it up to the other end of the tiers, I can pull it out as I go, to make it more even.
With right sides together, pin the seams together (this is where cutting the lengths in half come in handy). Then loosen the gathers as you go to have each strip pin together.
After you have stitched the tiers together, I zig-zag the edges. This will prevent the fraying. You could also serge this.
Continue this for the rest of the tiers. *If you have a taller child, add more tiers. If you have a shorter child, use less tiers. The best thing about this is you can alter it very easily to custom fit your child (neice).
Now once you have the skirt done, hem the bottom tier. I find it easier if you do this before you attach it to the shirt. Hem it in any way you like.
Before attaching the shirt to the skirt, put a “stay stitch” at the bottom of the shirt. This will help with the stretching of the knit shirt. Gather the top tier and pin like the other tiers to the top of the shirt.
At this point, you can leave it if you like, or you can add some embellishments to the dress. I was going to add a ribbon to the dress where the shirt and skirt meet, but got the wrong ribbon, so instead I just used a premade ribbon (got it at Walmart) and stitched to the dress. And then you are done!