I don’t know how we ended up with so darn many white t-shirts (you know, the kind with messages/organizations/events on them?). We’ve been out of college long enough that you’d think that our white-t-shirt-with-a-message stash would be seriously diminished by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps we get them more often than I recall? Perhaps they multiply on their own? Whatever the case may be, there is a sea of white t-shirts in my To Be Refashioned drawer. My goal for the month? Use up some of this plethora of white jersey!
And what better use of soft, white t-shirt-y material than a new (and faster!) version of the J Crew-y ruffle dress?
To simultaneously make a dress for a sweet little girl in your life (our recipient was Burke’s sweet friend Eleanora ["Nowa"]) and make a dent in your white t-shirt refashion pile, you’ll need:
-several white tshirts (I used the blank backs of two men’s L t-shirts for the front and back of the dress and part of another white tshirt to make the lines of ruffles)
-a fabric pen
-a ‘template’ dress in the size you’re hoping to make (for tracing)
-a sewing machine (I took this opportunity to use the fabulous embroidery options on my sewing machine, but this is, of course, optional)
First, follow steps 1-6 of the original J Crew-y ruffle dress to make your base. I added little ribbon belt loops at step 6 to better hold the belt in place on the dress… you can too, if you want.
With your ‘base’ made, cut long strips of 2″ wide white jersey from your tshirt. These will become your ribbon rows. Sew a basting stitch down the middle of the strip, pull on the thread to ruffle, and pin in place on your dress. Stitch a straight line to secure your ruffle rows.
For a 18-24m dress, sew 3 or 4 rows of ruffles. Adjust to meet your preferences and the size of your dress (I sewed rows of ruffles until I hit the belt loops and then stopped so that the belt would fall just under the ruffle-y top).
If your sewing machine has various flower-y embroidery stitches, add floral white-on-white embroidered trim to the bottom of your dress near your hem. I love pretty (and intricate) details, and I love white-on-white, so I’d recommend this little detail if you have the capability.
Make a ruffle belt (see steps 7 and 8 of the original tutorial if you need more detail) to complete the ensemble. Give as a gift (or keep for your daughter!).
Now wasn’t that a terrific use of a pile of white t-shirts?