I found this awesome rose-bud women’s polo at the Sewing Summit thrift excursion for $2. The fabric is soft & the print is so dainty, I just fell in love. Originally, I was planning on doing some transformation for me, but I never quite got the vision for it. As I checked out at DI & showed off my sweet find to my Sewing Summit friends, a few of them didn’t get the vision either.
This was meant to be a little girl’s dress. A few nights ago I was a bit bored & craving a little sewing project so I got it out & started looking at it. Originally I thought about doing a little scoop neck sheath for Penelope, but thought the finishing might look a bit shoddy if I try to take off the polo collar. Penelope was in the room, so I had her try on the untailored shirt & discovered that the neck was perfect as-is. If I buttoned it all the way to the top, it looked like a normal, meant-to-be-worn-by-a-toddler neckline. I used the same process as Penelope’s little black dress from two years ago, but made a few minor changes that ended up making a huge difference.
Here’s how I did it:
- cut off the arms
- cut off the skirt (the trunk, just below the arm pits)
- laid one of Penelope’s shirts (that still fits) and cut out the silhouette of the arms & bodice, leaving about an inch of seam allowance all the way around
- turned the bodice inside out & sewed up the sides
- fitted the bodice to Penelope & made markings for the sleeves (you want them at a slight angle)
- sewed a baste stitch with elastic thread in the bobbin at the loosest tension all the way around the skirt for the skirt to gather. *
- turned skirt inside-out & bodice right-side-in
- pinned the skirt to the bodice, lining up the side seams then finding centers all the way around
- sewed a zig-zag stitch (3mm wide 3mm long) with the elastic bobbin with the original skirt baste stitch in the middle of either side of the zag
- turned right side out
- hemmed the sleeves using a slip stitch (or blind hem)
*I can’t remember where I saw this little tip for gathering, so if you know it, please send the link to me! This tip was SO incredibly helpful! I’ll never gather without an elastic thread ever again.
It was sort of a happy accident that I sewed the two pieces together with the elastic bobbin. I usually just do zig zag stitch (my machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch), but it’s never as stretchy as I want it & often times looks pretty wonky. Using the elastic thread in the bobbin not only gave me more stretch, but it also pulled the stitches straighter, so when I turned the garment right side out, it looked nicely finished. I’m DEFINITELY going to use this technique in the future. Maybe for a project for me?
I’m so proud of this project. It’s such a sweet little girl’s dress! Penelope has refused to take it off since I finished it = job well done!
It’s getting harder & harder to get her to sit still these days. I wish I could steal all of her energy & use it as my own.