Recycle an old T-shirt

..and get a new dress!
Do you have an old T-shirt that you love, but maybe it's getting a little frayed on the end, or faded? Or maybe it's just too big but you can't bring yourself to throw it out?
Why not make it into a mod dress?

You'll need:


1) Take the old t-shirt and figure out where you want to cut it. If you've got a tummy, like me, you probably want an empire waistline. Tiny boobs? Go for a babydoll. Just put the t-shirt on, and mark (with pins or a chalk pencil) where you want the waistline to be. Then cut there. Alternately, if you want a 1920's drop-waist look, don't cut the shirt, just add the skirt to the bottom of it.

2) Gather the top of your piece of fabric (which will be the waistline). To do this, simply sew a line of stitching (on the longest stitch possible, and don't backstitch) 1/2" above the selvage edge of the fabric. Then sew a second line, just like the first, between the original stitch line and the edge of the fabric (try to keep it 1/4" from the edge of the fabric). Make sure you leave long enough tails of thread on either end of both stitches. Knot the tails on one side, say the left, so they're secure. Working on the other side of the fabric, the right, separate the top threads from the bottom threads. GENTLY pull the top threads and watch the fabric pucker and gather. Tada! Once you've got the fabric gathered so that it's the same circumference as the newly-cut waistline of your t-shirt, knot the ends of thread you were pulling. Make sure you make the gathered pleats evenly distributed across the top of the skirt fabric.

3) With right sides together, sew the edges of your skirt so you have a tube of fabric, with gathers at the top edge. Press open the seam if you'd like.

4) With right sides together, pin the gathered edge of the skirt to the newly-cut waistline of the t-shirt. Sew it (you'll be sewing over the gathers, and that's fine).

5) Turn right side out, trim the waistband seam, and iron it open.

6) Hem the bottom edge of the skirt (for directions on this, see my earlier tutorial, The Twenty Minute Skirt).

7) Voila! A new, mod, t-shirt dress.

Decorate it, if you'd like. You can add ribbons or lace to the hem, make an handstitch a cute bow to the waistband, add a snazzy belt to the waistband, cut and sew a slit in the skirt, etc.
Enjoy!

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