nI’ve seen so many pinnings of this summer camp t shirt dress I made awhile back that I thought it would be a good idea to offer a tutorial so you can make one, too. It’s super easy. It’s basically a t shirt into a pillowcase style dress with some rosettes thrown in for good measure.
T-shirt into Chic Summer Dress
- 1 t shirt
- thread to match
- 2 yds of grosgrain ribbon 1-2 1/2 inches wide
- fabric or t shirt scraps for rosettes
Super Easy Armhole Binding Method
6. With the WRONG SIDE of the dress facing up, fold the armhole casing in half lengthwise with WRONG SIDES together. Line it up along the armhole edge on the WRONG SIDE of the dress. Pin it along the armhole’s WRONG SIDE. Make sure you stretch a bit as you pin because the armhole binding needs to be stretched, so that it doesn’t come out wonky.
Notice how I left a little extra of the binding at the edges in the picture above. When you snip it off later, it lines up perfectly.
7. Begin sewing the binding along the armhole and making sure to pull the binding as you sew — not as far as it will go, but enough to give it a good stretch. If you look at the picture, you can see I’m pulling tight enough that the knit fabric is looking like a ribknit.
**If you have a serger, serge the binding on. If you just have a sewing machine, use a zigzag and then once you’re done, cut off the excess of the seam right up to the zigzag stitch.
8. Once you have finished sewing the binding, flip the dress so that the right side is up, it should look like this with the seam on the right side of the fabric. It looks totally wrong, but believe me, it’s correct.
To topstitch, I line the edge of the binding up with the inner side of my presser foot as shown.
10. Once you’ve finished the armhole bindings, next you can hem the tops of the front and back as shown. I usually use about a 1 to 1 1/4 inch hem depending on the size of my ribbon.
11. Next is inserting the ribbon. I use a safety pin and insert it through the front pull through, then insert it into the back and come out the other side of the back. Then, I tie off on one shoulder.If you don’t like this, you can cut the ribbon in half and insert one in the front and one in the back and tie at each shoulder. It’s really just a preference.
12. Fit problems!! So, let’s say you finish the dress and it fits like a tent or the arm holes are too hanging too low. Here is my solution. First put the dress on the child and determine how much of the armhole needs to be closed. For the dress below, my youngest is teensy for her age, so I determined that 2 inches on each side of the armhole needed to go — a total of 4 inches off each armhole.
I took off the dress and then measured the 2 inches again and pinned. Then, I pinned in a diagonal line towards the side seam of the hem.
In the picture below, you can see the dress is upside down. The reason for this is because it is better to sew from the hem TOWARD the armhole. It’s much easier to start out lining up the hem than end up with a wonky hemline.
Next, starting at the hemline and heading toward the armhole, I sewed a straight stitch.