Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A New Look for an Old Shirt

A librarian once told me that if you check out a book more than three times it is a book that you should own. Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts is now a library book that really needs to be in my own library. It’s thick glossy pages full of amazing images of luscious fabric and exquisite craftsmanship it is truly a feast for the sewer/crafter. Really…the woman is amazing. I love good design…and her book is full of it.

One of the projects that caught my eye…let me rephrase…one of the hundreds of ideas and projects I feasted on from this book…was a delightful little shift dress made from a mens button-down work shirt. Such a darling way to repurpose and recycle clothing. One of my favorite things! (See here and here!)

May 116

It just so happens that I have a bin filled with old work shirts worn in the orchards by my father in law that I plan to use in a bedspread for my boy. One could be spared for my girls “need” for another dress!!!

The dress couldn’t be simpler to make. Print out the pattern from a CD included with the book…May 115

lay the shirt out flat…May 120cut it out…sew it up…add the binding…and off you go! I did change the pattern a bit…and will adjust it again when I make another. The sleeves were too snug and made it tricky for her to get it on and off on her own…a necessity around here! Also the chest measurement was a bit snug as well…I’ll add a bit to that for the next one. The pattern seems to be designed for a very slender shape. But it is very easy to adjust…!

With the sleeves I just cut them to make a little cap sleeve. Really…I didn’t sketch it or anything…just saw that they didn’t fit and chopped them off. At first when I added the binding to the new sleeves they stuck out a bit like wings. Actually they reminded me of this!! So I just gave them a little tuck…while she was wearing it I might add…and it turned out just right!

May 373

All in all it is a fabulous little dress. Super simple, light and breezy for hot summer days, and just a great little play dress. Way to go Martha…or whichever fabulous staff member designed this dress!

May 370

May 375Happy sewing friends!

May 383 May 380 May 381 May 382