T-Shirt Surgery: Lace and Bow Back Minidress Tutorial

By ari - September 06, 2011

Turn an oversized tee from this

To this! 
{SORRY! I can't find the original finished photo, so here is a webcam snap of it. I will replace this with the proper photo asap!}

Hit the jump below for the full tutorial...

You're going to need:
An oversized t-shirt [hell a regular fitting tee will do fine!]
The t-shirt pattern you made!
Stretch lace/ribbon

I cut up one of the sideseams of the shirt and across the shoulders so I could open the shirt out.

Fold the shirt in half so you can see the print, making sure it's centered! Pin the front pattern to the shirt and cut out

Pin the sleeve pattern to the existing sleeve and cut it out. I used the hem on the original sleeve

Now trace around the back of your minidress pattern. I traced about 5cm under the armpit then ruled a line across.
The pattern piece is sideways, the shoulder is at the top left, the neckline on the left
Draw a line from the bottom of the piece to the centre back, anywhere you like.

I drew a line across the back of the mini dress pattern so I could match up the seams. 

Fold the back pattern piece of the mini dress at the line you made, then ad one cm and cut out. This is the lower back and majority of the back of the dress

I was running out of t-shirt at this time, so my upper back piece came out a little short! 

No matter! I cut the remaining sections out of scraps and stitched them on

Pin the sleeves so the right sides are on the insides and stitch

Using a zigzag stitch, stitch the lace to the raw bottom edge of the upper back section. Sew lace to the top of the main part of the back dress too.

It should look like this!

Stitch down the centre back with the longest stitch [or the gathering stitch if you have it on your machine]. Gently pull the threads before clipping them, helping the fabric with your fingers to gather up.

Stitch the back to the front at the shoulders

It should look like this [inside out]

Pin the front and back armpit together at the side seams, make sure the upper section goes underneath the lower back section.

Pin the rest of side seams of the front to the back + Stitch!

Pin the sleeves to the armholes and stitch [One day very soon I'll put up a  sleeve attaching tutorial!]

Make a floppy bow from the scraps! I used the side pieces I had cut off

Stitch them together so you have one long strip

Tie into a bow

 I safety pinned the floppy bow over the gathered piece of the back

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  1. awesome!! love that touch of lace too!

  2. I love this dress. Hopefully once I'm finished at work I'll have some quality DIY time, so I can try all your tutes!


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