After seeing this tutorial on how to make a maxi dress using a shirt you already have and some fabric, I just HAD to try to make one for Natalie. She has several shirts that fit just fine but are getting a little short. I had picked up a pack of pillowcases from Ross awhile back and absolutely adored the grey and white pattern. I intended to make a pillowcase dress with them, but since there are two pillowcases, I decided to try the maxi dress too.
If you'd like specific instructions, head over to Simple Simon & Company. I'll give you a short run-down of the steps. It really is a simple project. And while Liz at Simple Simon & Company states she finished within an hour, it took me about three hours (I'm still fairly new at this whole sewing thing).
Here is the short, pictureless version of how to make this adorable dress:
1. Find a shirt you already have (or buy a new one in the color/design you want) and cut the bottom off about 1/2 an inch under the sleeves.
2. Measure your little one from a little under her arms to her ankles. Add 1 1/2 inches to that length to allow for seams. (Nat's is actually a little shorter than I expected so I'd probably add 2 to 2 1/2 inches next time I make this dress since I don't sew seams very well apparently.)
3. For the width of the fabric measure the width of the shirt you're using then multiply that by 3. This measurement worked out really well for me, even with the gathering in a few steps.
4. Now that the fabric is cut to the correct length and width, match right sides and sew the seam for the side of the dress.
5. Baste stitch the top of the fabric, then gather it enough so that it's about the same width as the shirt.
6. Attach the shirt to the fabric, right sides facing.
7. Hem the bottom of the fabric and voila! You're done!
One thing I would probably do differently next time also is use a stretchier fabric. The fabric is cotton so there isn't much give. Natalie walked around with her legs wide apart for awhile cause she wasn't used to long dresses like this. She eventually got used to it and even rode her bike while wearing it!
If you make this style dress, post a link to it or a picture. I'd love to see what you made!