September 3, 2012

Girl's Striped Maxi Dress Tutorial

Hello all!  Time for another refashion! Yay!
Once again I was going to throw out/give away 2 knit tees.  Emily was sick and the time and I thought she would really like a comfy new dress.  

I took pictures of the process but I can't find them, so I'll just explain what I did.

1. Find a t-shirt that fits your little girl and place it over the top of the shirt that you want to use for the neckline.  I liked the brown ribbed neckline of the striped one.

2. Yoke Piece: Since this is a sleeveless dress, the width should be the same as the girl's shirt from armhole seam to armhole seam.  Cut from the shoulder seam down to about an inch below the neckline. and then straight across. Remember to cut through both layers.  Now you have your pre-finished neckline and yoke piece.

3. First Tier: This is cut from your second, or contrast, t-shirt.  It should be as tall as your yoke piece.  This is completely dependent on how low shirt #1's neckline was.  The width should be as wide and the bottom of the yoke.

4. Second Tier: Should be from 1st shirt, and approximately the same height as first tier.  Its top edge should be as wide as the tier above it but you should start to increase the width towards the bottom.

 5. Third, fourth, and fifth tiers start as wide as the tier above them but continue to increase in width at the bottom.  On tier 2 I only increased the width maybe a half inch on either side.  But you have to increase the next tiers 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches on both sides if you want her to be able to walk in the dress. :-)  These three tiers also increase in length.  3 is 1 1/4 times the size of 2.  4 is 2 times the size of 2. 5 was almost 3 times the size of 2.

6.  Ruffle:  I cut the bottom three inches off the bigger t-shirt and stretched the 5th tier while I sewed it on to make the ruffle.  Easy-peasy because the hem, like the neckline, is already done!

7. Sewing!  Sew up both side of tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5.

8. Sew the yoke to tier 1. (The front piece to the front of the yoke the back piece to the back of the yoke)  Remember, right sides together on all of this, if that isn't already obvious.  The yoke and 1 are now one piece with the finished neckline hole in the middle.

9. With right sides together lay your girl's sizing t-shirt over the yoke-1 piece and pin where the bottom of the armhole is.  Hint: it isn't going to be in the yoke, it is going to be in tier 1.  Then remove your sizing Tee and sew up the sides to the pin.  It should look something like below when turned right sides out.

 10. With right sides together and matching side seams, sew yoke-1 to 2.  Then 2 to 3. And 3 to 4 etc.  You may have to stretch your knits to make them fit, especially when you get to the ruffle at the bottom.

11.Serge, finish, or leave you armholes (knits don't fray!)

12. Enjoy!  My little sis loves hers.  As you can see above it is filthy. :-)  She does everything in it.  Happy Sewing!


  1. Wow! she is growing up! She seems so much older than the last time I saw her. What was that...2 years ago now?

    1. Wow! Has it really been that long? We need to get back together! Be sure to bring Lydia too. :-)

  2. Hi Joanna, your blog has been listed at :-)

  3. LOVE E's dress, Joanna! You are a real Renaissance lady! :) Mrs. Bloom

  4. Love the dress!