I have (gladly!) given away pretty much all of my maternity wear. I do have a couple of items hanging about that were good for breastfeeding, but I'm so sick of them that they have not been worn for a long time. So, I decided to turn an old maternity t-shirt into something that would actually get worn!
A few months back I unfortunately ruined some gorgeous Michael Miller Pretty Bird fabric by pre-washing it with another blue which ran :( It is such a special fabric that I still wanted to use it. I only had a yard and thankfully the worst staining was near one of the selvedges. I'm hoping the end result is so lovely that no one notices the remaining discoloration :)
|My stained yard of Michael Miller Pretty Birds|
So, in case you have some old t-shirts (or maternity tops) that need to be repurposed into something pretty, here is how I made my dress.
1 yard fabric (I used cotton. You could easily use 1 meter or more.)
1 maternity t-shirt
enough 1" width elastic to go around your waist (I used 1" elastic for comfort, but you could use any width really as long as you are comfortable sewing with it.)
Overlocker/Serger (not necessary but makes it quicker)
1. Take in your maternity t-shirt until it fits snugly. Remember that it is stretch so you will need to alter the tension on your overlocker and stretch your fabric out as it passes through the machine. (Skip this step if you are using a regular fitting t-shirt.)
2. Iron your yard of fabric. Cut it in half selvedge to selvedge so you now have two half yard pieces. If you're short like me this will give you just enough for a skirt. If you're taller you might want to add an extra band of fabric to lengthen to skirt or have your skirt starting on your hips.
3. With right sides facing join your two pieces of fabric at the selvedges, remembering to come in an inch or so to ensure that you don't end up with selvedges showing in your skirt. If your fabric is directional make sure that both pieces are the same way up.
4. Overlock or zigzag both raw edges of your skirt piece.
5. Hem the bottom of your skirt using the smallest hem possible. I overlocked, folded up once and then once again so my hem is about 1/4".
6. Mark the point on your t-shirt where you would like your skirt to start. I went for my natural waist line. Cut your shirt off about an inch below this line and overlock your edge.
|Wow! Look how crooked my cutting is there! Opps!|
7. Take your elastic and cut it slightly smaller than your waist (or the point at which you will join it to your t-shirt). Join the ends together to form a circle.
Now you want to gather your skirt. There are a number of ways to do this, but I wanted quick, simple and comfortable. I didn't use pins as I am lazy when it comes to sewing for me.
8. Make four equally spaced marks on your elastic circle. You can do this by laying your elastic circle flat and mark the two "ends", next place these two marks together and mark the ends again.
9. Pin your elastic to the wrong side of the top of your skirt. Use your markings to aid you in evenly pinning your elastic. Don't worry that your elastic is much smaller than your skirt, you will stretch the elastic out while you sew and it will gather your skirt for you. Just make sure that your elastic can stretch as far as the circumference of your skirt.
9. Select a stitch on your machine that is appropriate for elastic, if you don't have a specific stitch, use a zigzag. (You have already finished all of your edges so you are only thinking about attaching your skirt to elastic.)
10. With your elastic flush to the top of your skirt, attach your elastic to the wrong side of your skirt. Just keep stretching out your elastic. You will need to stop regularly so make sure that your machine is in needle down mode :)
You now have a lovely gathered skirt that you want to join to your cut off t-shirt.
11. Turn your skirt right side out and your t-shirt wrong side out. Place your skirt inside your t-shirt with the bottom of the t-shirt against the top of the skirt.
12. With edges flush pin the top of your skirt to the bottom of your t-shirt. Again you will want to use an elastic or stretch stitch. When joining your top and skirt make sure that you sew further in than your previous stitching. Don't forget to stretch out your t-shirt and elastic a little as you feed it into the machine.
13. Turn inside out and voila! You now have a dress.
I was really happy with my dress but I felt that it looked a little like a t-shirt and skirt sewn together so I made a fabric brooch to go with it :)
My maternity t-shirt hadn't been worn for a year but I wore this dress the day after I made it and felt gorgeous all day!
This is my first attempt at a tutorial so I'd love your feedback! Please be nice :)