Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taylor Swift Dress

Madison got this poster from one of her tweeny magazines and spent the next several weeks begging me to help her make the dress that Taylor is wearing.  I finally told her that if she bought the stuff herself, we could make it.  What a terrible mom I am.  I really didn't think we could pull it off, so I told her the best bet for cheep experimentation was a sheet from Goodwill.  Since they didn't have any black sheets the Half-Price Saturday we went, we took a total plunge off the deep end and bought black t-shirts.

You must know, I make skirts...lots of skirts, because they are fast, stress free (mostly) and cheep.  I have never in my life...wait, once in my life have I ever put in a zipper.  It was a princess costume when my big girl Madison was 4.  I ended up putting the zipper in inside out so the slide was on the inside of the dress :0)  Making a dress meant that I had to finally conquer my fear and stitch a zip!!!

Lets get to the gruel- we started with 4 XL and XXL black t-shirts, pre-washed of course :0)

I started my Lamaze breathing then began the top portion of the dress.  First step, cut apart one t-shirt.  I sliced off the sleeves with my rotary cutter, used the same rotary to slice up the sides, then used my scissors to cut apart the top.

Madison had drawn a pattern of her favorite stretchy shirt on a big piece of craft paper. 
*sidenote* I am going to have to make some of those cute pattern weights.  Have you seen them?  I think it might have been in a Joanns ad, and all I think about since I saw them.  My little bowls will work until the day I have time to make a set....Back to work!
Madison traced half her shirt, then we added 1/2" for a little extra stretch-I was super worried that sewing the ruffles on in the end would make the t-shirt not-so-stretchy and then the whole darn thing would be a waste :
Breath, breath, it was only $4.50 in will be ok :0)

OK, so I cut two of the shirt pattern, then sewed together.  This photo is of the first step of zipper placement. I posted a video tutorial of how to insert a zipper last summer.  I must say-FABULOUS!!!  It really works!  I sewed the zipper area shut...

Pinned the zipper in place, then stitched it on.  Once the sewing is all finished, you run a seam ripper down the first stitched seam and open it all up.  The last step is getting one of your minions to pick out all the threads :0)  Luckily that is one thing I am not short on-minions :0)    

VwaaaallĂ !!!  No, I still don't know how to spell that word, but I did make a smack AweSomE replica of Madison's favorite skinny T.  

Just look at that zipper!  Yes I still need to tuck in the top and hem around the neck, but it zips!!!  
Victory over the Zippa'!!!

Now for the skirt.  I cut up the sides, cut the sleeves off, and straightened up the bottom with my quilting ruler.  I sewed two shirts together, cut sides right-side together.  Repeated, then sewed the two sets together along the straightened bottom seam.  That was the point where I took the photo above.  

When the 4 shirt sides were sewn together like a 4-square court, I folded and folded so the connecting point of all 4 shirt halves meet at a point-kinda like when you make paper snowflakes.  I cut the connecting point off in the shape of a quarter of a circle.  The idea is that when you open the whole thing up you have a full circle to act as the waist of the skirt portion.

I continued the same arc for the bottom of the skirt, cutting off all the necks and sleeve holes :0)
This technique was actually taken from the making of a circle skirt I have mentioned several times.  I first saw the idea at Made.

Now the scary part, sewing the homemade shirt to the even more homemade skirt...Hold your breath and say a little prayer for me, will ya?

Ta-Dah!!!  Madison came bounding out of her bedroom.  It appears we have ourselves a minor victory in the name of CopyCat Crafters everywhere!!!

Mads was all, "I love it so much I am not sure we should do anything else to it!!!"
I take that as a SCORE!
(never mind that white spot on her waist.  It isn't really there on the dress, must need to clean my camera lense :0)

Now for the truly Taylor effect....the tulle.  Lets refresh...

This was the sample dress, row of white, row of black.  Row of white, row of black...
Grab your ruffler, an hour and a whole lotta black thread...and...
It is Madison Swift, ladies and gentlemen!
We did it!  I really can't believe it.  It took most of my free time on Saturday, but Madison was due for a good hunka chunka mom time :0)

She was so proud of the dress she wore it to church on Sunday.  I am so proud of her I think I might wear it next week ;0)
Happy T-Shirt Crafting!


  1. Cute, my Mom taught me to sew, a skill I have used my whole life. She will be so thankful down the line! My folks did the opposite of you, they bought all of my fabric and I sewed all of clothes through high school. I think it saved them a lot of money in school clothes.


  2. Your daughter is beautiful... and the dress looks so cute on her! Great job! Vicki


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