Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love Week -- Tiered Toddler Dress

Welcome to Day Four of a week's worth of Valentine projects!

Today's project: A sweet Valentine dress for your little girl!

Mine is made from four dollar store T-shirts ranging from light pink to dark pink, and a white size 2T T-shirt (for the bodice) that I picked up from Walmart for a couple bucks. Measurements fit my almost-two-year-old, but you could certainly adjust the measurements to fit whomever you have in mind.

STEP ONE: Cut your T-shirts!
Starting at the bottom (darkest) and working your way up (to lightest):
Bottom tier (darkest): Cut two 19" x 4 3/4" strips -- this is the measurement BEFORE I created a 3/4" hem. If you are utilizing an existing hem, adjust accordingly.
Third tier: Cut two 17" x 4" strips
Second tier: Cut two 15" x 3 3/4" strips
First tier: Cut two 13" x 3 1/2" strips

STEP TWO: If needed, hem your bottom tier. I folded mine up 3/4" and double hemmed it to match the hem of the bodice's sleeves.

STEP THREE: Starting with your bottom tier, lightly gather the top edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Do not backstitch so you can adjust your gathers as needed! On my machine, I was able to do this easily by increasing both my stitch length to 5 and my tension to 10. It came out just about exactly right for the amount of gathering I needed, making this project super easy!
Note: Don't forget to switch your machine's settings back to normal! :o)

STEP FOUR: Attach your gathered tier to the bottom of the next tier up, right sides together, using a 3/8" seam allowance. Don't forget to backstitch this time. You will then gather the top of the next tier and attach it to the next tier up, and so on.

STEP FIVE: Once you have your front and back together, sew them together at one of the side seams.

STEP SIX: Cut your bodice T-shirt where you want the skirt to begin. I cut mine 1" below the armpit seam.

STEP SEVEN: Carefully pick open one side seam, as shown.

STEP EIGHT: Gather the top of your skirt and carefully attach it to your T-shirt bodice. This is a good time to pin! Once it is attached, sew up the remaining side seam.

I just love the gradated colors...

...and JellyBean loves it too!


tracyp said...

This is so cute! Do you have to cut the 'circles' or can you just gather all around the circle then attach?

Betty Lou said...

So cute----wish I had a toddler, will keep the idea in mind in case I have another grandaughter. Love you ideas.

Care said...


You could try gathering the circles, but I think it is MUCH easier to gather a strip. My darkest pink was my smallest T-shirt, so I had to have two strips in order to get enough length. For consistency I cut all the others to make front and back sections. If your shirts are big enough, you can just do one long strip for each layer -- and have only one side seam. (Make sense?)


Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

I am sooo making one of these asap! I have some tees I got on sale at Michaels that are begging to become a dress. ;)

Anonymous said...

Love it! Simple and very cute~

Cammie said...

Stop! You keep making me want a baby-girl!

Melanie@Crafty Cupboard said...

What an adorably easy project! This will be a winner around here. Thanks for the idea!

Emily said...

Gorgeous! I love the colors. Great idea to use existing shirts in different colors. :) I'd love to make one in blues and purples too.

Anonymous said...

It's so pretty - I wish I had a daughter!

Katie Lewis said...

So sweet! Thank you! I think I'll have to give this a try. :)

♥ ♥ ♥ Cold Porcelain by Erika Alvarado said...

too cute!

Tai Bender said...

very cute and it looks so comfy too!

tai @

Anne said...

Love it!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


Mandy said...

This is one of the cutest clothes projects I've seen! Thank you so much for posting! I'm pregnant right now (with a girl) and seem to have lost all of my creativity for thinking up new projects (I think it must be hanging out with my memory somewhere ;) ), so I just love when I find a cute project I can copy!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I really love this. So cute. I think I'm going to try to make a similar skirt. Great tutorial!

Leigh the sewing diva said...

i love it!! going to have a go at making it into a tunic top for me, still in pink of course!!
Leigh at The Sewing Diva

Unknown said...

Like everyone else said... LOVE! I'm going to see if I can modify it and add it to a onesie for my daughter.

Laylian said...

Thank you for this!

I made a version of it today... said...

Aww, that's super cute! I love how easy you make it look! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Adorable! My lil Chick had one similar to that for summer with a tank! I KNOW I have some extra little tshirts lying around. Must. SEW.SOON. Thanks for the awesome tute!

Danina said...

wow! it looks so pretty. Will try to make for my girls. Thanks for a tute!!!

Karisa said...

You're welcome! Would you like to publish your tutorial on FaveCrafts? Email me if you're interested :) I absolutely love this dress idea!

Jamie said...

This is so cute! I need to get motivated!

Anabella said...

I featured this tutorial in my "Top Ten CRAFTS I loved this week".
It's an awesome tutorial!!!

oscaradha said...

Super cute, I will try to make 1 for my toddler, thank u for share the idea

oscaradha said...

Super cute, I will try to make 1 for my toddler, thank u for share the idea

nurse blossom said...

Ooh might try a green one for St Patty's day!

nurse blossom said...

Ooh might try a green one for St Patty's day!

Cupcakeaholic said...

What a great idea!

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