Jul 11, 2011

Tight Turtleneck to Comfy Dress

 During one of those "Oh, I'm sure it'll fit--it's a large!" moments, I bought this turtleneck from Target.  Well, it's one of those clingy shirts, but I love the soft feel of the knit, so I was loath to give it away.
 I figured I'd try my hand at sewing on knits with something that was relegated to the thrift bin anyway.
 Using another dress as a pattern, I cut out a dress.
 There are 2 of these, as I cut both the front and back of the shirt at the same time.
 My sidekick was right there to assist me.
 See?  Didn't she do a good job?
 I thought the dress might look too much like pajamas without a defined waistline, so I cut a piece of elasticized lace that I got from a thrift store at $.10/yd. I sewed it across the front like an empire waist, and I also sewed two ties into the side seams so it could be tied in back. I then sewed up the shoulders and side seams with the right sides together.
I tried it on Grace and decided it needed sleeves.  So I took the original sleeves and figured I could do something.
 I cut the sleeves at the cuff so I didn't have to finish the sleeves.  I cut the sleeves free-handed, just eyeballing the angle.  I basted a gathering stitch, then pinned the sleeves in place and sewed.

Next, I cut 1/4" slits in the neck hole, then folded the fabric down 1/2" and sewed the collar seam.  I did three rows of the neck stitching, but two would have been fine.
I love the simplicity of this dress, and Grace wants to wear it all day, all night because it is so comfortable.
It took me 2-1/2 hours at most, and this was the first time I had sewn with knits or made a dress completely pattern-less.  I'm not sure what I was afraid of, because it was so easy.  I just needed to adjust my thread tension a little to between 2 and 3.
Upcycled any clothes items lately?  I'd love to see other ideas!

10 lovely comments:

Phyllis Blickensderfer said... Best Blogger Tips

Cool -- I'm forwarded to my granddaughter. I think I have one of these turtlenecks in my closet!

Penny said... Best Blogger Tips

Great job, April!

cindy said... Best Blogger Tips

Really nice job! You always seem to amaze me April! Good job..I love that picture of Gracie!!

Deena - said... Best Blogger Tips

I am not sure if I should be mad that you make it look so easy or just plain excited for you! :-) I'll choose the latter. Great job, and idea.

Phyllis Blickensderfer said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, now I have to give up one of my comfy old turtlenecks! I'll try to get her to post a photo when she gets it done. Thanks for the idea -- it's a very good one.

content2be said... Best Blogger Tips

@Grammy-- I'm so glad your granddaughter can use the idea. Knit fabric is expensive from the store, so re-purposing old clothes is an awesome alternative!

Robin said... Best Blogger Tips

Great Job and great Idea!

Rebecca said... Best Blogger Tips

SO creative, April!! My absolute dream is to sew modest clothing for ladies. I am beyond frustrated with the clothing choices!!!

Pamela said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG! I know this is an older post but I just saw it and that is FANTASTIC!So utterly creative!!
WOW! That's just an awesome idea. Too bad my little girl hates dresses. :(

Kimberly said... Best Blogger Tips

I absolutely love this idea. Thanks for sharing!!