Monday, March 7, 2016

Carter's Dress Hack

 I've been on the hunt for the perfect Easter dress to complete the sister duo so while at the mall I checked Carter's.  I don't shop there very often (probably because I'm not on their email list so they don't lure me the way the Gap daily promotions tend too) but I had a gift card and thought what the heck!

While I was looking around I stumbled on this adorable dress and fell in love only to find out the largest size it came in was 24 months.  Short of having another baby, just for this dress, I bought it for a friend's new baby and pouted about it for the rest of the day.

Part way home, I remembered my husband used to have a shirt like this.  He went through a period where he was splitting the sleeves of all of his shirts right near the elbow so I kept them thinking I could do something with them one day.  Fast forward two years and I was thrilled to find this exact shirt.  Tried it on my model, did a few calculations and went to work.   Here's the best part, kept my money in my pocket (even though it's 50% off currently and only $12) and made my girl a free dress from her Daddy's shirt!

I started by removing the arms where they were attached and using a pattern I am familiar with to cut out the body and sleeves.  One of the tutorials on pinterest said to use a dress as a guide adding seam allowance but I was not comfortable with that.  I used Heidi and Finn's Pumpkin Spice Pattern  which I had pattern tested (and apparently never blogged about...huh) because it has a similar shape to how I wanted the dress to come out.  I will say I did have to adjust the body a little bit and make it a bit smaller for the arms to fit nicely but that is probably due to the rough job I did cutting it out.  The top section was cut all in one piece so I cut down only the right side of the photo and then straight across the bottom and then flipped the pattern piece to the other side and did the same thing.  I made sure that the top portion was about 1/2 an inch longer than I wanted to allow for the attaching of the skirt.  That left just attaching the sides of the body for this portion to be complete.

I used the sleeves for the sleeves (imagine that?).  Again I used the sleeves from the pumpkin spice pattern  but adjusted the length to my preference.  I knew I wanted them long enough for a small roll at the bottom.  To accomplish this I used 4 sleeve pieces (2 for each sleeve) and attached them at the bottom then sewed the sides together and flipped it inside out to make a tube.  This left a raw edge at the top of the sleeve where it would be attached to the top of the dress. Before I flipped it though I attached the button packet (seen below) to one side of the sleeve which would become the inside of the sleeve.  I ironed this all smooth and attached the sleeve.

My shirt had a pocket but the scale was too large for my dress.  Luckily my front and back body pieces were short enough to finish above the pocket while still also leaving enough length below the pocket for the skirt.  I cut the bottom about an inch longer than I wanted the finished length to be then cinched it to the same size as the top.  When attaching the body to the skirt  I ironed the raw edge of the top up 1/2 an inch and unfolded it to attach the right sides of the button packet together in the front.  I did this first and then adjusted my cinching to ensure the skirt had an even look.  I then attached the skirt to the body with the two right sides facing and raw edges lined up.  There should be a crease where you ironed right above this.  Tuck the skirt up and pull the body down and top stitch into place.

In my opinion, what made this look so professional is that I kept and used most of the original construction.  For example.  Below is a picture of the button packet on the sleeve, I removed it, cut it slightly larger than I wanted it, turned the raw edge inside and top stitched it closed.  The collar, the buttons in the front, the panel in the back and the bottom seam, are all from the original shirt so they are neat and tidy without doing a thing.  That made this a super quick easy sew.

Here's my final product!

I'll have to add some other photos of it on my girl, but they are currently on my husbands phone. 

I'd love to hear if this helped or what you were able to create!  Happy sewing!