If you missed my post yesterday take a little scroll down and you’ll see plenty of action shots of my lil ruffled dress. Here’s some more detailed instructions so you can make your own. Although I probably won’t have time to make her another one with all of the steps that are featured in this one I’ll definitely be making her several simpler ones for Spring!For this dress you’ll need:
3 men’s white undershirts (I used XXL to make sure I had more than enough)
2 packages RIT powder dye
freezer paper (if stenciling)
First thing’s first, let’s dye us some t-shirts! I followed the package directions and working in a big plastic storage tub I placed all three shirts in. After 10 min I took out the first one & rinsed thoroughly. This will be the body of the dress. For the next step it took a bit of trial and error but here’s what I came up with. Go ahead and pull the top part of the shirt out of the dye & drape it over the side of the tub, leave the main body in. (it’s best to be working in a stainless steel sink) After another 20 min I pulled it out another 5″ & then another 5″ after another 20. At this point it seemed like the bottom of the fabric needed some more help to get to a really dark saturated shade of purple so I mixed up the 2nd packet of dye and added it in. I let the last part sit 10 min and then took it completely out and followed the directions for rinsing & washing. Dip dyeing really is just that, dipping fabric at different levels for different amounts of time to achieve different saturation. Honestly, it was pretty darn fun.
Once my shirts were all dry and done I took them upstairs to begin the sewing. The pattern is really simple to follow, I cut out all my pieces from the 1st solid color lighter shirt & assembled away.When the dress was completed I went ahead and moved on to the freezer paper stenciling. You can read more detailed ones on my post here & also download the mum template. I just made these a little smaller than the painted panel ones. I also think it’s neat to make sure one or two blooms wrap from the back to the front of the dress or are only partially done at the top of the shoulder…makes it look more like a print to me.Once it’s all painted & dry you can finally ruffle it up. By this point I was so excited to see the end result that it felt like I couldn’t cut & ruffle fast enough! On your other two shirts that are dip dyed you’ll simply want to cut out 1 & 1/2″ wide strips from each color section. For me that was 6 strips total. Two light, two medium & two dark. The nice thing about working with a XXL shirt is it’s roughly double the width of a toddler dress. This meant I could leave the strips connected at the side hems (so they’re each a circle tube shape) and they would ruffle down to width of my dress. To ruffle them I simply set my machine to the widest stitch setting and stitched a line straight down the middle, then if you hold onto the bobbin thread you can push the fabric along the thread so it ruffles. You can also ruffle by using a gathering stitch on your machine but I just feel like this way gives me more control. Once I had gathered a strip I carefully pinned it around the dress until it looked right, you’ll have to more some gathers here & there but once you get it the way you want go ahead and stitch it on. Afterwards pull out your original ruffling stitch so you don’t have an unnecessary stitch line across your ruffles. Continue this process for all six rows and then guess what? You’re done my dear!