Sewing: Tank Revamp Toddler Dress

This dress came about when I took a stroll through the Walmart fabric section on my lunch break and saw this paisley. Had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I loved it. Five dollars and a wait in the Walmart check-out, it was mine. Weeks later, I remembered that I had an old Target tank top remnant (I cut the bottom off of it for another project) sitting in my fabric pile at home (Juniors-sized tank). I put the two together, and came up with a dress for my sassy 3-year-old.

I started by measuring my kid (I got her to sit still with a combo of snacks and “Princess and the Frog”). I put the tank on her inside out, pinned the straps at the shoulder to fit her, and marked how long I wanted the tank portion. I didn't have to take in the sides because it was the "long and lean" variety of tank which is code for, "you will look like a sausage stuffed in here". Really small... the reason this tank got cut up. Then I measured (eyeballed) how long to make the skirt portion (it ended up about 18"). I cut a rectangle of fabric 18" x however wide my piece was from the paisley (I know, very exact) and sewed it into a tube. I used “french seems” which I learned from here. This is when I stopped and waited for the kids to sleep. Having a hot iron, a sewing machine, and kids up and running gives me heartburn.

After dinner, baths, a bottle, the nightly brush-your-teeth fight, having to pee 3 times, and finally bed, I got back to work.

Realizing in my excitement I completely forgot about adding for seam allowances and cut the skirt portion too short (doh!), I decided it needed a ruffle at the bottom... yeah, that's what I meant to do all along. I cut a 3” wide strip and made it twice as long as my skirt rectangle, hemmed it, and sewed it into a tube. This required me to sew two pieces together to get it really long. Then I pinned like crazy and sewed them together (I am still shocked this came out as well as it did).
Next, sewed the skirt portion to the tank and added the satin ribbon on top leaving the ribbon free at the back.
All was well until 3-year-old put it on and kept pulling the front down to her bellybutton in a very non-lady-like fashion. (Look mom, boobs!) Sooo, I figured the tank was still too big. I gathered up the front a smidge, and hand sewed that like so.

Done! Total cost was about $5 and I recycled an old tank. Go ahead, try it.  That old shirt is too tight anyway.

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