Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dainty Dresses for Africa

 I love the Crafterhours blog, they come up with so many cute ideas and fabulous tutorials.  When they posted about Dresses for Africa I decided to send in what I could to give these girls new dresses.

 I used what I had sitting around my sewing table- red gingham, and an entire bag full of t-shirt quilt leftovers.
 I was worried about how the gingham would hold up since it is a looser weave, so EVERYTHING is super duper reinforced.
 The other dresses were made from t-shirts like the tee-to-tank tutorial on Crafterhours.  Once I got started with the t-shirt dresses I couldn't stop :)  I ended up sending 17 (!!) dresses off today!

The only thing about making t-shirt quilts that bothers me is how much t-shirt fabric is left over.  It is often too little to be useful yardage and too much to just throw away.  I have a bin full of leftovers stored in the barn, and a full bag from the last 3 quilts.  I was able to make 15 dresses of varied sizes just from the sizable leftovers in the bag.  I did have to piece together some of the smaller widths to get the length I needed.
 I also stumbled upon an idea that kept me from needing to make casings at the top.  The hems are already there!  These are tubes from the bottom portion of two shirts joined together with the armholes cut out of the white tube.  This opened up the hem and allowed the straps to be fed through the casing easily.  I used a zig zag stitch to secure the ends of the hem so that it wouldn't unravel.

 I hope the recipients enjoy these just as much as I enjoyed making them!