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SUPER Simple Circle Dress (from Tshirt & Knit Bed Sheet)

 Wow.  Sorry for all the craziness. 


I thought I’d be up and running yesterday (after our move over the weekend) but our internet was really wonky.  We had to get that all figured out……but whew, it’s now fixed.  And all of our stuff is moved in.  And the old house is cleared out.  Thank you, thank you……for all the well wishes and virtual high-fives you sent my way for our move over the weekend.  We are so happy to be all moved in.  Can’t wait to get crackin’ on some home projects.


Now, back to normal.  (Wait, what’s normal again?!!)

. . . . .



Anyway, I have a little project that I was pretty much finished with before we moved.  I just needed a moment to finish the instructions. And a little photo editing here and there.  


But the idea for today’s project came from a little Tshirt sizing frustration with my girls.  Do any of you have the same problem I do??  You buy a kid sized shirt and the correct size (or even the size above) is waaaaay too short and waaaaaay too wide.  Weird.  (Maybe my kids are just too tall!!)  It’s only certain brands but…..grrrrrrr.  (Circo from Target and Garanimals from Walmart are two brands that make me crazy.  Anyone else have the same problem?)


Well, I bought this cute little teal polka dot shirt from Target the other day for Chloe and well, it was Circo brand……but I was hoping for the best, because it was just too cute. However, once I washed it, forget it………her sweet little bubble belly poked out the bottom.  Grrrrrr.


So, I decided to turn it into a dress.  And not just any ol’ dress……..a CIRCLE DRESS.  (Oh, and I made one for Elli too. :) )





And believe me, this may be the quickest and simplest dress you’ll ever make.  Especially if you’re using a knit Tshirt and find some knit fabric (which doesn’t fray) to cut up. 





I actually bought a knit twin bed sheet set from Target for $20 to use for these dresses.  I made both girls dresses from the top sheet and still had plenty left over for other projects.  I also have the full fitted sheet to use for something else.  Perfect.  (However, you could also buy knit by the yard for this project.  I just happened to like this color knit bed sheet….so it worked.)




But once these little Circle Dresses go on, it’s like an automatic thing……Elli starts spinning.  And then Chloe watches, learns, and then enjoys right along with her. :)






If you look closely, you can see that there’s no gathering involved.  It’s a circle piece of fabric that creates all of that twirly fun.  (And really, this would be adorable in adult sizes too.  Just imagine a thin little belt cinched right in at the waist.  Cute.)




These girls are killing me lately.  Chloe’s starting to love the same sorts of things that Elli does.  And Elli eats it right up.  I’m sure glad she’s teaching Chloe the ropes of being a girly girl. ;)




And since these dresses are all knit fabric…….they are comfy, cozy, and ready to be played in.  I caught Elli eating some cereal the other morning and just noticed how comfy she looked in her dress.  I kinda wanted one for myself.



Another fun variation?  Turn the Double Layer Square Circle Skirt into a dress.  Same circle concept……different look to the dress bottom.




Yay!!  New dresses for the girls……..made in  minutes.  My kind of project. :)




Would you like to whip one up?


First of all, grab a knit Tshirt.  Any type will work but if you have one that’s stained, too short, or has holes……..rescue it from the recycle pile.  Now, decide where you want the waist line of the dress to sit.  Then measure across the shirt, right at the point where you’re going to be cutting it off.  Then double that number and that’s the size of the circle circumference that you’ll need to use to cut the opening for the skirt portion of the dress.  Now, cut a circle that size out of paper, to use for your pattern.  For example: Elli’s shirt was 11 inches across, right where I wanted to cut it off.  I doubled that number to 22 and that’s the circumference of the circle that I cut out.  (And if you can see, my paper circle isn’t perfect.  That’s okay.  Knit is pretty forgiving and you’ll never be able tell that the circle wasn’t exact.)


Now, cut off the shirt, a 1/2 inch below the line where you want it to sit on your subject.


Now, decide how long you want the skirt portion of the dress to be.  The easiest way to do this is to put the shirt on and then measure a 1/2 inch from the bottom of the shirt you just cut off and then down to where you want it to hit on the leg.  Add a 1/2 inch to this measurement (for the seam allowance) and that will be the skirt length.  For Elli, I decided to make the skirt portion 20 inches long……so I knew that I needed 20.5 inches of length.  So, I placed my measuring tape 20.5 inches out from the paper circle, all the way around, to be sure there was enough fabric all the way around.


After I could see that the paper circle was placed correctly on the fabric, I traced around it with a marker.


Next, I measured out from the circle 20.5 inches, all the way around the circle…….and made little dots to mark my measurements.  See them circled in red??


Then, I began connecting the dot in a curved line, creating a large circle all the way around the smaller circle.


Once you’ve drawn your two circles, cut them both out.


Now, place the bottom edge of your Tshirt together with the small circle opening and pin them together with right sides together.  (It’s sometimes easier to divide your shirt edge into 4 even sections and place a pin to mark it and then do the same with the circle opening.  Then, match up the pins first and then add more pins to secure the two layers together.)


Now, use a zig-zag stitch (so that the fabric will still stretch when the dress is put on) to sew the two layers together.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  It’s okay to have a little bit of pulling of the fabric while sewing…..but if there’s too much and it’s really ruffling the fabric, try increasing the stitch length just a bit, so that it will skip over more of the fabric and not pull so much.  (But you don’t want to increase it too much or the stitching will be spaced too much and there will be gaping holes when you turn it right side out.)  But if there’s a little bit of pulling, that can be eliminated by using a steam iron and pressing straight down to shrink it back in a bit.  Don’t pull the iron across the fabric, or it will stretch it as you go.  If you need to, you can sew another row of zig-zag stitching over the first, to add more stitching and make it more secure.


Now, turn it right side out and press the seam flat with steam.  Again, don’t pull……just press straight down.


And then make several more.  Because these little dresses are comfy, twirly, and fun!








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Featured Sponsor:

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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