Baby Lap Dress FREE Pattern 6-12 mos {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled: Baby Lap Dress + FREE Pattern!

I’m so excited to wrap-up week one of upcycling with a FREE pattern! Introducing the Baby Lap Dress…

Upcycled Baby Lap Dress FREE pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I wanted something that could save the neck binding of the original shirt, but also be easy to sew with no snaps or buttons (I still feel like a newbie sewer, so I like to keep things simple). There are plenty of baby dress and bodysuit patterns out there, but none quite fit what I was needing in order to save as much as I could from the original shirt. So, I created my own pattern! (This is my first pattern. **Insert squeal here**. I’m offering it free and as such, it hasn’t been tested. Please be nice if you come across any issues with the pattern.)

Materials:

1. Free pattern (size 6-12 mos, approx.) {Print on US Letter paper with scaling set to “none”. This pattern has not been tested on A4 paper}
2. T-shirt (check your closet, thrift store, or garage sale)
3. Coordinating thread
4. Basic sewing supplies: sewing machine, pins, scissors, etc.

Instructions:

Step 1: Find a t-shirt to upcycle. See Heather’s tips here for finding great items to upcycle. I chose this super soft tee that I bought while vacationing in San Diego (pre-kids, so it doesn’t fit, and no, it never will. I’m over it). This shirt is a Small, so it’s a great one to upcycle for babies. Most upcycling garments need to be L-XL in order to best fit your pattern for bigger kids, but you can still get some great material out of any size garment. This baby dress is a great pattern to use for those smaller tees that you have lying around!

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 2: Prepare your shirt. Cut out the tag. Babies don’t need all that extra stuff rubbing up against them.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

Cut the shirt down the sides. If your shirt has a side seem, just cut along that. If you chose a shirt with no seems, you might want to mark where to cut or just eye-ball it. I didn’t cut the sleeves off because I wasn’t able to use them to make the sleeves for the dress. However, you can cut the sleeves off at this point too, or wait until you’ve cut your front and back pattern pieces.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 3: Cut your dress front. Fold the original shirt front in half while the back of the shirt is up and to the left of the shirt front. I lined up the sleeves and side seems here to be sure I folded the shirt in the middle. Or you can eye-ball the graphic on your shirt to be sure it will line up in the middle of your dress when you cut the pattern. (Note: I use a rotary cutter for everything, so I don’t pin. If you don’t have a rotary cutter or don’t want to use one, simple pin the pattern at this step and cut using your fabric scissors). Cut out your dress front.Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

You can see in this photo that I made sure the top of the pattern piece and the neckband of the original shirt lined up as best as possible. You don’t have to line these up perfectly, as your shirt may have a slightly different shape, but it should still work in the end.Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 4: Cut your dress back. Line up the back pattern piece to the back of the original shirt on the fold and cut it out.

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 5: Cut your sleeves. You can use the sleeves of your original shirt to make the sleeves of your baby dress! In my case, the original sleeves were a bit short, so I used the bottom of the shirt. But most sleeves will be long enough for you to use. Line up the hem and fold line with the pattern piece as indicated and cut 2 sleeve pieces.BabyLapDressTutorial-8

OK, now you’re ready to piece the dress together!

Step 6: Line up the dress front and back. Don’t do what I did and line them up wrong. Be sure to place them WRONG side (dress back) to RIGHT side (dress front). It should look how you want the final garment to look. Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I overlapped them by about 2 inches. Here’s a close-up:
Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |www.sewthrifty.org}

Here’s a picture of how to do it the right way:

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Ahh…much better!

Step 7: Attach the sleeves to the dress. Place the RIGHT side of the sleeve to the RIGHT side of the dress arm hole. Line up the middle of the sleeve to the middle of the arm hole (the the middle of where the front and back dress pieces overlap). Working from the middle, pin the sleeve to the dress until you reach the end of the arm hole. Do the same for the other section of the sleeve. Now you have the sleeve all pinned to the dress pieces. Go ahead and pin the other sleeve at this point too. (I like to double check that I’ve pinned correctly by flipping the sleeve over to be sure I pinned the right side. Cause, you know, I’ve been known to make mistakes 🙂 ) Sew these seams. I use a serger, but you can also use a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine ( set at .5 width and approx. 2.5/3 length). And always use a ball point needle when sewing with knits.

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |www.sewthrifty.org}

Step 8: Pin and sew side seams. Placing RIGHT sides together, line up the sleeve hem and pin down the side of your dress. Line up your sleeve seams as well and the rest of the side should line up to the bottom of the dress.Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |www.sewthrifty.org}

Sew down both sides, flip the dress right side out, and you’re done!Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |www.sewthrifty.org}

I chose not to hem the dress. Since it’s a knit, the ends won’t fray. I did tuck the ends of my thread back through the seams using the method I mention here.

If you wanted to go for a more polished look, you would hem the dress at this point. Simply fold under about 3/8″ (or 1 cm) and hem using your preferred hemming method.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Add in a headband (made with the same shirt; tutorial coming next week!) and some cute upcycled baby shoes (that I will share with you next week – made from the hems of pants!) and you’ve got yourself a little stylish outfit for your babe.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}

Then whip up another one because they are so fast and easy!

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}{What? The back of my shirt is wrong?!}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|www.sewthrifty.org}{Oh well, I’m cute. No one will even notice}

Baby Lap Dress FREE Pattern 6-12 mos {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}{Plus I’ll just grin and my mom will make me another one}

Here’s the breakdown:

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |www.sewthrifty.org}

 

And for something a bit different for babies, check out what Heather has for them today. Plus, she’s got an amazingly quick backpack you can whip up from a used t-shirt as well!

Hope you’re enjoying this series. Keep tagging #upcycledkid on Instagram and be sure to come back Monday for another week of great upcycling tips and tutorials!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

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