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The Bandana T-Shirt Dress design and photos were created by Karen Souther. Credit where credit is due! Many thanks to Karen for helping to enlarge our collection of FREE craft instructions.

Also, check out a few alternative methods that

Materials

  • T-shirt that fits your child

  • One bandana
    Size doesn't matter, but if you want to check and see if it is long enough just fold it on the diagonal and put it against your child's side to gauge how long the dress & shirt should be

  • Cutting wheel / rotary cutter (scissors can be substituted)

  • Compass w/ pencil or sewing chalk

  • Sewing supplies (cutting board / sewing machine / straight pins / iron)

 



Step-by-Step Instructions

To get started: first measure the child's waist. Round up to the nearest whole number and divide by 4. This will be the point where I you will cut the bandana.

:::

Lay your bandana out flat.
Note: If you want a fuller skirt, use 2 bandanas one atop the other.
Fold in half on the diagonal.
Fold for a second time on the diagonal.
And then a third time, again on the diagonal.
Line the point of the bandana up on your cutting board.
Use the compass to mark your circle. Put your compass point on the tip of your bandana and measure out using the math you did above based on the child's waist size. Mark the fabric.
Note: It is best not to try to do this freehand, because you run the risk of cutting too straight and will end up with a square-shaped opening instead of circular.
Cut along your mark.
You will now have a cone-shaped piece...
...and a round hole in the middle of the bandana.
Find the middle of your shirt. Then, fold your bandana in half (with any designs you want in front in the middle of the fold).
Line the fold of the bandana middle fold of the t-shirt, making sure the right sides are together. In other words, make sure that the outside (right side) of the bandana is against the outside (right side) of the t-shirt.
Pin the middle of bandana and t-shirt together. Do the same with the middle of the back and then the sides. It should look like this...
...and this.
Now the tricky part. Stretch the material between the middle and sides to get the middle of that section. In order to ensure a little gathering of the bandana when you are done, you must stretch the t-shirt. Pull the sides apart (as you can see in the photo it is stretched from 5 all the way to 15. The middle of that is 10.)
Very carefully pin the middle. To do this you may need help or very good coordination. Hold firmly with one hand the side and the middle, then let go with one hand and pin.
Repeat this all the way around the t-shirt.
Now you are ready to begin sewing.
Gently pull the t-shirt as you sew.
Be careful not to pull too hard or you might stretch your bandana and that will cause fraying.
Once you have it completely sewn, press it flat with a hot iron and embellish any way you wish. Add a bow, or trim of any kind, or just leave it blank.
DONE! Enjoy your dress.
Briana Cervenka offers the following suggestions for the bandana dress:

I tried making the dress yesterday, but didn't like how the shirt stretches when sewn so I did a few easy alterations I'd like to share.

I used the same measurements to cut the bandana out. To keep the fabric from stretching I used a 2in tall piece of light-weight interfacing that was as wide as the bottom of the shirt. Once ironed on the shirt doesn't stretch on the bottom and should hang as if nothing were attached.

To get the bandana cut out to line up, I shirred the edge by basting it and pulling the thread until the opening was as wide as the base of the shirt. Then sewed the two pieces together.

I also added sleeves with the center of the same bandana. Using the machine I scalloped the edge and cut along the edge to give it a wavy look. After cutting off the sleeves of the original shirt I pinned the new sleeves on and stitched them into place.
 

 

Free instructions directions bandana dress


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