Monday 17 June 2013

T-shirt Dresses...

Five more dresses sewn for Dress A Girl Around the World. The same as the last one, these are simple t-shirt dresses.

The first two, a size 2 and a size 4, are made with fabric sourced at the Fabric Cave sale earlier this year. If you live in Sydney near Ryde, the Fabric Cave is definitely worth a visit. I certainly wasn't disappointed, even though it took me well over an hour to get there.

Just look at the join between the t-shirt and the skirt... no puckering or wavy bits!!! Thank you Karen, from Dress A Girl Around the World - VA!!! Karen shows how to use iron on interfacing to overcome the problem of the seam not lying flat, in her Best T-shirt Dress tutorial. Such a simple tip, that makes a big difference to the overall look of the dress, even though I omitted the topstitching that Karen suggested.

I tend to use solid colours as a band at the bottom of dresses, but as the zig zag print was wider than the solid, I reversed the order this time. Instead of my usual gathers, I've inserted a pleat, which can hardly be seen from a distance.

Don't look at my ironing below!!! Look at the lovely flat seam. I've only shown two close ups, but they're all just as flat and neat. 

To obtain the correct dress lengths, I've used the overall measurements in Karen's Best T-shirt Dress tutorial. The lengths might be OK in the dresses below, but the proportions are not. The proportions in the orange and pink size 6 work well. In fact, that's my favourite dress of the five. 

Keeping the two bands roughly the same width in the size 7 purple dress, was not the best choice. Three bands of the same width might work, but with two bands, one needs to be smaller than the other. It's funny how such a small point can totally change the appearance of the dress.

These 5 dresses bring my total to 12 dresses made towards my goal this year, sewing for the Australian rep for Dress A Girl. Hmmm... it's half way through the year, but I'm not half way towards my goal.

I picked up the t-shirts on sale for $2 at Big W and knew they'd be perfect for t-shirt dresses.

While I was making the dresses, I noticed a Facebook post, by Erica, from Recycled Fashion, linking to an article about the recent 60 Minutes segment on Bangladesh and the Rag Trade. My cheap t-shirts were made in Bangladesh. This got me thinking... Here I was trying to help little girls in underprivileged countries, but was I unwittingly buying clothes sewn by women working for $1 per day in unsafe working conditions?

Initially I thought that from now on, I'd source my t-shirts from elsewhere, but on further reading, the survival of the Bangladeshi workers and their families depend on the income they derive from working in these factories.

Further reading took me to Oxfam and a list of the international companies who have indicated they will sign the Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh. Since that list was made, K-Mart and Target (Australia) have signed the accord. Until Big W signs the accord (and I've let them know), I'll take my business to companies who will at least attempt to ensure safer working conditions for the people who work in their factories.

I'm not naive enough to think that the Accord will solve all the problems of workers in the third world, but at least it's a start. 

In the past, I knew of the problems regarding workers making clothes that I ended up buying, but all I did was acknowledge in my head that there was a problem. Amy, from Sews n Bows, started to educate me with a great post on fabrics and where they originate.

I now realise, that the big companies we buy from, will listen to consumers. I have a lot more reading to do to educate myself properly...

... Pam


  1. Your dresses are so cute. Nice color choices! I checked out her site and WOW what great tips! Thank you! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. So glad I looked at this! Great tips!

  3. Super cute dresses. I think I want one for myself.
    Thank you for the link about clothes made in Bangladesh. It is definitely something to stop and think about.

  4. Those seams are perfect, Pam!

  5. Congrats on another 5 dresses Pam, and thanks for the links on the Bangladesh issues, these things are never as straightforward as they first appear are they?

  6. Gorgeous dresses again Pam! Yes, it's tricky thinking we're buying cheap basic clothes to make fancier ones. I guess that's another reason to upcycle - maybe buy t-shirts from the charity shops?
    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  7. Love your sweet dress! I have so many tees to make this with:) Swing by

  8. These dresses are super cute! I will definitely have to check out that pattern and sew a few for my girls!

  9. You're so good at matching colors and prints! I love your combinations!

  10. Cute dresses! I really like the dress with the zigzags. Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!

  11. Very cute and I'd love to learn more about "Dress a Girl". Thanks for stopping by and linking up to Fluster Buster's Creative Muster Party! Looking forward to seeing what you're going to link up next week.

    Robin @ Fluster Buster

  12. These are cute! Stoppig by from the weekend wrapup party! Would like to invite you to linkup at my All Things Baby linky going on right now

  13. I love T-shirt dresses! I'm sort of coveting some of these for myself, although as an adult I'd probably use a different print from the one in the skirt of the size seven pink and green one. Are those fabrics in the skirts all cotton?

    We'd love to have you over at Kollabora, the crafting and DIY community. A lot of us are looking for inspiration for relatively simple summer dresses at the moment, and you seem to have great ideas!

    1. Thanks, Hannah. I've just had a quick look at Kollabora. I'll definitely be back to have a good look around and join up.

  14. So cute, nice dress. ! I want to start a page as your ans recently I asked a web design company ELCO PLANET ( to develope the page for me. Can you please advice me about web hosting provider.. have you ever heard for offering hosting, alpha reseller hosting? thanks a lot


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