Friday, April 27, 2012
The Tale of Eco-Princess...
Well, not the end of the post.
This Earth Day challenge was unlike anything I have ever done before, that's for sure! I have a real problem of buying fabric. Sometimes I buy fabric because I love it, even though I have no idea what I am going to use it for. To be earth-friendly this week, my goal was to make an outfit entirely out of t-shirts already in my house, spending zero dollars, and doing something that any other earth-friendly person could do as well. I achieved the last goal and almost the first two, but did end up buying three extra t-shirts from Goodwill and a bottle of purple Rit dye.
I raided our closets and dressers for old t-shirts that were stained, too small, or otherwise haven't been worn in years. The humble beginnings:
Although the construction of the dress came together exactly as I had initially planned, the whole concept evolved as I went. When you're reusing materials you kind of have to just go with the flow, let go a little bit of control, and see what the finished product turns into. It was a lot of fun!
This look is made up of two pieces. First is the dress, pieced together with our favorite screen-printed images and tied in back with a large bow. The neck and sleeve bands are cut from the neck bands of the old t-shirts. It has an elasticized waist and is finished on bottom with a double row of stitches (everyone sewing with knits should have a twin needle!). The second piece is a petticoat I made entirely out of whatever was left of the t-shirts. The dress is perfectly finished in every way, but the petticoat I wanted to leave raw with unfinished edges. I cut out as many strips as I could, sewed them together, and let my ruffle foot gather it all together. I attached the ruffles to two circle layers and then to an elastic waistband, circle skirt style.
My favorite part about the concept of this dress is the many possibilities! Use color dye. Use favorite characters. Use ripped, stained, or otherwise unwearable shirts. Use daddy's favorite team t-shirts! Use her old baby onesies (we used one!). Use the neckbands that are already there for you on the t-shirts. Use any pattern of dress style you want. Heck, even use the tags you cut out to make a bracelet (see below!). Use your daughter in the designing process and you will have a custom dress just for her that she will love. The important thing is that you are reusing what you already have and are cleaning out your closets a little bit in the process.
It is so much fun to see how it all comes together!
I always like to show pictures of my clothes inside out so that you can see all the pieces that came together and to show how important quality construction is to me. Remember when I said the petticoat was raw? Notice the sleeve opening on it's side in the bottom picture. Did I bother to cut it out? Nope. It adds to the funkiness. Plus I was working with only the scraps of shirts I had left so I had to make do.
First, head over to Project Run & Play and VOTE for my look! And second, go search through your closets for old shirts that can be turned into something new and special, reusing things you already have!
Eco-princess would approve.