PROJECT: A doll-sized t-shirt from a 12 mo. old size t-shirt (second attempt)
TIME: 1 day
MATERIALS: 12 mo. old size t-shirt, notions
American Girl Marie-Grace Gardner, later version
I made this t-shirt a few months ago, when I decided to try turning baby-sized graphic t-shirts into doll shirts. I’d seen others use this method to make some pretty cute shirts, and depending on where you look, the shirts aren’t too expensive. (In most cases, it’d probably cost more to create some of the designs from scratch.) It does take a little bit of hunting with this method, so you don’t end up with a shirt that says “Mommy’s Little Smoopsie-Poopsie” or something. Luckily, I was able to find a really cute rabbit shirt and this minty green one:
From Target. (And now that I look at it… It kinda looks like Samantha’s new logo… Hmm.)
I think the hardest part of this project for me was cutting into the shirt in the first place. I don’t know why, but it just always feels so wrong!
For this shirt, I used Liberty Jane’s free 18″ doll T-Shirt pattern, found HERE. This pattern fits American Girl dolls perfectly. Make sure you don’t stretch out the knit as you sew, so the shirt stays true to size. This was my second time using the pattern (you’ll see the result of the first in a later post), and this time I decided to lengthen the shirt a little. Overall, it’s a great pattern (especially for the price!) and I’ll probably use it several more times in the future.
Remember how I said that “the sturdier the knit, the less likely my machine is to eat it”? Well, this is how I found out haha. The knit used in baby and toddler clothes is the softest, loveliest knit ever… which makes it all the more difficult to work with. Slow and steady sewing works best. And y’know, if you need to curse like a sailor every now and then because everything was going fine until your machine suddenly decided to eat the fabric, don’t worry, it’s normal! 😉 Seriously, sewing extra soft knit is a fine art. But as frustrating as it is to work with, the result is just too good to pass up. I like the look and feel of this knit more than the types I used on the Disneyland t-shirt (it’s just much harder to find).
I removed the orange 3D blossom from the shirt to help bring the design down to AG-scale – and actually, I like it a lot better without it. The pouf of tulle is embellishment enough.
I’m happy with how this shirt turned out – especially the fact that I got one of the butterflies to line up so it looks like it landed on her shoulder. Unfortunately, I did end up stretching the knit a little as I sewed, so it’s a bit bigger than it’s supposed to be, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable (and I can always shrink it by washing it). That said, this is definitely one of those projects where you the actual process of sewing it drives you nuts (especially the sleeves – there’s nothing so annoying as sewing sleeves for me!), but you’re so happy with the outcome, you kind of forget all the frustrating parts and want to make another one.