GROOM IT: P WAENDTDYIHNOGSDERPEESTSALS
Fig. A: In strong light, identify stains and mark them with
pins. Fig. B: Dismantle the shirts, cutting around seams
and stains. Fig. C: Lay out symmetrical pattern pieces
and sections of clean fabric. Fig. D: Using a zigzag stitch,
piece together fabric to fill each pattern piece. (This
example uses black thread for visibility. Use white or a
pastel shade for a less “punk rock” look.) Fig. E: Align
bottoms of the tees to create the bottom hem of the dress.
a polished look that can be otherwise difficult to
achieve without a serger. If you can’t arrange your
sections to utilize the existing hems, try using a
fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric, and practice
several times before attempting to finish the hem
of your dress. You may reconsider!
6. Sew the dress.
Pin the sections to the pattern. Be sure to allow
for at least ½" overlap if you’re piecing the sections
together. Move to the sewing machine. When sewing the T-shirt sections together, both piecing and
seaming, it’s important to avoid stretching the
material or you’ll end up with uneven puckering. If
you get skipped stitches or see holes in your fabric,
try a new needle or a stretch needle.
Stitch together the sections that make up each
pattern piece using white thread. Slightly overlap
the sections about ¼" and use a small zigzag
stitch along the edge of that overlap (Figure D).
This will both attach the section and finish the edge,
because the T-shirt fabric, unlike a woven fabric,
is not likely to unravel.
Practice seaming with scrap T-shirt fabric. Knits
are often easily torn apart at the seam, so it’s
important to choose an appropriate stitch. We used
2 parallel straight seams to prevent the 2 pieces
from tearing apart. You can also use a zigzag stitch,
but be careful to reduce its length so it doesn’t sew
through when the seam is stretched.
Your machine may also have a setting for a stretch
stitch, used specifically for sewing knits, but be
aware this seam will be very difficult to remove so
you should baste-stitch the seam first.
Sew the sections together following the pattern
instructions. Be sure to check the fit several times
throughout construction as the T-shirt sections
may have more or less stretch than you imagine!
7. Have a beautiful wedding.
Afterward, store the dress to show your children, or
follow women of a previous era and color your dress
with any cotton dye to wear again and again.
Donna Kroiz is a Virginia-based seamstress. She eloped in
jeans and a polyester shirt. It was the 70s. Her daughter
Lauren Kroiz is a Los Angeles-based crafter raised to believe
that everyone has the right to enter into whatever union they
want wearing whatever they like.