Now before we begin I'd like to put forth a disclaimer. I made this "pattern" up. it's not perfect, but it makes up a cute dress. if you try it and hate it. it's totally NOT MY FAULT. just saying..... (disclaimer 2 - I can't spell. period. )
Step 1: Snag a polo that your husband/teen age son no longer wants or hit up Goodwill. Prepare your polo by cutting off the sleeves along the seam.
Step 2: find a dress that already fits your child that you like the shape of. Also a t-shirt that currently fits your child.
Step 3: button up the shirt. if there are lines on the shirt, pin the edges so that the lines line up.
Step 4: turn your shirt and your sample dress inside out and line up the shoulder seams, making sure that the colar of the polo is centered. (in the picture my pieces are not turned inside out but you get the idea)
Step 5: Trace the sample dress. Do not trace right next to the edge you need to cut your dress 1/4 inch bigger then your sample dress so you have room to sew it all together. When you get the sleeve of the dress, fold the sleeve inside so that you can see where the seam of the sleeve is to get the proper shape. once again. do not trace right on the seam! My sample dress was too short so I made my new dress longer. I also cut off the bottom of the shirt. save this part if you are going to do a ruffle.
Step 6: cut one side of the dress all the way up to the top seam but do NOT cut the front from the back at the top of the shoulder but do shape the sleeve opening.
Step7: fold your polo in half, pin all lines together so that you know when you sew it up, everything will line up.
Step 8: use the first side that you cut as a pattern to cut the 2nd side. Open your dress up and make sure that you like the shape.
Step 9: turn your dress inside out with right sides together and once again, pin your lines so that they match up. sew each side 1/4 inche from the raw edge unil you come to the bottom edge of the arm hole. do not sew the arm hole! I only say this because I tend to space out while I'm sewing and before I know it, I've sewn my project completly shut!
Step 10: turn your shirt right side out...tada! you have a dress! try it on your victim...er...child and make sure you like the fit. if it's too small...oops..find a new shirt and start over, if it's too big you can make adjustments.
Step 11: time for the sleeves! I use a t-shirt to get a rough size of the sleeves, how long they will be and how big around. As you can see, this t-shirt sleeve fits nicely into the opening in my dress.
Line the edge of the t-shirt sleeve up with the bottom edge of your polo shirt sleeve (with both sleeves folded in half). Trace the sleeve side onto your polo sleeve. Remember not to trace directly on the line of the shirt. leave room for sewing.
After you have traced the side, take away the t-shirt, then follow the curve of the top of the polo sleeve to get the top of your new shirt sleeve, as you can see I went a little flat at the top of my line, I fixed this when I cut it out.
Step 11: use your first sleeve as a pattern to create your second sleeve.
Step 12: sew the edge of your sleeves using 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Step 13: Putting the sleeves on your dress can be tricky if you have never done sleeves before. Make sure your dress is turned INSIDE OUT. Make sure your sleeve is turned RIGHT SIDE OUT. If you don't do this, then when you turn your dress right side out, your sleeve will be inside out! take my word on it, I've done it. (more then once.) Slide your sleeve inside your dress so that the raw edges line up and make sure your two seams that you sewed are together. pin these two seams together.
Line the sleeve up along the sleeve opening to see how close the sleeve comes to fitting the dress. if it's slightly to big, no big deal, take a few tucks at the rounded top (the shoulder) as you sew it on. This will give you a puffy sleeve. If it's SLIGHTLY too small, once again, no big deal because knit is forgiving and you can stretch it to fit your opening. if it's way too small, ditch the sleeve, and hem the arm opening...tada...tank dress!
Step 14: sew both sleeves on.
Step 15: turn your dress right side out. if both of your sleeves are right side out and your dress is right side out. good job! now stand back and say to yourself....holy cow I just made a dress! how cool is that???? ok maybe you don't want to stand back and say this...but every time I make something and it turns out just the way I wanted it to...I get excited. :o)
Step 16: if you know how to do a ruffle, you can use the part you cut off the bottom of the shirt to do a ruffle. If you don't, just hem the bottom and call it done. I did put a ruffle on Grace's dress. But I'm not going to tell you how I do it becuase it always requires a fair amount of bad words on my part. As a side note, the button opening in this shirt was bigger then I liked and when I put the dress on Grace it puckered a little bit so I sewed it shut up to the bottom button and now it lays nicely.