Halloween Applique Dress

All of the adorable Halloween fabric had inspired me to make another comfortable t-shirt dress for my little girl. I picked up a yard of my favorite print at Joann’s (30% off), and a long sleeved t-shirt from Target…$6…cheap. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to embellish my dress, but I discovered I already had some lime green ric rac, and then discovered this site with a free witch hat applique template! By some amazing alignment of the stars, this template matched my fabric perfectly!!

I started off by cutting the bottom of my shirt off. I had my daughter put the shirt on, then put a safety pin where I wanted the skirt to start. Then, I added 1/2 an inch for seam allowance… it was approximately 7 inches from the underarm of the shirt.

I forgot to take pics of the beginning skirt steps, but you can also check my instruction here for further info. My finished skirt is about 15.5 inches for my 4 yr old, and it’s a good calf length on her. Add an inch for the hem, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch for the upper seam allowance, and you have the length you need to cut.I folded a half inch, then another half inch for the hem, then sewed a straight stitch all around.

I used my lime green ric rac I had picked up from an online discount craft site called Pick Your Plum. Each day they have a new craft item listed for a pretty deep discount. Check it out! And, no, I am not getting any kick back from them. 🙂

You can finally see my fun fabric here! Using my hem as a guide, I pinned my ric rac 1.5 inches from the bottom. I didn’t want to have my ric rac move too much, so I chose to go overboard on the pins and pin every other “hump”. (Or is it a ric? Or a rac?) Anyway, that seemed to hold it in place pretty well for sewing.

Before attaching the skirt to the shirt, I worked on the applique witch hat. I’ve never appliqued before, so this was a journey and took some thought process to convince myself I was doing things in the right order!

I cut out my template pieces (printed it more than once to get the 3 pieces), then used Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 interfacing to get the shapes onto the shirt. The instructions on the package are pretty clear, so follow the package for your interfacing to get your fabric shapes.

Here are my 3 shapes cut & ironed onto the shirt. I had the purple dot & bright orange fabric in my stash. Now theoretically, if you did the interfacing correctly, you can stop here… but, that doesn’t really look finished, right?! Thankfully, my sweet husband bought the clear sewing foot I needed to do applique, for my birthday!! I’ve never taken a class for applique, and Martta (who did take a class!) was on vacation in a far away land. I was left to my own devices… so I played with the length & width settings on my zig zag stitch until I found the “look” I wanted. Using black thread, I outlined the purple band & orange buckle, then followed around the outline of the hat with lime green.

Quite honestly, I had a few mishaps… expected, kind of, but I was really hoping for a perfect run…Ha! The knit shirt makes the shape tend to get wavy looking when finished, but when my daughter was wearing it, I didn’t notice. Also, along the bottom, you can see where it looks a little rugged… black shirt & black fabric? Makes it hard to see where the 2 pieces meet… even with a clear sewing foot. So again, in the big scheme of things, not too noticeable, but a tip… err on the side of the fabric & not the shirt.

Next up… attach the skirt to the shirt! Again, I did this in the tank dress I linked above, but here’s a quick review…

Gather the top of the skirt using your longest stitch length, then pulling the bobbin thread to gather until it matches the diameter of your shirt opening. Pin, right sides together, and sew using the super stretch stitch for knits, or even just a straight stitch will work. Just be sure to finish your seam if you aren’t using a serger. I use a small zig zag stitch as close to my first stitch as possible, then trim the excess.

Flip it right side out and try on your pretty little girl!

My little girl LOVES this dress, and thankfully, I finished it in time for our Halloween playdate!

Have fun making a Halloween themed dress for your little girl! And let us know how it turned out & what you learned!




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