I’ve been dying to sew my daughter some babydoll tops so when I got this sweet dusty pink knit I knew exactly what I wanted to make! Since I already had an embarrassingly long cue of patterns waiting to be printed and sewn, and perhaps a little bit because sewing funds were tied up in an absolutely necessary fabric purchase (funny how often that happens) I decided to work with a tee pattern I already had on hand. If you want to try this mod on the same pattern you can find it here: https://www.brindilletwig.com/products/073-loose-fit-tee
But it will work on just about any basic shirt pattern (including adult sizes!)… so if you have one you love, by all means use it!
So lets talk about modifying your basic tee into a sweet little babydoll top. The first step is dividing the body of your tee in two (adding seam allowance to each new piece). I like to fold my pattern to mark where I’m dividing it so that I don’t have to reprint it again later but you can also cut the pattern if that makes it easier to work with.
* If you like a little curve at the hem but hate hemming around a curve -who doesn’t- try dipping the bottom of the bodice piece a little instead! The finished look will be very similar but without all the hassle.
The next step is adding fullness to the bottom portion of the tee. The simplest method I have found is just sliding your pattern piece back a few inches from the fold before cutting it out. Easy peasy.
Gathering is arguably my least favorite part of any project but I have found a few different things that make it a bit less burdensome: clear elastic (shown) and elastic bobbin thread. If you also dread the many rows of gathering stitches and tedious pulling and fussing I highly recommend trying them out, they might just change your life.
Once you have gathered the lower section and pieced the body of your tee back together just complete the top as directed in the original instructions. Attach sleeves, sew down side seams, etc…