I make these quaint 'frowns' (a cross between a frock and a gown) to use just to lounge around in, or even sleep in. They are a great way of utilizing those favorite old t-shirts that you just can't bear to throw away, or ones that you buy in the thrift store.
Each hillbilly dress or 'frown' will take between four and five t-shirts; choose the colors you like, and one especially nice top or t-shirt for the bodice of the dress.
All measurements are subject to your discretion, and based on what you have available for fabric.
These instructions presume that you have some experience with making your own clothes using a sewing machine or serger because I'll be using some common terms that you will need to know.
Cut the bottom of the bodice in a curve; this allows the gathers of the skirt part to fall properly, and also give your bosom somewhere to go.
I generally start the curve about 3-4" below the armhole, which is the perfect measurement on me. Use your discretion; if you have a larger bust size, allow more.
The skirt part should be at least four to six inches bigger around than the measurement of the bodice, to allow for gathering to fit.
This part is cut straight across.
The rest of the t-shirts, as well as the bottom of the bodice are all cut into strips about six to eight inches deep. I use a serger to sew them all into patchwork, but a zig zag stitch on a regular machine will work too.
Aim for a tube that is larger than the bottom of the skirt section, so you can gather it.
As I don't have room for two machines, I use hand sewing to gather the fabric of the skirt to the size of the bodice and the ruffle to the skirt.
You can do this, or use the largest stitch size on your straight stitch sewing machine, sometimes called a basting stitch.
All the rest of the pieces are sewn together on the serger, or overlock machine, but you could use a zig zag stitch for a similar technique.
I'll bet you'll like making these so much that you'll have several - they even make great gardening gear - make a couple of big pockets for the front and keep your plant labels and a pen, or some string for tying in the tomatoes.
Or, spice it up with some jewelry and wear it out to a barbeque or garden party. Made out of more dressy fabric, these could even be made for a hillbilly wedding; why not?
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