Since the shirt was all cotton, I knew it would take to the dye pretty well. I got my bucket, filled it with steamin' hot water, a half a bottle of dye (this was probably excessive for one shirt) and a bit of salt. The salt ingredient isn't in the directions, but the many other blogs I've read that talk about dying often mention salt is important for... something to do with bright, rich colors. I then stuck the shirt in and let it soak, stirring pretty often, for about an hour.
After I dyed the shirt and took it out after an hour, I spent about 30 minutes rinsing it under water to get the excess dye out. Once the water was turning semi-clear, I threw it in the washing machine with an old towel. At this point, I was anxious to see how my first dye job went. Because of this anxiety, I did something stupid. When this cotton shirt was finished washing I put this cotton shirt in the dryer... on high. I didn't think this one through at all, and in hindsight, I certainly should have because as I took my cotton shirt out of the dryer I slowly realized that it was much, much smaller. Fail. I put on the shirt and knew for a fact that I would never wear this midriff-bearing shirt. Brainstorming ensued.
Finally, I thought of something! Plan: buy some fabric, make a dress. Boom. So I bought some fabric made of cotton/spandex blend that would complement my newly dyed shirt. When I got it home, I realized this fabric was different than all the other fabrics I've bought. How is it different, you may ask. Well...
Ignore the crazy eye - I haven't quite gotten the hang of the red eye remover.
I had a piece of elastic in my craft room, so I measured it around my waist and sewed the ends together. As I wanted the elastic on the outside of the dress, I did a fancy-ish seam. My gut tells me it's called a "french seam" but I am unsure on this fact (google it). Basically, you sew it together, and fold it over the seam so the outside looks as such:
Then, I cut my shrunken shirt shorter - to my natural waist - leaving a bit of a seam allowance. You'll notice on this picture as well that I'm in need of a longer ruler.
Once I had the top and the bottoms on the elastic, it all came together from there! I have a nice new dress with lace shoulders that is very, very comfortable. Check it!