Sunday, December 5, 2010

Upcycled shirt to a sweater dress

This old shirt was just taking up space in my closet and not getting worn. So I decided to turn it into a cute little dress for Brenna.

Since I already had the shirt to use for fabric this project only cost me 92 cents!

I think she likes it because she keeps saying "I pretty mommy" and twirling around.

So here's how you make one:

Step 1: Cut off the sleeves and bottom along the seams.

Step 2: I used one of Brenna's dresses that fits her just right as a pattern. I turned the shirt inside out. Then I lined up the neck of the pattern dress with the neck of the shirt and traced the bodice with a marker. I did this for the front of the dress on the front of the shirt and for the back of the dress on the back of the shirt. If you are new to making your own pattern there is a wonderful tutorial here.

Step 3: Cut along the marker lines. (This is a picture of the back piece).

Step 4: Next, cut the sleeves down to kid size and sew them closed. (I did this by holding the original sleeve over Brenna's shoulder to mark it before cutting). Also sew the sides of the dress together.

Step 5: Sew along the top of only 1 side. (I added snaps later so Brenna can actually get her head through this dress, I have made that mistake a few too many times).

Step 6: Pin the un-sewn shoulder together and flip the dress inside out.

Step 7: Pin the sleeve in place to sew on. I do this by turning the dress inside out and leaving the sleeve right side out. Then I line up the seam of the sleeve with the seam where the armpit goes of the dress and pin them together. Then I slide the sleeve inside the dress and pin all the way around. If you are new to sewing sleeves on there is a helpful tutorial here.

Step 8: Once everything is pinned pull the sleeve back out of the dress. It will now be inside out as well. (I always turn the dress right side out to check it before sewing the sleeve on. There is nothing worse than having an inside out sleeve sewn on).

Step 9: Sew the sleeves on and turn the dress right side out.

#10: Take the material that was at the bottom of the shirt originally and sew it into a tube the same size as the bottom of the dress.

#11: Pin the tube and the dress together for sewing. I do this by turning the dress inside out and leaving the tube right side out. Then I line the seams up and slide the tube inside the dress and pin the edges together. Then flip the tube out and it will be inside out as well.

#12: Sew the tube and the dress together.

#13: Sew snaps into the open shoulder.

Embellishing (optional)


Step 1: Using the extra material make tattered rosettes. I used this tutorial.

Step 2: Next, hot glue tule to the back of the rosettes.

Step 3: Hot glue all 3 rosettes with tool backing onto some felt to keep in place.

Step 4: Hand sew snaps onto the felt and also onto the dress. (This way you can remove the flowers when washing the dress. I don't know how well hot glue washes, but I don't really want to try :)


Step 1: Using a scrap of fabric sew a tube.

Step 2: Then sew a button onto each end of the tube.

Step 3: Using a seam ripper open a small hole on each side of the dress.

Step 4: Cut the tube in half. Trim each side to the desired length.

Step 5: Slide the end of the tube into the open hole.

Step 6: Sew the tube into place while sewing the hole closed.

Step 7: Sew the buttons into place on the dress.

If this is confusing at all please leave me a comment of send me an e-mail and I will clarify. Thanks!

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  1. I'm giving you a standing ovation right now... LOVE IT!!!
    Brenna's the perfect model too :)

  2. sweater dresses are my weakness! They are so easy to wear and versatile. I love how you styled this look and the color is perfect for winter or spring!