Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tutorial: Repurpose a women's skirt into a little girls' dress



This is the second skirt I've found like this - I figured the first one was such a a success that I must be meant to make a tutorial for it.  So here I am writing my very first tutorial (bear with me if it's a little rough around the edges - and let me know if anything isn't clear )  This skirt has an invisible zipper in the center back which is what makes it work so well - it becomes the back zipper on the dress. 



Choose a dress that fits well, and use it as a cutting guide leaving room for a seam allowance.  *Or* You can measure your little one and figure out a chest measurement and go from there - That's not my style lol!  What I actually did the first time was to just keep shaving more off the edges with my serger until it looked right lol!  Then I tried it on her to make sure (obviously this is somewhat risky, so always make sure it's  left on the bigger side if you take that route ;))

     Lay your dress centered on top of the skirt.


Cut using the edge of your dress as a guide, leaving room for a seam allowance and perhaps a little extra for growing room if the dress you are using is a little small (that's what I did here)


Sew the 2 pieces together down the sides keeping right sides together.   You'll have something that looks like this :


I hemmed next using bias tape.  If you've not ever learned the easy way using angry chicken's no swearing bias tape method then hop on over there and you'll be find yourself never hemming anything any other way....  I know I know - usually people hem last, but I am not really much of a rule follower ;)


 I love bias tape - seriously - if I wasn't already married I'd be engaged to bias tape. 

Love it.



Cut the straps - I just eye balled it and then shortened them later to the right size when my girl was handy :) I made mine a little wider at one end so that I could gather them a little (I'll explain that in a minute...)
Right sides together, sew along the sides and then turn right side out and press.









Like so :)




I wanted mine gathered at the point where they are sewn on in the front.  I just basted, gathered, and sewed again, so keep it all stable for sewing










Voila!

It's really only a 30 minute adventure to make this sweet dress - and it's sooooo easy !  




I love that I get the zipper - without the fuss  :)

24 comments:

  1. that's just fab heather!!!! Beautiful.

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  2. Beautiful dress! I love finding skirts like that too. I love the finished look of zippers/buttons....without the effort :)

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  3. So cool! And really clear too :)

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  4. Thank you :) I'm glad it's clear :) It's definitely easier to explain with lots of photos, than just with words.

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  5. So clever. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  6. Love it! So easy yet so cute!

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  7. very cute idea. looks easy enough. but I have 3 granddaughters and will have to go to the second hand store for enough skirts lol.

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  8. Thank you for this, i love the idea of make our little ones clothes unique with our crafty little hands....and recicle.

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  9. do you think this would work with a tier skirt

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  10. I think that it would depend on the skirt and how tightly the tiers were gathered, but I think it could :) I think that if the tiers were tightly gathered and it was a really full skirt it might be trickier, but I could be wrong. I tend to just dive in if I think it might work - and if it doesn't then I have more information - at least I know what doesn't work ;)

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  11. Beatiful and such an easy tutorial to follow. Well done.

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  12. I'm glad you like it :) Have you tried it yet? It's great to get feedback :)

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  13. Love it! May have to hit the thrift shop and see what I can find to plan for spring!

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  14. Great tutorial! I often find skirts at a good price that are too short for me - now I can buy them and make dresses for my daughter! Thanks so much for the idea and the instructions.

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  15. Such a cute idea! I have got a ton of shirts I wanted to do something with. This is a great tutorial.

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  16. What a good idea! cant wait to try it THANKS

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  17. This is great will be making this tomorrow or the next day. My daughter loves watching me sew(2 years) and loves it when i make her stuff and I've never made her any clothes before.so she'll be so happy. Will let you know how it goes.

    thank you

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  18. Great idea! I make skirts for me from dresses when I want something really long. Never have tried turning the process around. Thanks!

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  19. This was so fun to do! I made my 5-yr old a dress from a skirt that I got from a garage sale for .50 and she absolutely loves it (and so do I)!

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  20. I'm so glad you enjoyed the tutorial :) It really is so simple. I love a quick sew :)

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  21. I too have had this idea for many years and having 5 girls this will be so much fun! We have lots of skirts that can be downsized for the smaller girls! Thankfully I have saved all the skirts that I planned on doing this with and thanks to your tutorial I can now have some fun!

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  22. Nice blog i like it.
    http://multistylez.com

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