About a year ago, I purchased a sweatshirt from Goodwill. I'm so into stripes, and I loved the green and navy. Unfortunately, while I thought it was a good fit, it ended up feeling too short. :( You know that shirt that looks fine until you lift your arms??? Yeah. So it ended up in my closet rarely worn. But it's comfortable cuteness begged to be made into something wearable. I entertained the thought of keeping it for myself and adding a band of navy blue material around the bottom, but then decided to make a comfy dress for my daughter. I'm glad I chose that route.
So go find that ill-fitting sweatshirt in your closet, and follow along with this tutorial to make a cute dress for a little girl!
1. Fold sweatshirt in half, and trace a dress/long sweater that fits your child well to make the bodice measurements.
2. Cut out your dress following the lines drawn. (Don't mind the chalk lines... I decided to widen the dress a bit and went with the red marker lines).
Now you should have three pieces: two sleeves, and your front and back bodice still connected at the shoulders from the original sweatshirt.
4. Find the middle of the top of the sleeve and pin it to the shoulder seam of the bodice, right sides together. Pin the rest of the sleeve to the arm hole and then sew. Repeat for the other arm. Iron seams flat. It may be a bit wavy since you are sewing stretchy fabric, but the steam will smooth everything out.
I actually felt a little guilty finishing up something so fast, so guess what? I decided to embellish it a little. ;) I found a navy blue t-shirt I had purchased from Walgreens awhile ago, and cut three 16 inch strips: 2.5 inches, 2 inches, and 1 inch wide.
I layered them together and pleated them starting at the left shoulder seam working down. Then I sewed two lines on the middle strip, connecting it to the dress.
Then cut a 2.5 inch wide strip all along the bottom of the shirt (using the hem so it would be finished). I folded over and pressed the raw edges with my iron, and then pleated and pinned the strip onto the bottom of the pocket.
I like how this added a fun finishing touch, and Brooklyn calls them her pleated patches! lol
When Brooklyn woke up this morning, I had fun surprising her with a new comfy dress. She loved it! The sleeves ended up being a little long, but that is ok. We'll just roll them up for now, and then this dress will turn into a shirt that will fit her next year!
I just love upcycling! I hope you are inspired to make a sweatshirt dress of your own now. I promise it is easy... you can do it in a naptime even if your kids only nap for one hour and you sew on slow speed like me! ;)