I started with this short-sleeved tunic that I picked up on Target on clearance for less than five bucks, and basically made it into a smaller version of itself (with a less plunging neckline).
I loved the color, the shimmery gold pinstripes, and the cotton woven trim, and at first I thought I would turn it into a crossover neckline, but once I started measuring, it seemed like the simplest solution was the best one in this case--I just shrunk the dimensions so that it would fit my girl.
I started by taking off the sleeves:
|In this case, I was careful!|
I put the dress on the girl at this point to get the straps and length right, and I wanted to make sure it would fit over her head. I didn't feel like putting in any closures if I didn't have to! I did separate the trim pieces from each other (so they cross over, but the neckline pulls open a little further) but I don't think it was necessary.
|Seeing it like this, I considered making it a bubble dress, but didn't have quite enough fabric.|
|Um, Mom, I think you left a few pins in here...|
|I wanted the new dress to be longer than the template.|
After the armholes were cut, I sewed the front and back pieces of the dress together (right sides together).
Then I cut the original sleeves down to fit the new armholes, and with the sleeve inside out sewed from the cuff to the armpit, backstitching at each end.
|The pins are actually too narrow in this picture--I recommend using a|
sleeve from a shirt/dress (non-stretchy) that currently fits as a template. I had to widen these after she tried it on!
OK, I confess--I actually didn't do that. I just stitched it all the way around, then realized that the trim wasn't sitting on top, so I had to rip out the seam along the trim and reattach with the trim on top. That's the way I SHOULD have done it :P
|See where the trim looks tucked in at the shoulders? Don't worry, I fixed it :)|
So here's the part where I show you all the adorable pictures of the girl wearing the finished dress:
|Look at me! My dress is so cute!|
|Are you still here with that camera?|
|Uh-uh. I said no more pictures.|
|At least when she runs away, I get a shot of the back.|
|Wait a second, what's that under there?|
|Yes indeed, I did make a diaper cover out of the leftover fabric!|
I love the repurposed dresses--I get all the credit for making a dress with only about half the work, and I don't have to follow a pattern!