Woman's Top to Little Girl's Dress

Kristen decided this top needed to go in the give-away box. The opening was just too wide to be wearable unless paired with something underneath.

It's a bit hard to see, but the opening goes almost all the way to the sleeves.

I thought there might be potential here as a child's dress. So I sliced the sleeves off, and then added a bunch of close shirring lines on the front and back. Shirring is such great fun! If you haven't tried shirring by using elastic thread in the bobbin, you really ought to!

Then I used inspiration from here and here to cut-down and remake the sleeves. The cuffs were still too large, so I sewed 1/8" elastic, pulled as tightly as possible while I sewed, to make a second gathered line above the elastic already in place. The neckline needed to be gathered all around, and this was the trickiest part, mostly because I had decided to save the original front. I sewed a casing around the back and sleeves, but I had to use a strip of bias tape across the front for the casing there.

The finished dress looks almost identical to the original, but the fit is completely different. I did the cutting and fitting while our 3 year old granddaughter, Annie, was staying with us, so I'm pretty hopeful it should work for her now.


Kristen Wegener said…
Shoot, I have another one almost identical, a size smaller and in blue, that I keep hoping will miraculously shrink in my closet. But it hasn't. I'll bring it home this week and we can fix it up for Laurel.
Anne said…
Yes, lets!
Jessi Thornhill said…
That dress looks adorable. Good job!
Have you tried zig zagging over narrow elastic? It works great on cuffs like you did here, but is much easier and more flexible than stretching the elastic as you sew (at least I think so).

Adjust your stitch width so the needle doesn't catch the elastic as it zigs and zags. The stitches will form a "casing" that is hidden when the fabric bunches up. If you have plenty of elastic, you can secure one end, zig zag over the flat, unstretched elastic, pull it up to fit, and then secure the end with a few straight stitches.

I love the remade dress, and a coordinating blue one for Laurel will be so cute!
Anne said…
No, Heather, I have never tried that, but it does sound like a much better technique. I'll definitely try it on the blue dress. Thanks for the tip!

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