Monday, March 3, 2014

The easiest kid's dress ever refashion (Just one seam!)

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

This dress was born out of necessity. At my (Jessica's) house, we have a problem: My daughter will only wear dresses. Even a skirt and t-shirt are not desirable enough to be considered "the fanciest" things she could wear every day, and we won't even talk about pants!

So recently I had a brilliant idea: turn her skirts and shirts into dresses. This is perfect for two reasons: 1) because I can use old too-short shirts and dresses and give them a longer life, and 2) she'll actually wear them! That's how I came up with the idea for this, the easiest dress ever:

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

For this dress, you'll need two things. A t-shirt that you child doesn't wear or is too short, and a skirt or outgrown dress. For the pink and blue necklace dress above I used a shirt that never got worn (not "pink enough") and a dress that was too short:

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

This shirt was loved but not considered "pink enough" to get worn very often. And the dress was more like a tunic top on her, with the bodice really being too tight to wear now.

Here's how you can make your own!

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

1. Cut your skirt away from the waistband, leaving the gathered portion intact. If you're using a dress you can cut the top off. If you're using a skirt, cut off the waistband.
2. You should now have two pieces, the gathered skirt and the top (which you won't use).
3. Lay your skirt piece out over your shirt and check the length.

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

4. Line up the side seams of your t-shirt and you skirt piece, and pin in place.
5. Slip your skirt piece just underneath your shirt hem.
6. Make sure that the gathered part of your skirt piece matches up with the double hem of your t-shirt.

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

7. Pin the skirt piece in all the way around your t-shirt hem, making sure that the gathers are pretty evenly distributed.
8. Sew all the way around your t-shirt hem with a zig-zag stitch. I tried to use thread that matched as exactly as I could, and kept my zig-zags between the two rows of stitches on my t-shirt. I think this helps disguise the fact that you're creating a new seam.
9. Try on your little girl, and watch her twirl!

That's it! This is the easiest refashion ever, just one single seam to sew! You can do one of these in about fifteen minutes. That's my kind of project! My daughter was so excited about her new dresses that we made three:

one seam kids dress refashion and sewing tutorial

We went through all the skirts and t-shirts in her closet that never got used, and she matched up which ones she wanted to make dresses out of. The purple dress in the center is an old t-shirt and a skirt with the shorts cut out from underneath. The pink and brown polka dotted dress is made from another t-shirt and old dress that was too short. (And if you love her hair flower, you can buy your own at MeggieKate Boutique on Etsy!) She just loved that she could help customize her new dresses her self, and I love that I'm teaching her to think outside the box about fashion.

I hope you loved this project as much as I do! If you're looking for more fun kid's sewing project you can check out our other tutorials on our kid's sewing page. And if you make one of these easiest dresses, we'd love to see!



  1. The back is adjustable, and it is understandable why it was designed that way. My daughter had a lot of compliments, and her older cousin plans to borrow the dress for a formal event soon.
    Antonio Melani

  2. I will have to remember this as my daughter gets bigger! It'd be great if you'd link this up at my blog party going on now!

  3. She looks adorable in all her dresses :)

    Cathy Vargas
    Vintage Girl


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