Friday 4 March 2011

Girls Dress Made from a Ladies Top

This is my latest upcycling project. I needed some orange clothes for my youngest daughter. Why?, you may ask.  At nursery at the moment, each week they are having a colour theme. They have already covered a few colours which, I have so far managed to find for her. But orange, I really didn’t have anything in the house which was orange. As you know my girls like pink, and orange doesn’t really go with pink. Last week it was green, luckily my eldest daughter had a small t-shirt in green, so this quite easily fitted my youngest.

I went out to the shops to try to find something girly and orange. I didn’t find any clothes in the general clothes shops, so I decided to look in the charity (thrift) shops. I still couldn’t find any girls clothes, but I did find a small ladies strapless top in a lovely bright orange colour, and this was extremely cheap. I purchased it last week as a backup option, still hoping to find something else before this week.

As I had not found any alternative, I then started on re-designing the top into a little girl’s summer dress. It wasn’t that difficult and only took less than 2 hours of often interrupted work. The only things extra I needed were: some elastic and thread. Below is a quick tutorial of how I did this.
Step 1: I measured my daughter's chest, then took in the side hem of the top accordingly, to make it slimmer. (I kept the scraps to make the bracelet).

Step 2: I cut of part of the long bottom frill. (I just cut this by freehand to make it unique.)

Step 3: Using half of the cut of bottom frill I then made two long straps.

Step 4: I added elastic into the long straps, to make them look ruffled and sewed them to the top of the top (now making it a dress!).

Step 5: I added some belt hoops with some of the spare material. (I sewed these into the side hems, by unpicking a small gap, placing them inside, and then sewing over the gap and the belt hoops)

Step 6: With the remaining half of the frill, I managed to make a belt for the dress.

Step 7: With part of the top frill (which I had removed to make the dress slimmer) I made a stretchy arm bracelet.

The Photo above is a close up of my daughter modelling the completed dress and the bracelet. She loves posing for the camera, as you can probably see.

To keep in with the theme of orange, I also managed to crochet an orange headband. My daughters’ have boxes full of headbands, but again none of them were orange. This was the first crochet headband I have ever made, so I kept it to a very simple quick pattern, nothing fancy. I also made an orange crochet flower hair bobble/band.

I hope the mini tutorial makes it clear on how simple it was to accomplish this. If I wasn't being distracted by my children I could probably have made this in less than 1 hour!


  1. What a genius idea and a great way to upcycle! I love playing with T-shirts!

    If you don't mind I would love it if you linked up to my weekly upcycled/stashbusting linky pary (Upcycled Awesome) at or use this link:

  2. This is very cute! I'm featuring it on my Follower Fridays on Facebook - thanks for following Sew Homegrown!

  3. You are awesome! MashaAllah. I will definitely pin it to use when my sewing skills increase.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comments - glad you like it!


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