How to Make The Sweet Sweater Dress

Yesterday I showed you my sweet girl in her new dress.

Today's the day I show you how to make....

It's incredibly rewarding to turn something that no longer gets worn into something beautiful and useful again.

And something that should make my husband happy.
GAP Price: $29.95
My Price: $3.00

1. Sweater
2. Cotton Material
3. Elastic
4. Iron and Starch
5. Dress to pattern your dress from
Okay, here we go.

STEP ONE: Grab a dress to use as a guide for the dress you are going to make.  Cut the sides of the dress out.
I like to cut half, then fold it in half and cut so both sides are equal.

STEP TWO: Fold the pattern dress inside out and use as a guide to cut the arm holes out.

STEP THREE: Use the pattern dress as a guide to mark where the bottom of the bodice should be.
Again, I like to cut half, fold, then cut the other half.

STEP FOUR: Use the pattern dress as a guide to show there the end of the dress should be.  Cut off middle section-- so the dress isn't too long.

STEP FOUR: Use a pattern to determine the length and width of the sleeves. 
I had to grab one of her shirts to use, since my pattern dress had short sleeves.

STEP FIVE: Take the top piece of the skirt, fold in half, and cut entire length.

Here's a look at the 8 pieces the sweater was cut into.

STEP SIX: Place right sides together and Sew up sides up the skirt.

STEP SEVEN: With right sides together, pin and sew up (tiny) sides of the bodice.

STEP EIGHT: Make a tiny cut in the inside of the bodice neck. Measure around pattern dress neck to get the correct length to cut elastic.  Put safety pin on elastic and feed through the neck.
I was really excited to note that the top of my sweater was already folded down and sewn so I could super easily add elastic so the neck is not too big.

STEP NINE: Once through entire dress, sew elastic together.  Then sew hole back closed.

STEP TEN: With right sides together sew sleeves closed. Place top of sleeve inside, inside out bodice and Pin.  Then sew sleeve around arm hole to bodice.  Once sewn, cut so sleeves lay down.

Once the bodice was all done I tried it on sister to see if it was a good fit.  It was.  Part of me just wanted to stop and make her a cute little sweater. Maybe for my next project.

Now it's onto the Pleats!

STEP ELEVEN: Cut desired length of cotton material.
I just eyed this with my dress, including folding up the hem.

STEP TWELVE: Measure every two inches and mark with a small pencil mark.  Fold pleats and iron. Iron, starch, and iron some more with each pleat.

STEP THIRTEEN: Place pleated skirt inside front of skirt.  Pin pleats in place and sew to hold everything together. Once done, pin the sides of the pleats to the front of the skirt and sew the sides together.

STEP FOURTEEN: Connect the skirt to the bodice. Sew middle strap onto bottom of skirt.  Then sew that together to the top of the bodice.

STEP FIFTEEN: Make the bow. Fold in sides, iron and sew together.

Usually I try to work when sister's sleeping, but sometimes I work when she's awake.  Wonder where she prefers to be while I sew?

Yep, on my lap watching my every move.

The view from my sewing machine.
STEP SIXTEEN: Hand sew bow onto dress.

Bonus: Make head bow if you're so inclined, for extra cuteness.

Such a sweet girl and a FUN project.


This is very cute!! You did a great job! =) Found your site over at Someday Crafts link party, I'm a new follower!
I'll be featuring you tomorrow... This dress and the little model are so cute!
Sticker for you!
Sewandthecity said…
What a nice way to upcycle! Love the dress and the model!
Amazing! What a cute dress. I'm impressed your little girl just likes watching. Mine would want to touch everything and end up with her fingers sewn into the dress. Needless to say, she doesn't sit on my lap while I sew!
Wow, I can barely struggle my through sewing a tote, lol. This is so impressive and completely adorable. I would be thrilled if you would share it at our Link It Up Thursday party going on until Sunday.
I LOVE it! Your little one is adorable and the dress is out of this world cute! It is so hard to find long sleeve winter dresses, but this works perfectly! We would love for you to share this at our link party!
Unknown said…
How sweet! I am going to try to make one for my Kate...maybe a bit bigger, though! I love it! I am hosting my first link party today, and would love for you to add this, along with anything else you like!
Jessica @ Mom 4 Real
Emily said…
Gorgeous dress and what a little cutie!! You did a fantastic job. :) It's really cool that you didn't have to sew a casing around the neck. :) Pinning for later.
This is absolutely darling...what a great refasion!
kim west said…
I featured this today! it's fantastic!
Absolutely darling! I love it!
Rose Estime said…
wow, that's awesome. It looks great. I found your site through etsy as I was reading through your "about me page" I saw the link through your blog. Awesome job. It looks great.

Check out my shop,

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