Lady’s Top to Toddler Dress Refashion!


April 22, 2013 by thepolishedbutton

I found a size 10 ladies polo neck top headed for the charity shop the other day, and thought I would have some fun turning it into something cute for my daughter. Check out the results and tutorial below – it was dead easy and took me about an hour whilst the little ‘un had a nap!

In other news, I have been nominated for a blog award – woohoo! The lovely Helen over at Grosgrain Green sent me a message to tell me she had put me forward for a Liebster Award – how blooming lovely! I will tell you more about it in my next post, but i just wanted to tell you all as I was so chuffed!




Lady’s top to toddler’s dress tutorial

1. Firstly, I took the top, laid it out and placed another dress, that I know fits my daughter nicely, and laid it on top to check there was enough fabric.

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2. Next I marked out cutting lines, and cut away one half of the top, and folded it across to the other side. This way when I cut the other side out, I could cut round the first half and get an even shape.

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3.  I cut a simple armhole shape, and then used the sleeves from the top as my basis for the dress sleeves. I decided to keep the original cuffs and just cut away the excess at the top of the sleevehead and shaped them so that they would fit into my new armhole. I used the sleeves from the original dress to get the length right.

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4. To give my new dress a bit of character, I used the excess fabric from the sleeves to create little square patch pockets. I cut out 2 squares, folded over and pressed a small hem all the way round. With hindsight, I should have used some lightweight iron on interfacing to give them a bit of strength and make them easier to sew – the cotton jersey is quite difficult to manipulate around small hems and corners!

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5. I hemmed the top of the pockets, then pinned them into place on the front dress panel and stitched them down along the other edges. I found some cute little vintage buttons to finish them off with and hand stitched these onto the front of the pockets.

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6. Next up, I pinned and stitched the front and back pieces together at the sides and shoulders. (I kept the original hem from the top so I didn’t need to re-hem the new dress!) I used the overlock stitch on my machine and a ball point needle for woven fabrics, to stop the jersey being over-stretched.

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7. I cut a long strip of jersey from the remnants to make a binding for the neck edge. I wanted the dress to have a boat neckline, but it was a little tricky not to stretch it too wide. Right sides together, I overlocked the front edge, folded and pressed the band over itself, pinned it in place and ‘stitched in the ditch’ from the front to secure it. (As you can see, my ditch stitching needs some improvement!)

Next time I may use a facing rather than binding!

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8. I pinned the sleeves into place, overlocked them, and job done! A sweet and simple little dress, perfect for playtime!

2013-04-19 14.21.08 2013-04-19 15.15.43-1 2013-04-19 15.17.25-1The toddler was rather taken with it, although I had to bribe her with biscuits to persuade her to stand still for the photos!




5 thoughts on “Lady’s Top to Toddler Dress Refashion!

  1. Helen says:

    This is so cute. I do sometimes wish my Small Boy was a small girl, just for the clothes! Wee boys clothes are not exciting enough to warrant making them (IMO)!

    And you’re welcome! 🙂

  2. Nay says:

    I love it. Seems to be a few kids refashions going around – I must confess, I’m a selfish sewer and usually only sew for myself!! I have a green top I bought from a magazine over a decade ago, never worn it – maybe I should make a dress for one of my girls with it?

  3. […] use snaps as suggested in the blog. Apart from me being an idiot and screwing up the pockets…again…I think it looks pretty damn cute, plus it is perfect worn with a long sleeve top underneath […]

  4. kleine kleinigkeiten says:

    great idea! thank you for your inspiration.

    warm regards

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