Are you on the repurposing train? If not, here’s some inspiration: DIY your toddler a dress without the $38.00 price tag! Yep, you heard me right! A Calvin Klein toddler tunic style dress starts at around $38 bucks! Well, my daughter got a cute fall one for, well, free??
- Women’s long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve shirt- I used a Calvin Klein one that had shrunk up way too much for my liking. Use a brand name one that you have, or just grab a Hanes one! When it comes down to it, toddlers really don’t care 🙂 Just make sure that it’s made from stretchy knit material
- Dress that currently fits your toddler well to use as a pattern
- Matching thread
- Sewing Machine
- Straight Pins
Lay your toddler dress on top of the shirt. Cut the shirt using this dress as a pattern. Make sure that you cut noticeable semi-circles where the arm holes are.
Place pieces right sides together. Sew up the sides of the dress to the armholes. Do not sew over or around the arm holes at all. (sorry- forgot to take pic of this step apparently)
Decrease the neckline size. The neckline of this shirt was too large for my little one. I cut across the top of the shirt. Then I pinned the neckline back so that it matched. I sewed straight across the top to finish this off.
Alter the sleeves. The sleeves on my shirt were too large AND long for Nat’s arms. I started by measuring the length of her arm from shoulder to wrist. I then cut the sleeve at an angle at this length. Secondly, I took a long sleeve shirt that she can wear and cut the width of the sleeve to match. I did this with both sleeves. Do these 2 things in such a way that you cut off the old sleeve seam. There should only be one side that is open when you are finished with this step.
Turn sleeves right sides together, Sew up the length of the sleeves using a 1/4 inch seam.
Pin the sleeve and the armhole, right sides together. Make sure the sleeve seam is at the bottom of the armhole, lined up with the seam on the dress. The dress and the sleeves will be wrong side out, but you will pin them in a way that the right sides are together for stitching. Carefully sew the sleeve and dress bodice together around this armhole portion.
Below is a picture of the sleeves pinned and sewn, so that you are visualize them both.
***Don’t get discouraged at this part! If you have never sewn armholes or are a novice sewer, this will be the most challenging portion. Even seasoned seamstresses get frustrated with armholes sometimes. Take your time and sew very carefully. Make sure that you maneuver and pin the sleeve in the armhole so that there is no gathering of the sleeve.
Clip any loose threads or large seam allowances. Done!! Designer toddler dress on the cheap!