A little dress refashioned

What do you do when a pretty little dress gets ripped to shreds? Well, shreds might be a slight exaggeration, and to be completely fair, it probably wasn’t entirely the fault of the child. The dress was getting a bit too snug across the chest, which was probably causing undue stress on the fabric. This child is a champion grower. She’s going to be taller than me.


She is also, by far, my roughest customer. I can’t tell you how many knees and bums and legs she’s worn through in this past Winter. I’m at the point where I won’t make anything below the waist for her anymore. It’s more sensible to buy cheap RTW leggings and trackie pants during the sales. In the past few weeks, I’ve been converting some of the salvageable ones to shorts for Summer (like the cute pink pair below). Even Miss Three doesn’t cause as much damage as her to clothes as this one does.


This dress refashion was very simple. I cut off the yoke as high up as I could and simply attached a waistband. The waistband is a scrap of lycra from my recent swimsuit. I gathered the (circle-shaped) skirt to fit the waistband and threaded some elastic through it for a little extra security. The blue was the perfect match for the skirt.


She looks like such a little lady here!



The length of this skirt is so grown up. I like the look of it on Miss Five even though I know the length is going to be subjected to all kinds of horrors. No doubt I’ll end up cutting off a torn inch here and a torn inch there, like I do with all her other dresses, until it ends up as a mini. The only thing that seems to withstand this child is silk CDC and quilting cotton.

However, I don’t think sensibility should always get in the way of fashion, especially not with little girls who like length and swish. It’s become an instant hit, which is a relief. I wasn’t quite sure how she would take the idea of me refashioning one of her favourite dresses.



6 thoughts on “A little dress refashioned

  1. Lee

    Love your upcycle, it’s very pretty. It’s fun creating something new from something old. Loved your comment about your ‘champion grower’!! I’ve got one of those….she’ll be towering over me when she’s 15!


  2. Jillian - SewUnravelled

    Seriously! How quickly do kids grow? And oh my, your Miss 5 and my Miss 5 would get along just fine. My Miss 5 is such a scrapper and I feel the same way about bottom half coverings as you. She’s sooooo hard on her Twirl To Me tunic and dress it’s not even funny. Knock out a tooth at age 3? Done! Skinned knees through long tights constantly? Done. Love your refashion and also converting worn tights to shorts. Genius. Why didn’t I think of that??


    1. Debbie Iles Post author

      Oh no! Face plants freak me out in girls – it’s terrible but I race to check their noses and teeth. I like interesting looking faces, but teeth and noses are expensive to repair when they get older ;-). I’m beyond surprised that my Miss Five is still in one piece.


  3. Lisa G.

    One of mine is similarly hard on her clothes! By the time daughter #3 gets them, they look like rags… Sigh. That was a beautiful dress, but it’s equally cute as a skirt. Love that length too!


    1. Debbie Iles Post author

      Haha! The funny thing is, that this middle child also has the most clothes. She gets all the *nicely* worn clothes from her older sister (Miss Seven is so much gentler!) but they never make it beyond her. They become rags like you say. Glad it gives me an excuse to sew though 😉



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