I have a maxi dress that I start to be tired of. The good news is it has so much fabric that can be easily made into a new dress for my little one! And the tiered design makes it even easier as I don’t need to hem or serge the skirt part at all!
I will show you how this dress has been turned into two dresses – a shorter one for me and a brand new one for my 3-year-old daughter.
- Place the sleeve main and lining together with the right sides touching. Pin and sew along the bottom edge. Trim off half of the seam allowance, turn right side out, iron flat, and top stitch. Repeat with the other sleeve.
2. Place the bodice front and bodice back main pieces together with the right sides touching and shoulder seams lining up. Sew along the shoulder seams. Iron the seams open. Repeat with the bodice front and back linings.
3. Place the cap sleeve and bodice main together with the right sides touching, and the centre of the sleeve aligned with the shoulder seam. Sew a basting stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance to secure the sleeve.
4. Place the bodice lining on top of the bodice main with the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up. The sleeves are now sandwiched in between. Pin and sew along the two armholes. Sew along one front seam, around the back bodice neckline, to the other front seam. Clip notches into the armhole curves and clip the corner.
5. Turn the bodice right side out and iron flat. Create four ties: fold one tie piece in half along the long side with the right sides touching, sew along the long raw edges and one short edge, turn the right side out, iron flat and top stitch. Repeat with the other 3 ties.
6. Lay the bodice out flat and separate the main from the lining. On the right side of the Front Bodice Main’s side seam (as shown in the picture), measure up 3⁄4” from the bottom raw edge and mark with a pin or pen. Pin the tie in place above the mark, baste stitch it to the front bodice with a 1⁄4” seam allowance.
7. Repeat step 6 by turning the bodice so that the lining is facing up. Pin the tie to the left back lining side seam and baste stitch.
8. Place Front and Back mains together with the right sides touching. Place Front and Back Linings together with the right sides touching. Line up the side seams and sew. Repeat it with the side seam on the other side. Iron the seams open.
9. If you are using the pattern, create a long skirt piece by sewing one front skirt piece to each short side of the back skirt piece, with the right sides touching and raw edges lined up. If you are using an existing skirt or dress like me, simply cut off the desired length from your skirt/dress’s hem and rip open one side seam to create a long skirt piece. For a professional look, finish the seams with a serger or trim off 1⁄2 of the seam allowance and finish with a zigzag stitch.
10. Finish the short sides of the long skirt piece by folding them twice and top stitch. Hem the skirt long bottom edge by doing the same. Sew one or two rows of gathering stitches along the top raw edge of the skirt. (Note: start and end gathering 1/2” from both side of the skirt piece.) Gather the skirt until it is the same width around as the bodice.
11. Separate the main bodice from the lining. On the main front bodice straight raw edge, measure 1⁄2” in and mark with a pin or pen. Repeat the same with the other raw edge. Place the gathered skirt on top of the main bodice with the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up. Begin and end between the marked guidelines on the front main bodice. Pin to secure, adjusting the gathers as necessary. Sew along the pinned seam. For a professional look, finish the seam with a serger or trim off 1⁄2 of the seam allowance and finish with a zigzag stitch.
12. Lay the dress right side up and separate the main bodice from the lining. Place the tie on the right side of the main bodice straight raw short edge. Baste stitch with a 1⁄4” seam allowance. Flip the lining over the main bodice with the right sides touching, the tie is sandwiched between. Fold over the raw edge of the lining to align with the waist seam and tie. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance and serge. Repeat with the remaining tie on the other side.
13. Fold the bodice lining’s waist raw edge up by 1/2″ with wrong sides touching, iron flat. Align the folded edge to the waist seam. Pin and topstitch.
14. Topstitch around the neckline. Start along the front bodice straight edge and continue up the front bodice angled neckline and around the back neckline. Continue back down the opposite front bodice angled neckline to the front bodice straight edge.
Now the dress has been created! You can hand sew a nap button to secure the front bodice cross over if you prefer. Enjoy!