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Re-purposing: Dress into Shirt {with elastic waist}

I’ve been cleaning out the winter wardrobe.
Out with the old, in with the new, right???
But instead of storing/donating the old items……you I know I love to turn them into something new, rather than buying something new.
This little top is nothing fancy……but I turned an old long sleeved knit dress, that was now too short for comfort, into an elastic waist-ed shirt……with cuffed 1/2 sleeves.
A quick and easy transformation…….that is still nice and comfy too.
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See that thumbs up?  She approves.
(Ha….totally a coincidence.)
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A great way to extend the life of a long sleeved dress from last season.
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She’ll keep it.
Would you like to make an easy transformation to an old dress?

Here’s how the dress looked before.  Straight shaped knit dress, with long sleeves.  (Flowers were already attached.)  I cut off a few inches from the bottom (making sure to leave enough for the hem) and cut off the cuffs from the sleeves.
Then, I hemmed under the bottom with 2 seams, to give it a more clean look and to secure the hem in place.
(Sewing with knit hint: I increased my seam allowance here and that really helped with the pulling that occurs with sewing with knit sometimes.)
Then I folded under the bottom of the sleeves up into the shirt several inches…..and hemmed it in place with 2 stitches as well.
Then I cuffed the sleeves and placed a few stitches (hand-sewn) along the under side of the sleeve, near the side seam…….to help keep the sleeve cuffed.
Then I cut about an inch strip from the leftovers of the bottom of the skirt leftovers………..
And then pinned it to the inside of the shirt, where I wanted the elastic waist to be. (You may need to try the shirt on your subject, and measure where you’d like to waist to hit.)
Then sew all the way around the strip, then all the way around the bottom of the strip, leaving a small 2 inch opening along the bottom.
Then cut a piece of 1/2 inch wide elastic that is slightly bigger than your subjects waist.  I didn’t want the waist to be tight and ride up all the time…….but wanted it cinched in enough to gather in at the waist.  Then thread in the elastic.
And then sew the two ends together with a few stitches.  Then work the elastic in the rest of the way and then sew up the rest of the elastic casing.
Then turn right side out and admire your work.
Oh yeah, then slip in on you, your little girl…….or whoever you made it for.
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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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