Sunday, October 2, 2011

Refashion: Halter to Toddler Summer Dress

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I fell in love with this halter when I saw it at the thrift store.  The colors.  The design.  The cuteness.  When I felt the fabric in my hands I knew I'd make this easy summer dress. 

And this was a perfect refashion for my 10 month old daughter.

Best of all, it was very easy.  Seriously easy.  Here's how I did it:

The before:

I can TOTALLY see why someone would have bought this halter, but why give it away?  One of the straps is broken and the green plastic on the chest buckle is flaking off.  

From a design point of view, I didn't need to change much.  This halter:
* Had a perfect hem on the bottom.  I didn't touch it.  And the length was perfect for a toddler.
* The width was a bit much, but 1) I was curious to see how it'd turn out as it was, and 2) my overlocker needed rethreading and I was keen to start sewing.  So I decided to leave the sides alone, too.

First I unpicked the breast material from the belly material (note: I do not have a sewing background, so I  am sorry for the non-sewing lingo.  Let me know if it's unclear....)  Put the green buckle breast material into your scrap pile for a later project. 

Fold the rectangle-shaped material in half, ensuring the arm holes will be symmetrical. Use chalk (I use my son's chalk from his chalkboard) to draw curved armholes. Cut them out.

Fold the arm holes under and sew.  Fold the top and back top edges over and press.  IT'S IMPORTANT TO DO THE ARMHOLES FIRST as it nicely hides the top edge on the armholes.  

When you sew the top edges, insert your label.  I use pins for the label, otherwise I'd forget to put it in... I don't normally use pins because they're time-consuming and annoying.  But like I said, I don't have a sewing background.

This was the hardest part: What color ribbon for the shoulder ties??  I checked out my stash for the options:
The dark pink was perfect, but too thin.  Black is not girly enough.  Green bias tape wouldn't last in the laundry.  But the light pink ribbon... it would work.

My toddler loves this dress... it's cool enough for our approaching summer and practical enough to play with her older brother's toys.


  1. Hi Casey, Judy sent me this. Besides having beautiful children you are very talented and creative. I'm sure it's fun.

    Jane in Phoenix

  2. DARLING!!!!! So proud of You, Casey!


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