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Skirts to Sundresses make me look like a sewing rockstar

Skirts to Sundresses make me look like a sewing rockstar
July 13, 2010 Mary Jo

Back in the sewing saddle, folks!  Now that we are approaching the Mid Summer mark, I thought it about time to make time for the pile of skirts in my studio destined for an upgrade to Wee Sundress.  I pounded out those suckers during a nap time, blissfully reunited with my estranged sewing machine.  That about worked out the kinks, too, and greased the wheel for some major garment sewing to come.

Do you have a little girl of your own?  Perhaps one who can’t be bothered to wear pants (if she’s even fully dressed)?  Then do yourself a favor and pull out that skirt that you tearfully ripped last summer, or those random skirts you have laying around that you’ll never wear, and whip out some sundresses.  There’s still time.  And it couldn’t be easier.

Start by measuring her chest.  Or use a sundress that she already is loving to death to get the proper chest width- it’s okay to pull it out of the dirty clothes bin for this.  Flip the skirt inside out, measure the chest width along the top edge, add a seam allowance, and cut a line from top to bottom.  You can angle the line if you’d like, making the bottom wider (and fuller) than the top.  You can also cut off the zipper portion, if there is one, because the sundress will fit over the head without any additional closures.  Sew up the new side seam, use the fabric you cut off to make two straps, and that’s it.  The already-loved sundress comes in real handy for deciding where to put the straps, and how long to make them, but you could easily figure it out with some measuring and trying on, if your model happens to be awake.

Each dress will be a little different.  This one rode a bit too high in the armpit, so I scooped it out and finished the edge with bias tape.  I also put a pleat in the front and seized the opportunity to add a flower, also from bias tape, in order to ensure that she’d wear it, and often.  Flowers are a small investment to ensure clothing acceptance.

The most important thing to remember here is that the skirt was otherwise destined for disposal, so if you screw something up, it’s no big deal.  Take the opportunity to experiment, get a little more confident in the sewing process.  Let ‘er snap! Don’t forget to add little details to make it smashing.  The taupe dress above just happened to be sitting on my table next to the yellow sheer daisy fabric, making it clear that the two must be combined.  I added the yellow strip to the already-finished dress and kicked it up a notch.

A shirt with a compelling design also begged to be elevated.

That daisy fabric proved to be irresistible, huh?  How wonderful that she now has a skirt to go with her pink and white floral top, or her pink, black, and silver striped long-sleeved shirt.

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