Convert an old top into a baby dress

Everyone has had at least one item of clothing ruined at some point in time. Either by a spill, pulled thread, a stubborn stain, or even by accidentally putting a hand wash only into the drier to find it distorted at the end of the cycle. Whatever turned the clothing into an unwearable, it’s always sad to see good clothing go to waste.

After reluctantly throwing away a few favorites I was determined to find a way to make the best of my ruined favorites. I have been taking apart my unwearables and collecting all of its good parts. Notions like buttons, zippers, waste bands, bias binding, scrap fabric are great for future projects.

Today I am going to share with you how I turned a damaged top into a baby dress. This top was given to me by a friend along with several other pre-loved garments. My friend is expecting a baby girl, so I wanted to make something for her.  Here is what the top looked like before.

It’s hard to see it in this picture but the top has a few pulled threads and a couple of marks.  A perfect candidate for reconstruction.  So, I unpicked all seams to give me a sense of how much usable fabric I had to play with.  I released the frill and the neckline binding. Then carefully cut out the girl’s dress bodice front and back while avoiding the stained areas. I used iron-on interfacing to the bodice, then sewed the front and back together.


Luckily, I was able to reuse the bottom part of the top with the original hemming for the skirt. All I needed to do was gather until the skirt waist matched the bodice.

I’ve reused the bias binding as the dress neck and shoulder line. Attached the skirt. Added fastenings in the back. Then, with the leftover fabric I made a little flower to embellish. Here is the result!

Update:  with a bit of left over I still managed to make a headband to match the dress.


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