Downsizing

baby_dress_header
I’ll admit it. I get a little emotionally attached to clothes. It’s not like I cry each time a sock goes missing (although that sure does happen a lot), but I have a tendency to hold on to things past their prime if I have fond memories associated with them. This skirt is a prime example. The eyelet had ripped off in one area and I had stitched it back on. The lining was threadbare in places, and a couple of the side seams were starting to pull apart. I have had this skirt for at least five years, three summers of which I wore it to death. It served me well in Mexico because it was comfortable to tromp around in, ever so light, and it actually looked better a little wrinkled. Now that’s my kind of skirt.
baby_dress_before
But it really wasn’t wearable any longer. In fact, I hadn’t worn it at all this past summer. It was too worn to donate, but I held on to it because it seemed to have a little life left. And now, with this dress for Piper, I have found a way to happily part with it.
First, I removed the little metal grommets from the eyelet. They had started to fall out, and I didn’t want them to be a choking hazard. Then I ripped the skirt apart (and cried a little… just kidding), reinforced some of the seams and added light fusible interfacing to the panel that would end up being the top of the dress. For the pattern, I used a dress that I bought for Piper, tracing the outlines onto kraft paper with a spoked tracing wheel. It left a nice little dotted line on the paper for me to cut out after adding seam allowances. (This Built by Wendy book taught me that trick for transferring patterns.)
The skirt had a string attached to the waist, I guess so you could hoist up the top layer a little to show off the eyelet. I promise I never did that. But I was able to repurpose the string into little ties on the back to accommodate a baby’s adorably large head.
baby_dress_back
(Forgive the wonky hanger – I had to twist it up to get the tiny dress on it.) The whole project took just a little over an hour. It helped that I didn’t have to hem it at all. It’s much too large for Piper now, but it will hopefully fit her in the summer, when it’s much more weather-appropriate.
It’ll be good to know that my skirt went to a better place… on a cute baby.

9 responses to “Downsizing”

  1. Sarah @ Dream In Domestic

    Awww it’s adorable! What a great idea! I never would have guessed it was a skirt before. I really like the way it ties in the back, which I’m sure was much easier to do than putting a zipper in.

  2. jem

    What a lovely transformation! Oh the fantastical wonder-working powers of the sewing machine…

  3. maggie

    that is really cute. I’m glad you get to keep the summer memories of this skirt around a little longer.

  4. hoyoyi

    hi, i love your blog, and your tutorial are fabulous! Not to forget cucumbersome, reminds me of my favorite cucumber shake! Merci

  5. Jenya

    It’s trully special and so beautiful! And I love the way the hanger looks!

  6. Shannon

    Looks great! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kiley

    So inspiring! I also like to re-use my old clothing, especially beautifully soft sweaters, to make clothes for my daughter. I discovered that the sleeves of long-sleeve sweaters make perfect legs for warm winter leggings. My most recent sweater – to – skirt and sweater – to – leggings transformations are on my blog here: http://govivigo.typepad.com/gogovividesigns/2009/10/this-used-to-be-a-sweater.html.

  8. Jessica

    This is such a darling idea!

  9. ally adeney

    Fantastic idea. I just cleared out my wardrobe, including some of these tiered skirts. Now I know what to do with them. Thanks.
    Cute blog, by the way!
    Ally

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