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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Toddler Sweater Dress from Old Sweater

I really wanted Lily to have a sweater dress or two for this coming season, but everything I could find in stores was at least $20 which was more than I wanted to pay.  Still, there is nothing cuter in the fall than a baby in a sweater dress with boots, so I decided to try to make one.  Ever tried to sew your own sweater dress?  Turns out a DIY sweater dress isn't super hard, and it saves you a lot of money!

 I had an old sweater that had a stretched out neck, so I never wore it anymore.  I decided to cut it up and sew it into a dress.  Worst case scenario, it didn't work out and I was only out a sweater I never wore anyway, right?

 I started by cutting off the sleeves and neck line.  I also cut the front part of the sweater away from the back, by cutting along the shoulder and side seams.  I cut the pocket off as well.

 Since the neck on my sweater was already too stretched out for me, I had to re-cut a smaller neck for this one.  I used a pattern I already had for a toddler dress, but made it a V-neck instead.  Using the dress pattern, I cut the sleeve holes and sides as well.  I sewed the front and back pieces back together at the shoulders and along the sides, and then sewed the neck ribbing back on.

 I took the sleeves I had cut off the original sweater, and turned them inside out.  I sewed down the seam to make the sleeve more narrow so it would fit Lily's arms better.  I cut the sleeve to length, and turned it so the right side was facing out.  I put the sleeve inside the sweater dress I had started, and pinned it in the arm hole.  Make sure you pin it so that when you look into the sleeve you see the wrong side of the sleeve.  After you've pinned it, turn the sweater dress right side out to make sure the sleeve is not inside out (just to be sure.)  Once you are sure it's right, sew the dress to the sleeve.  Do this for both sides.

 Now I just had to do the length.

 I cut off the ribbing along the bottom, and measured it.  I put the dress on Lily, and put a pin where the ribbing needed to start for it to be the desired length.  I added 1 inch (for 1/2 inch seam allowance on the dress and 1/2 inch on the ribbing) and cut horizontally along the dress, measuring to make sure I was cutting in a level line.

I used some extra fabric to cut the shape of a pocket, and sewed the edges under.  I pinned the pocket in place and sewed along the top edge, and the bottom, leaving the sides open for her hands to go in.  I did a baste stitch on the bottom ribbing along the cut edge and gathered it to size.  I then pinned it to the dress and sewed into place, catching the bottom edge of the pocket on the front side.

 I think it turned out great!  Lily loves it, and it was free!

Now I just have to find some cute boots for her to match.

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Love Notes by Lauryn


  1. you really know your stuff, great sweater dress

  2. I absolutely looove this! I am definitely trying this out for my little girl!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Too cute! Great job! And she's adorable. :)

  4. so cute!!That’s my first time, i read your blog that’s good..nice posting and sharing good useful information. Thanks. Also, I thought you mom's may be interested in the newest kids craze in my town, Patch Hats! Check out a hat you have never seen before here at

  5. So clever! She is precious. :) Would you link this idea here?

  6. WOW, I am completely impressed! Great job!

    Hop'n by from 'Creative Bloggers Party & Hop'. I'm following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  7. Wow - looks very good on her! saw you on linky party, I am now gfc following, Karima

  8. This is really cute. Now if I only had a giant sweater to make one for me to wear!!!

  9. I love this..I need to make some of these for my granddaughter!

  10. That's so cute! Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. She looks adorable in it! The boots will be great with it too! Would you like to link up with Creative Me Monday? I'd love to have you join the party, it's open all week! Here's the link:

    Hope to see you there!
    Jenny @ The Southern Institute

  12. i love this! it is so great. i would love for you to link this or any other post up to my link party flashback fridays....a place where bloggers can link up vintage, retro, old posts, or anything that comes to mind when hearing the word "flashback".
    here is the link if you are interested:

    {love} lauryn @

  13. As a non sewer I am totally blown away by this and how well it turned out. Such a cutie model too. :) Thanks for linking up to Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  14. How adorable...both Lily AND the dress! That was a smart reuse of something you probably would have just taken to a thrift store anyway. I hope you'll show it off again, on your precious model, once you find the boots. ;)

    Thanks for joining Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you again this week.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  15. Jess this is adorable. You are amazing and I miss you. <3

  16. i love this project very very cute

  17. Too much fabulous. The most attractive thing of your this work is that you added collar, which I haven't seen anyone else do that. Your project is fabulous.

  18. wow! i love how this turned out!


  19. I love sweater dresses! Especially budget friendly multiple options that create more fabulous fashion moments!