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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