Make Last Year's Dress Into This Year's Blouse

When my daughter was in grade school, I couldn't afford new school clothes every year, so I purchased an A-line (no waistline) dress pattern with the option of cap or long sleeves and three neckline options. The body consisted of a front and two back pieces and it was an easy to sew pattern with a zipper down the back. Back then material was four yards for a dollar, so I'd buy lots of different two yard lengths of material and made several dresses with various necklines and sleeves.


The following year, the top of the dresses would still fit her, but the dresses would be too short, so I cut off the hems and made new hems. Those dresses made perfect blouses. Then I added an inch or two to the length of the dress pattern, bought more material and she had new dresses for the next school year. Those dresses became blouses for the following year and she was always getting compliments on her pretty clothes.

Amuck from Fairview Heights, IL

I do the same with dresses that don't fit around the middle. I am kinda' pear shaped, so that is often the case. And, of all the things I miss it's my lap and waist I miss the most!

So, I cut the skirt portion off, put in a pre-measured piece of elastic, and sew it into the folded over casing. Viola! I have a skirt. If the top is pretty material, I cut it up, press it, and use it for bear or doll clothes, scrunchies, a sling purse, or matching panels for a vest.

If you don't like to sew or don't have much time, donate them to thrift shops or quilting guilds. They would love to have them!

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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

How long ago did you do this for your daughter. I haven't seen kids wear that type of clothes, since about the 70s, when my daughters in elementary school.

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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

I did that for myself during the 70s. I taught myself to sew when my boys were little so as to save some money for them. I probably had that same basic A-line pattern in an adult size! Good for you!

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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

I just remembered a thing I did during the sixties. I don't know how many can remember this but there was a fashion trend for men. Trousers were made with pleats at the waist and the legs were full and had a cuff at the bottom. They were called baggies. I took a couple of pairs of DH's cast offs after they were no longer in fashion and made skirts from them. I was thin thin so it worked. Just cut the legs off at the crotch, open the inseam, turn them upside down so that the bottom of the leg becomes the waistline of the skirt. Stitch the two pieces together, make a pocket for waistband elastic and hem. Voila! Cheap skirt!

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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

This post sounds wonderful but I can't picture it. Just a couple photos would make all the difference

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