Thursday, November 5, 2009

TUTORIAL: How to turn a baby shirt in to a dress!

I am finally getting around to typing up this tutorial! I think it is a great one, it is oh so easy AND it will help you get more mileage out of your baby clothes.

As My baby gets older, and bigger it seems lime many of her little onesies and other outfits are not getting too tight, just too short. Making my favorite baby body suits into dresses is a great way to end up with some ADORABLE outfits and save some money!

start by cutting the bottom off of your body suit. If you want more of a baby doll style dress cut it off higher, and if you want a longer torso cut it lower. This is a body suit that I bought from the dollar store and put a computer print out iron-on transfer on. Autumn wore it many times and now it is not long enough.

Find a fabric that you like and determine how long you want the dress to be. add 1 1/2" . 1" seam allowance at the bottom and 1/2" seam allowance at the top. I eyeballed mine, and you can do it that way too. When the fabric is folded in half use the entire width of the fabric (or half-width, technically) cut the fold of the fabric off. Sew up each side of the fabric, those are your side seams. Press the side seams open, and iron and sew your hem (this should take 1" off the bottom of the dress of your skirt.)

***TIP*** if you don't have many options for local fabric shopping and don't want to wait for something to be shipped to you, you are probably going to Jo-Anne's. If this is true, check for coupons, there are usually coupons available online if you do a google search, or you may be able to find them in your Sunday paper.

Next, sew a basting stitch over the top of the skirt of the dress (turn your straight stitch up to 5) and pull one thread to create the sirring for the skirt. If you pull the thread that comes from the spool, not from the bobbin, or the string on the top of your fabric when you are sewing, it will be easier to slide the shirring down the skirt. Either way, pull the same thread until the shirring is adequate or you will break your thread.

match the side seam of your skirt and the top and distribute the shirring evenly.

Use a Zig Zag stitch and a medium stitch width to attach the skirt to the top.

Iron the little dress and voila! You just up cycled that onesie your baby outgrew!

I used the bottom part of the onesie and some extra fabric to make this matching headband. If you make an empire style dress you can also put elastic in the top of the bottom half of the baby body suit to make a matching diaper cover.

I am really happy with the results of this dress, and the possibilities for variations are endless!

We went out to a few places that afternoon and we got SO many compliments. Besides, she is at the age where she grows up, not out, so I think as she gets too tall it will make a cute baby doll top!

Also, this project took hardly any time, which is great. I made it before I replaced my night mare of a sewing machine and the whole thing, including cutting and making the headband took less than an hour.

Hope you enjoy, and have an excuse to make one. You can always make one out of a new onesie and monogram it our use some steam-a-seam to put a cute animal on it. That would be a really fun hand-made baby shower gift!


  1. What a great idea and it turned out soooo cute! Of course, that baby is just too sweet!
    Nice feature!

  2. That dress is precious, your little one is even more precious, and your hubbies feets are hilarious!

  3. Great instructions! That dress look so cute!!

  4. I love this! And it is adorable on your little cutie! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. what a great idea!!! i bet you could do the same thing for a boy, and just make them into shorts, like a jumper :D nice job!

  6. I LOVE this! So adoreable! And what a cutie!!