Jul 9, 2013

Easy Sleeveless Dress Refashion

In our house we don't do sleeveless.  I am trying to teach my children right from a young age to dress modestly, which in our home, means no sleeveless clothes.  But we get a lot of hand me downs (which I am so grateful for) and often times they include really cute sleeveless sundresses and tank tops.  I let my girls wear these with a t-shirt under them and I think they are so adorable.  But I wanted to create a way to just add a t-shirt already to these cute sleeveless pieces to make them into an "always modest" piece of clothing.   So I came up with a SUPER easy way to turn a dress like this:
into this:

 What you need for this project is your sleeveless item and a t-shirt that coordinates.  It is important to try and keep the sizes similar, so that they fit better.  I found t-shirts that worked at our thrift store.  You are only going to see the top and sleeves so it doesn't even matter if it has a design on it.
What you need to do first is place the t-shirt under the dress or top (how it would look if your child was wearing it).  Pin this in place.
 I pinned along the front of the dress and the back.
 I pinned on the straps on top of the sleeves and under the armpits.
 Next it is important to choose a thread that matches the stitching already on the dress or top.  In this case the stitching was pink so that is what I chose.  Now you need to stitch.  I look for places where I can sew so that the stitches would be hidden.  I stitched along the front just below the top hem.
 Then I stitched under the armpits (only about 2 inches) again just below the hem.  This keeps the sleeve from popping out.
 Then I sewed along the back.  This had a bit of gathering so I stitched just below the last row of gathering stitches.  If your thread matches pretty close then it is really hard to even tell where you did it.
And lastly I sewed along the straps.  I sewed along only one side of the strap (about an inch of stitching) because that is where the stitching was on the dress.  I don't sew along the whole thing because I don't want to completely change the fit of the dress.  Sewing just a few stitches makes everything lay the way it normally would if you were to just wear a shirt under the dress.
 Lastly you will want to cut down the shirt under the dress.  Pull out the t-shirt flat and
 trim so that there are only a few inches hanging down below the lowest stitching that you did.  Because you used a t-shirt then you don't need to worry about it unraveling.  Knit is perfect for projects like this because it doesn't unravel.
 And there you have it.  A really easy, inexpensive fix.  It takes only a few minutes and a sewing machine.  It was so much easier than I expected.  I was able to do this in about 10 minutes.  It is not like it is that hard to wear a shirt under a sun dress or something but now it is a complete and modest outfit and my daughter was excited because it was like something "new" all over again.
 These are the other ones I did quickly one afternoon:

Now there is no need to worry about an outfit that is sleeveless-you can easily turn it into a new, modest, fashion piece.
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