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A Summer Dress

July 30, 2012

A few months ago I found a blue and white striped mens shirt at the thrift store for only $2.  Since blue is by far Creamie’s favorite color (and long sleeved dress shirts are usually $5) I picked it up with plans to make her a new dress.  And then 8ish months later I finally got around to it. (Mom of the year, right here.)

front and back

It’s just a basic raglan style short sleeved dress.  I used my favorite pattern (Simplicity 5695) as a guide and just made it a bit longer, a bit skinnier, and added just a bit of  elastic to the back to give it some shape.  It ended up very boxy without it.

before and after

Before I chopped up my shirt I picked the pocket off and used some of the sleeve to make another one.  I added the ribbon trim before sewing them back on.  This girl LOVES pockets.  She has lots of little treasures to carry around with her, so pockets are essential.

walking on stumps

My mom recently had a smallish pine tree cut down, and her sweet neighbor came over with his chainsaw and hacked the stumps into an awesome little pathway.  (I spent a good chunk of time burying them all a few inches and making sure the ground under them was even so they weren’t so wiggly.)  She will spend an hour playing in here.  Her dress was filthy by the time she was done, and her shoes didn’t make it more than 3 minutes before they were tossed aside.


Speaking of… I love these shoes.  My dad and stepmom gave them to her for Easter, and she wears them all the time.  So cute.  Also, clearly in need of some new toenail polish.

picking up sticks


ford tractor

This old tractor was parked next to my mom’s house.  She has an alfalfa field behind her and this tractor has been busy lately.  Creamie wanted nothing more than to drive it to the park.  She’d take it home with her in a heartbeat.  She really does think anything that is blue belongs to her.

are we done?

Her face when I told her we weren’t trading in the car for a blue tractor. HA!  I think the last four dresses I’ve made for Creamie have been blue.  And I’ve got a stack of three more to make, also all blue.  She prefers to wear a dress most days, so she needs lots of play dresses that no one cares if they are ripped, dirty, or covered with popsicle.  And they’ll need to have plenty of pockets for her ever expanding rock and stick collection.  So a $2 shirt is TOTALLY the way to go.

(If you’ve never cut up a shirt to make a dress before it’s super easy.  There are a million tutorials on pinterest, but I love this pattern.  It fits her so well and I love the shape of the neck and sleeves.  I’ve probably made 8 shirts and 5 dresses from this pattern in the past year or so.  Without pockets this dress was under and hour start to finish.  My kind of project.   So to start I just cut my shirt apart along the seams.  Then it’s as easy as laying out your pattern pieces on top of your shirt shaped pieces of fabric.  Piece of cake.  If you are in the market for thrifted mens shirts, look at the extra large shirts first.  More fabric in them and they are usually the same price as a small.  You might not always need that extra few inches, but sometimes it’s nice to have.  Of course, if you find a fabric you just love (ahem, blue) then who care what size it is, right? Right.)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathleen Barden permalink
    July 30, 2012 2:19 pm

    Would love to hear the back ground sounds to accompany these pictures. Such fun!

  2. July 30, 2012 2:28 pm


  3. July 30, 2012 2:33 pm

    So cool! 🙂

  4. July 30, 2012 3:45 pm

    That’s a great idea, and I love that pattern too. I did a search the other day and found that Simplicity has a size 3-8 peasant dress pattern too, it’s #2377. :)(I have the 6 months-2T version of 5695 and need a new one soon!)

  5. Ashley Lloyd permalink
    July 30, 2012 5:09 pm

    Oh my goodness, just stop! Too cute! And I’m pretty sure you have more talent in your left pinky than I do in my whole body. 🙂

  6. July 30, 2012 5:34 pm

    What a cutie pie. Love the dress. I also love that she loves dresses. So many little girls are dressing older, even at her age. I love a little girl who looks like a little girl. Pretty blue too.

  7. July 31, 2012 8:25 am


    I think adorable sums it up.

    xo -E

  8. July 31, 2012 8:43 am

    What a fabulous idea! I might have to try this sometime. It’s just perfect on her!

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