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Party Dress Pattern Remix

Do you follow Project Run and Play? It’s a Project Runway-style competition for kids’ clothes, and the seasons to date have been amazing. They also have a sew-along competition, and I’m using it as an excuse to sew more clothes for my kids (not that they need any more clothes at the moment!).

The first round is a pattern remix challenge – put your own spin on a particular pattern. This season it’s the Party Dress from Lindsay at The Cottage Home. It’s a simple bodice and gathered skirt pattern, and which I used to refashion an old top of mine into a dress for Celeste:

PR_P Shirt Refashion

I bought the top before I had my first child and a guy at work was sure I was pregnant when I wore it. I did get pregnant not long after, but now I think of it as a maternity top and I just can’t wear it anymore. It was perfect to turn into a sweet, girly dress – it almost looks like a flower girl dress. Too bad I don’t know anyone getting married soon!

PR_P Shirt Refashion-001

Since Celeste has enough clothes for this summer, I made it a Size 3 to fit next year. It still looks adorable on her!

Top to Dress Refashion (5)

And since I can’t resist the cute shots, here’s what I get when I as Celeste to smile:

Top to Dress Refashion (9)

She looks a bit warrior princess to me here. And this shot cracked me up too:

Top to Dress Refashion (2)

Here’s the tutorial:

I started by laying out the bodice pattern on the top – positioning the centre-line at the centre-front of the top:

Top to Dress Refashion (33)

I traced out the bodice pattern with a washable pen, and marked the pattern where the V-neck section stopped on the shoulder seam:

Top to Dress Refashion (32)

I marked the same point on the shoulder seam on the back of the bodice, and then modified the back neckline to suit:

Top to Dress Refashion (31)

Since I wasn’t adding a closure at the back, I also trimmed a section off the back bodice at the centre (at the dashed line):

Top to Dress Refashion (29)

I traced the back piece onto my top and pinned the front and back so the V-neck wouldn’t shift:

Top to Dress Refashion (28)

When I got to my serger (or sewing machine). I wasn’t sure if I was going to use the sleeves and I didn’t want them to get damaged, so I trimmed them off (yes, I was making this up as I went along!):

Top to Dress Refashion (27)

Then I sewed my side seams:

Top to Dress Refashion (24)

The neckline and sleeves then got trimmed along the lines I drew previously – I sewed the side seams first to hold everything in position better before I cut.

For the back neckline, I unpicked the neckline trim from the original top:

Top to Dress Refashion (23)

Then I worked out where it would need to sit by lining it up with the neckline:

Top to Dress Refashion (22)

Flipped it over so it was right sides together and pinned in place:

Top to Dress Refashion (21)

And then sewed it together:

Top to Dress Refashion (20)

I then sewed the shoulder seams together:

Top to Dress Refashion (19)

I wasn’t really sure how to finish off the armholes. I ended up cutting off the ends of the sleeves:

Top to Dress Refashion (18)

And eased them into the arm holes:

Top to Dress Refashion (16)

Finally, I wasn’t sure how to modify the slip. I decide to just shorten the straps with a row of stitches.

Top to Dress Refashion (15)

Since the dress is a size too big at the moment, I may need to modify it for a better fit later. It worked out ok though:

Top to Dress Refashion (13)

So I very loosely borrowed from the original tutorial, but love that it motivated me to do one of the refashions I’ve wanted to do for a while.

And finally, all photo-shoots in the backyard end up with a Cozy Coupe shot:

Top to Dress Refashion (3)

Have you refashioned any of your old clothes for your kids?


  1. this turned out beautifully – you will have to post more pics next summer so we can see the difference!!! Quite a few of my repurposed things have come from maternity tops… hey, they have a good amount of fabric right ;o)

  2. This turned out so well! I’ve been considering doing the same with one of my maternity tops and I am totally inspired to take the leap now. And I definitely get the I’m-not-pregnant-but-this-shirt-makes-me-look-like-I-am thing. Such a great reuse of a beautiful shirt!

  3. Don’t you just love the fact that there are no rules when you repurpose an article of clothing!!!! I just finished my project for the man’s shirt challenge and it was so much fun that I stayed up until 2 am sewing:)
    Very cute dress.

  4. It’s gorgeous! And well done for taking it and making something new and usable! New follower. Thanks for coming by Inspiration Cafe…would love it if you considered doing a guest post there sometime!

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