Monday, 17 November 2014

Re-Purposing Summer Dresses

We had a number of summer dresses that the older girls had grown out of.  Usually, we keep items for the next child to grow into but there were a couple that were starting to look a little bit shabby.  I didn't want to waste them; the girls and I all loved the gorgeous prints.  So we struck upon this marvellous idea!

These dresses had elasticated top halves and pretty flowing skirts, like the sort of dress sold as beachwear in the summer here.   We cut about two thirds of the elasticated tops off.  The elastic left on the skirt was doubled over in a hem and sewn in place with elastic to keep it stretchy.  Not only had we saved the pretty print of the skirts, they were now the right size to be worn as skirts by the older girls again! 
The elastic tops that had begun to look a little shabby on full display became the cute little hair bands you can see in the photos above.
The two hair bands above needed slightly different approaches.  The top photo shows one that was cut with the pretty hemmed edge in tact.  We plan to double up a hem on the opposite edge to sew it in elastic to keep the stretch. I hope you forgive me posting it without finishing the hem - it just looks so pretty, despite the loose strands of thread now in my daughter's hair due to my impatience to share it!
The band in the bottom photo was made by turning each side of the cut strip over to join at the back.  We sewed the seam in elastic thread to keep the stretch then joined the ends up.
Cute and practical accessories to match their "new" skirts!  The girls are managing to wear them despite it being winter here... they do as mama does; we just partner up the summer skirts and dresses with warm leggings, just as we do our summer tops with long sleeves underneath or/and (!) cardigans over the top.  And so we have one all-year around wardrobe, instead of seasonally shifting around outfits from storage (at least, I hear that is what a lot of others do...!)

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