Repurposing Sweater Into Sweater Dress


Gracie absolutely loves sweaters and dresses – what better way to combine the two than to give her a sweater dress. Every where I look, these cute dresses are very expensive. I stumbled across Make It or Love It’s tutorial and decided that Gracie needed one too (or 3 or 4 or 5).  After making the first dress, I am now able to make one of these sweet dresses in about 30 minutes.  I went through my closet for some sweaters making the dresses free but the two below are from sweaters that I found at the thrift store.  The thrift stores are clearancing their items to make room for the donations that they are receiving from people cleaning their houses so I was able to get both sweaters for just a $1.  A great deal for an adorable dress made out of really great fabric.

Soft and comfy with an adorable turtleneck look.

A more everyday look with stars and stripes.

Perfect for any active little girl.

After experimenting with Make It or Love It’s tutorial, I found that as a beginning seamstress I was left having to figuring much out on my own.  Be sure to visit her site for her tutorial but if you would like one that is more in depth I have put the one below together.

Taking the thrift store sweater I laid it flat on my cutting board.  I then took one of Gracie dresses (sleeveless worked best) over the top to get the proper measurements.

I then cut the sleeves and the some of the sides to create the A-line shape I was looking for.  I keep the collar intact.

For the sleeves, I took one of Gracie’s long sleeved shirts and measured how long it should be and the width.  I then trimmed the sleeve of the old sweater to match this.  I made sure I did this from the cuff up so that I did not have to hem the sleeve.   You will notice that we do no hemming on this dress because we use old hems of the sweater.  This really cuts down time and makes it so much easier.

To make the sleeves even on both sides, I place the first cut sleeve over the other sleeve to used it as a guide to cut.  Now they are even and because it is striped will show the same stripes on each sleeve.

Now let’s put our dress together.  :-)   Pin the right sides together. (In other words, make sure that the inside of the sweater is what is facing you.  You want the sides that every one sees inside.)  If you are using a striped sweater, make sure that you match the stripes together on both sides.  This will ensure that your dress is even and matches.  I use a ton of pins to hold my sweater together because the material has the tendency to bunch or slide.  You want it as even as possible as you sew so you don’t get bunches on the dress.

Also pin the sleeves together.  You need to recreate that sleeve.  Again right sides together.

Sew up the sleeves first.

Turn your sleeve now right sides out.  Take your sleeve and tuck into your pinned dress.

The right sides of your sleeves will be against the right sides of your dress.

Now pin the sleeve so that the sleeve seam is pinned against side of your dress and the “V” part of your sleeve is pinned against the collar area.

Now your whole dress is pinned together.  Sew up the sides of your dress and then sew the sleeves on.  Your dress is all done.  It is so easy – cut, pin, and sew.

A cute dress for a cute little girl.

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9 Responses to “Repurposing Sweater Into Sweater Dress”

  1. 1

    They turned out awesome!! I’d love some for Cadence! I’ll have to hit the thrift store, though, because I have nothing in my closet.

    • 1.1
      Rachael says:

      Thanks Paula. I ran into that same problem – we don’t hold onto clothes and normally just donate it. Really the sweaters I picked up looked like they had never been worn. I’ll probably head back soon because it is addicting. :-)

  2. 2
    Aline says:

    This is a really great idea and the sweater dress looks awesome. I’m going to give this a try.

  3. 3
    Jeremy says:

    What a wonderful job! It’s always awesome when something can be re-purposed and look so great!

  4. 4

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  5. 5
    Ellen B says:

    this is a really great idea – I think my granddaughter would like a sweater dress

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  8. 8
    Kimberley O says:

    What a wonderful idea. Sweater dresses are so cute and cozy!

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