Back-to-School Dress Refashion

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After images of back to school dress refashion with horse

When the calendar page turns to August, it can only mean one thing: back-to-school shopping! It’s even more fun when you’re a kindergarten teacher like me. This thrift shop sailor dress reminded me of my back-to-school outfit from long ago. I knew I wanted it, but it definitely needed a more “grown up” look. I can’t show up at school looking like I’m trying to be my own five-year-old self again, you know?

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-before-with my Kindergarten picture

So by changing the neckline, sleeves and adjusting the fit a bit, this five year old sailor dress was transformed into a more sophisticated looking nautical ensemble. I happen to think is perfect for a kindergarten teacher like me.

Back to School Dress Refashion Before and After

First, use  your seam ripper to remove the collar and the sleeves.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-take-off-collar-and-sleeves

Then turn the dress inside out to pin and sew the side seams to fit.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-pin-and-sew-sides-to-fit

Now, pin and sew the shoulder seams to fit.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Pin-and-sew-shoulder-seams-to-fit

Fold over the desired new neckline to the wrong side then pin and sew. Trim off any excess.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Pin-and-sew-new-neckline

Pin and sew the raw edges of the armholes.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Pin-and-sew-armholes

Now measure and mark the newly desired sleeve length.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Reduce-length-of-sleeve

Fold the sleeve in half.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Fold-Sleeve-in-half

Starting at your mark, cut the sleeve down to the corner with a curve. This will create more of a cap sleeve.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Cut-Sleeve

Repeat this with the other sleeve. When you unfold them, this is what they will look like:

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Two-Sleeves

Now tuck the curved, right side edge of the sleeve under the armhole hem. Pin and sew in place.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Pin-new-sleeves-into-armhole

If you need to take in the waist a bit, cut a quarter inch piece of elastic the size of your waist minus two inches.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Cut-elastic

Mark the center and pin this to the center front waistline seam allowance.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Mark-and-pin-elastic

Pin the sides to the waistline seam allowance.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-pin-elastic-on-waistband

Start at the center back, use a zig zag stitch and stretch the elastic slowly to match the center and side marks while you sew it to the waistline seam.

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-Zig-Zag

Turn your dress right side out, throw it on with some navy wedges and you too could teach a bunch of five-year-olds anything they need to learn in kindergarten!

Back-to-School-Dress-Refashion-After photos with horse

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