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My daughter has grown too tall.

May 24, 2012

When it comes to hand-me-downs, people tend assume that the littler of the siblings get the short end of the stick.  At this stage in our family’s life,  though, it’s the older sister who often ends up feeling resentful and angry:  since A seems to have grown about a foot over the past year, almost all of her favorite summer dresses are now inappropriately short.  She’s been informed in no uncertain terms that they now belong to her younger sister, and as a result, M has about 10 dresses (some that she still fits into from last summer, and some that used to be A’s) in her part of the closet and A has maybe three.  While this means that A will luck out and get some new ones (which she will no doubt mourn in a year or two), at the moment she’s definitely missing some of her favorites.

As we were going through the dresses that no longer fit her, she found one that she was particularly attached to.  Ignoring the fact that we’re getting our house ready to show in hopes of selling it and dealing with all the work that that entails**, I told her I’d turn it into a skirt for her.  So here it is, step by step in all it’s glory: cheap 2011 H&M girls’ dress, repurposed as a skirt.

The Dress

I think this dress cost $5 at H&M last summer. Maybe $10?

The Plan

1) Cut off the straps and the upper bodice.

Seriously, I can’t believe she wore this as a dress last summer.

2) Serge the raw edge, fold over to just below the top seamline, press, and sew.  Don’t worry about it being pretty.  Insert elastic.

See what I mean about it not being pretty? I didn’t even fold the serged edge under. Quick and dirty.

3) Try it on for size, adjust elastic, and sew up the open hole.  Admire, and worry about the plight of factory workers in third world countries**.

The Skirt

Voila! It’s a skirt.

**I had many thoughts while I was making this.  Some of the thoughts were about whether my house is tidy enough to show to potential buyers, some were about whether it’s insane to move a family of five to a new house when you have a baby on the way, some were about how I can’t believe I bought this dress for $5 (maybe $10?) last summer and hey look it’s falling apart in a few places, and quite a few were focused on wondering what the working conditions were for the people who did the original sewing.  Maybe they were great, maybe they were awful, I have no way of knowing but you have to wonder how a dress that sells for so little could net the factory workers who made it much of an income.  I struggle with things like these, and putting stitches into a piece of clothing that someone else’s hands had already worked on made it hard to push the thoughts away.  No epiphany was reached, unfortunately.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2012 3:07 pm

    great idea! For a long while I used to just add long rows (about 6-8 inches) of complimentary fabric on the bottom. This worked well until the girls started growing out of the top portion as well. The outfits then became skirts, too!

    My 12-year-old did grow way too fast…she’s an inch taller than me!

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