To the Max-is

Oh, me and my ideas.  This one is two parts awesome and one part comical.  Comical because sometimes I start doing something and then I get carried away; ending up much farther downstream than I had in mind when I began.  This is one of those times when the current just kept pulling…

It all started with this dress:
095487789d44b7110032c07ae328ca1cI’ve always loved the colors and pattern but it’s always been just a little bit too tight up top and therefore, passed by during many a round in my closet.

As it happens though, I know two little chickies on whom it wouldn’t be too tight if I just did a little snipping and sewing here and there.

Meet chick 1 and chick 2:
IMG_8166So cute, right? 

Here’s how I did it!  (PS, this won’t just work for twins!  You could take in or shorten each dress differently to fit different-sized sisters!)

You might remember that I made similar dresses out of a shirred top last year.  For those dresses, I cut the shirred part of the top in half vertically and sewed the sides together.  For these dresses, I cut the shirred part in half horizontally, making it shorter.
First, I figured out where the horizontal halfway point of the shirred part of the dress was by counting the elastic strips on the inside and dividing by two.  Then I grabbed my seam ripper and ripped out the elastic strip in the middle and the thread holding it in, all the way around. 
Then I cut the shirred part of the dress in half right where that elastic had been.
Now I had two shirred pieces – one still attached to the rest of the dress and one completely separate.IMG_0917
Each one had an unfinished edge so, to finish that edge, I just folded it over and secured it with a straight stitch.IMG_0922
I did all of that right before naptime while the kids were awake and did the rest during naptime.  Also during that naptime I listened to Young House Love’s podcast while I worked and took two whole pictures of the rest of the process.  Those two pictures are completely inadequate at showing what happens next so I give you my best apology and hope my words will suffice for any of ya who want to copy this refashion.

Next, I cut the bottom, unshirred part of the original maxi in half horizontally.  Then, I grabbed the unshirred part of the dress that was now completely separate and attached it to the lone shirred piece of fabric.  To do this, I turned each piece inside out so that the right sides of the dress were facing eachother, lined up the two edges at which they would be attached, and stitched them together.  To make sure the dress gathered correctly, I pulled the shirred part tight while I sewed the non-shirred, bottom part on.
The bottom half of the original maxi was wider than the middle (or the dress part right below the shirring), so I had to trim off the excess fabric once I had it almost completely attached and then stitch up the side to complete it.IMG_0921
With that excess fabric, I made four strips of fabric just like I made these fabric strips for my gladiator sandals a couple of years ago.  I sewed two on each dress for straps.  Originally I wanted to attach them so that they ran from the front to the back and crossed at the back but, when I did that, I either didn’t measure correctly (aka, I really eye-balled it wrong) or the dresses are just a little too big on the girls right now to have a crossed back.  Either way, they just looked plain awkward.  So I went with Plan B and just attached them at the front to tie behind the neck, halter-style.

Because they’re a little big, they’ll fit the girls for a long time; going from dress to tunic and maybe even to just a top or long skirt.  Until then though, the colors make them perfect for fall right now.  As soon as it sinks below the 80 degree mark down here, I’ve got their scarves and vests ready (click the links for the tutorials on those!). 
IMG_8171Good golly, girls are so fun to dress.  :)  

BUT, I didn’t stop there.

I went a little farther and became “that mom”…

IMG_81777Ohhhh yes, yes I did.  Learning how to make a bow-tie has been on my radar since the boy child was born so, since I had even more extra fabric left after making the girls’ straps, I thought “why not now?”  To make the bow, I used this tutorial by Erika at Life Unfluffed (it’s no-sew and so easy!!) except I sewed mine.  Then I made another fabric strap like the ones on the girls’ dresses to go around Sebastian’s neck, secured with velcro strips that I glued to each end.

Oh but wait, there’s more.  You thought I was done, didn’t you?  Oh heck no!  There’s one more kid to deck over here.  We can’t leave anybody out now, can we?

You better believe that if I’d had enough fabric leftover to make the baby a mini-dress, I would’ve.  Haha!  Instead, I whipped up a second bow and added it to a thin elastic band to adorn her bitty noggin’. 


One dress.  One family affair. 

And a few outtakes.
Note how differently the boy takes pictures vs. the girls.  What a goof.  I’m going to go ahead and say that that’s probably an inherent difference across the board.  ;) 

Sebastian realized his red cap matched his red shorts and I promised him he could wear the two together after I took the ‘serious’ pictures.  And I did.  And I can’t…I just can’t… 

I’ll just leave it at that.

Happy Thursday y’all!

.           .           .

one dress for four kids


  1. Ohhhhmyyyygoooosh 😍 Sebastian is BEYOND cute! They're all so precious but boy child is stealing my heart right now!

    1. Boy child turning for one minute into man child! Cue the mom tears. :(

  2. Everything is so cute!!!! I am amazed at your energy to get projects done.

    1. We never leave the house so I have to get that energy out somehow Emma! Haha! ;)

  3. You are amazing. I love Sebastian with his hat on backwards..totally adorable, the 1st one being my fav. Beautiful family.