A Dress Fit For a Tween

My twins have a little bin in their room that's stuffed to the brim of clothes that need to be altered to fit them (and so does their mom).  *eye roll*  We find something at a thrift store or somewhere that's super cute but too big and we toss it in, again, again, and again.  But time eludes us, giving priority to school and sports...you probably know how it goes.

This weekend though, Phia and I found a minute (or 15) to grab something out of that bin to refashion.  It's a dress my sister sent me during a closet purge that the girls love but that is obviously too big for them right now.


It would be easy to just store it away for their teenage years but easy isn't always the most fun option.  After a little thought, we decided to just raise the entire dress up a little by making a new hem along each shoulder from sleeve opening to neckline.  We turned the dress inside out, flattened the seam across the shoulder and down, and made a few marks along the fabric parallel to the existing shoulder seam but three inches down that ran from the sleeve to the neckline.  The red dotted lines in the photo below show where those marks were and where we sewed a simple straight stitch across.

This new seam essentially raises the entire dress up, making the neckline smaller and higher.  So that the dress can "grow with them", we didn't cut off that extra fabric, but let it hang down the back of the inside of the dress when worn - you can't even tell it's there.  As the girls get taller, we can make new seams closer and closer to the original seam to make it fit.  We were going to take in the waist to make it fit better as well, but as we tried, it became hard to get the dress on over the head so we just left the waist as is and added a wide belt I had in my closet (made with grosgain ribbon and tied at the back) to cinch it instead.  Because the dress is already gathered at the back, it doesn't look any different even more gathered with the cinching of the belt.

The end result:

Tween approved!

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Psst...I found this dress secondhand on Poshmark - here.  The fabric is light-weight and has so many pretty colors in it.

Also, grosgrain ribbon* as a belt!  So versatile and who knew?  We're going to grab more so that we have different color options.  It stayed tied well throughout the time Phia wore the dress to church and after and added more visual interest with the tie at the back of the dress.  A little glue on the ends or a small seam would keep it from fraying.  The one we used is an actual belt that came with a pair of pants I own and has two rectangular rings on it.  You could add rings like these* to the ribbon for more visual interest and to help it stay flat if that becomes an issue. 

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*These links are affiliate links which means that, if you click over and/or make a purchase through the link, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I am an Amazon affiliate and also use other sources to link to products.  All of these links will lead you to things we actually paid for or that are similar to the item we paid for in case ours is thrifted/sold out/secondhand.  This extra money helps us with the costs of running the blog and buying essentials like goldfish.  ;)  Thank you for your support and for fueling our love to share all things DIY!  We hope you click out inspired!

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