Since I bought my first romper a few years ago I’ve been on a search to add a handmade one to my wardrobe. Rompers make getting dressed in summer so easy. One piece to look put together, without the worry of a wardrobe faux pas that a dress can bring. I tried a pattern from McCalls but it didn’t work and after that discouragement, the idea was set aside.
My sister recently cleaned out her closets and being a teacher, she had a lot of dresses and cardigans. We do not have the same style- although we are very close in size. She is very “pink” and preppy and I am a little more relaxed and am not as fond of pink as she is. She always offers me first dibs on her clothes before they go to the donation bin and sometimes I will take a tank top or a tee shirt. But this round a beautiful dress was in the pile and I couldn’t let it go.
The dress is from The Limited, one of my sister’s favorite stores. I usually don’t like their apparel but this dress was just so cute! As I’ve mentioned before, dresses are not part of my everyday wardrobe but I thought I could make an exception with this one. Originally I was just going to hem it up a few inches and call it a day but I wanted to be able to wear this dress more than for a special occasion.
I thought about turning the bottom of the dress into a pair of shorts to make a romper and set out to find a tutorial. I found this blog, which was helpful, but I will say, each dress will differ. I did a test on a dress that was in my donate pile and that was a major failure. Like, I can’t even wiggle into it. One of the reasons why it ended so bad was because the dress was too form fitting to begin with. If you want a romper from a dress, choose something with some body, pleats or gathers. With the test dress I also found it is best to not cut so high in the crotch. You can always make it smaller, and I had to alter the crotch area several times to get a better fit, but cut too high to start and there is no going back.
I am so happy with the result and love having another option for refashioning dresses. There was another piece that I took from my sister’s pile to refashion which I hope to work on this week. Sometimes refashioning can be a scary venture because you don’t want to ruin the clothing if something doesn’t work out but if you don’t take the chance, you won’t grow as a sewist. Had I decided to leave this as a dress, I wouldn’t know that turning this into a romper was possible- and not that hard! I’ve had quite a few refashions that haven’t worked and those pieces are unwearable but I’m still happy to have tried it. If you are having doubts about a refashion, test it out on a piece from the thrift store before your final garment. But give it a chance! Try something new!