Happy Friday! Today is a quick post, because it was a really quick project! I’m sharing a refashion that I’ve been wanting to do for OVER A YEAR. Yes, this piece was thrifted a year ago and sat in my refashioning closet because I was too scared to cut into it. I picked this dress up because I loved it – the print, the style – everything about this dress screamed “ME”, except I don’t really were dresses that often. As soon as I saw this on the rack, I said “romper”. It immediately clicked that this dress should become a romper and I bought it (I can’t even remember the price!). The reason why it sat in my closet for so long…I didn’t want to mess it up. I was so scared to cut into this dress because I envisioned it so perfectly as a romper that I was scared to cut it.
I usually get nervous to cut into a garment when it’s a special piece, like one from my Grandma, but this one put a huge hold on my scissors. Maybe because the dress already fit pretty well so I didn’t have as much fabric to work with, or because I know that shorts refashions don’t always turn out perfectly.
But a few weeks ago I finally got the courage to cut into it. Probably because I really want to take it on vacation to Florida soon! I loved the floral print in the border of the skirt and knew I wanted to keep that detail. There are quite a few tutorials online for turning dresses into rompers without cutting the waist at all, but since I wanted to keep the bottom band, I needed to cut the shorts from the bottom.
While I dreaded the initial cut, this was a very simple refashion – and I made a video on Instagram documenting the process! You can watch it here!
Here’s a short breakdown of what I did.
First, remove the elastic waist, which leaves the top and skirt separated. Seam rip one skirt side seam to open the skirt. Fold each newly ripped seam into the center of the skirt, creating a fold on both ends of the fabric. Using a pair of shorts folded in half, trace the pattern on the fold of the fabric, adding seam allowance. I chose to make my shorts a little longer, so my inseam measured to 5″. I also left extra material on top. On each leg, with right sides together sew the leg seam together. Now that there are two short legs, sew them together at the crotch seam. Then attach the shorts back to the top, and add elastic.
I made a belt with the extra fabric to complete the look!
The key to making the shorts fit properly was adding in extra allowance in the leg and crotch areas. I made my inseam about 6″ – and later altered it to 5″. I also added a lot of length to the crotch area to ensure that the fit wasn’t too tight. While I added a lot of extra material, this was what I needed to make a comfortable fit. When it comes to refashioning, I always say it’s better to give yourself more allowance and make something smaller- even if that means altering it a few times to get the fit just right.
(I did add a snap close to the wrap neckline just to keep it from flying open!)
My big takeaway from this project is to just go for it! It’s ok to be nervous, but I don’t want my nerves to prevent me from creating. While I’ve been refashioning for over 10 years, I definitely have my failed projects and it can really halt my creativity and my motivation. But I never want my nerves to stop me from refashioning. After all, it’s just a dress and if I mess up, I mess up.
There are so many dress to romper tutorials online – ones where you don’t even have to remove the waistband!
Cotton & Curls has a great tutorial showing you how to do this refashion! See it HERE.
Paper Michey also has a great tutorial that you can see HERE.
Have you made romper out of a dress before? This is my second one (first one here) and I really love how easy the process is. I’m definitely on the look out for more dresses that can become rompers. Maybe a solid color next!