If you're looking for a girls dress, sometimes it pays off to shop in the women's section. I bought a sundress (women's one size fits all) for $6 at Ross, added some straps, and in only minutes turned it into a girls smocked jumper--perfect for Hawaiian day at school!
I think that a lot of times the most difficult part of altering clothing is matching the fabric, do you agree? I really lucked out this time and found a piece of fabric with a near perfect match in a remnant bin.
How to Add Straps to a Sundress
1. Measure for the length of the straps by first putting the dress on whoever will be wearing it (if possible).
2. Measure the length from the front to the back of the sundress over the shoulder and add 1" to that length to allow for 1/2" seam allowances. Measure the distance from the side seams to where the straps need to be to allow enough room for the arm.
3. Decide how wide you want the strap. Multiply that number by two and add 1" for seam allowances.
4. Cut two strips of fabric using your measurements, fold them in half lengthwise (right sides together). Stitch along the length of the straps using 1/2" seam allowances. Turn the fabric right sides out and press. Finish the raw edges with a serger or a zig-zag stitch.
5. Line up the ends of the straps, measuring from the sideseams of the dress and 1/2 inch down from the top of the dress and pin in place. Use matching thread and stitch along one of smocking lines to hide the stitch.
The first time I sewed on the straps (at 11pm the night before Hawaiian day when my daughter was asleep) I forgot to measure the distance the straps should be sewn in from the sides so I guessed. She put it on the next morning and could barely get her arms in! Well I sure guessed wrong! I had 10 minutes to scramble to unpick the seams and resew them before she had to catch the bus, sheesh, when will I ever learn to not put these things off? Please tell me that I'm not the only one that does this. :)
Today's Fabulous Find...
Turning A Ladies Sundress into a Girls Jumper