Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Rapunzel Dress from Goodwill Clothes

I prepped for this post a little while ago.  It's late.  My camera broke, other life stuff happened, but now I have this awesome Chromebook computer to share how I made Ivy's treasured Rapunzel dress.  Yep, for Halloween, Ivy wanted to be Rapunzel.  I decided to make a dress for her that would be warmer and less commercial than a purchased Rapunzel dress.  Here's how I did it.

  • Skill level:  Easy/Beginner
  • What I used:  A sewing machine; 1 purple long-sleeve shirt (The Children's Place, found at Goodwill); 1 adult size Medium tube-top maxi dress (Old Navy, found at Goodwill).
  • Time commitment:  ~1 hour to go from A to Z:

First, I put the maxi dress on my daughter, up to her underarms.  I pinched the fabric at the seam until it seemed like it would be a comfortable fit.  Then I sewed from the top of the 'pinched' area the same width through the smocked section, and then slowly trailed it off about 1 foot down the dress (not the whole length of the dress).  Finally I cut off the excess.

Next, I laid out the maxi dress and the purple shirt together to create a vision of the final look.  I pinned the top of the smocked/blue dress to the purple shirt at ~1-inch intervals.  HINT:  It helped to line up the seam of the maxi-dress so it's in the middle of the back, because the way I cut off the excess made a nice train.
Then, I sewed (all still right sides out) the smocked dress to the purple shirt.  I used white thread and kept the seam at the very top of the smocked area, on top of another white-ish area so the thread would not stand out.  I sewed around the whole dress twice for strength.  Then I turned the dress inside out and cut off the excess purple t-shirt (the part below the smocked part that nobody would see... although you could leave it on for extra warmth.)

The last step was to cut off all the extra fabric at the base of the dress.  I had Ivy try the dress on, and just eyeball the level we liked.  Then I cut off the excess and hemmed the dress.  The maxi-dress had a lining, and I just hemmed the lining along with the dress.  The lining was not the same width, however, so it made it look a little wavy.  You  may want to hem the dress and lining separately.
Voila!  A long-sleeved, warm, thrift-store, up-cycled Rapunzel dress that my daughter loves, and still wears long after Halloween!  It's versatile enough that she occasionally wears it to school.

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