A Sweater Dress

Chickie W.U.
by Chickie W.U.

Hello Readers. Let's talk about sweater dresses. They can be soft and cozy but they can also be shapeless and bulky.

Before and after.

This sweater dress from my daughter was soft and could be warm with some layers. It was thick and kind of shapeless. It wasn't a horrible dress but it wasn't great. It was... fine. We can do better than "fine". We can try at least!

I wanted to cut the dress into a top and a skirt. I tried it on and decided how long I wanted the top to be. I wanted a "standard" length top. (My belly-button is my business.) You could make this into a shorter cropped length if that is your style. It's your top, you can decide. The sweater will fray after you cut it but that's OK. We are going to take care of that.

Be ready to stitch on some ribbon or bias tape to keep that cut edge together. I used this ribbon because it had the same off-white color and it was in my stash of sewing stuff.

This is a look inside. The ribbon is stitched on the edge and it was easy to attach. It hides that cut edge when I am wearing it. The ends will fray a bit in the wash but the ribbon will hide that from view.

 I also added an elastic waistband to the bottom piece of the dress. It will be a great skirt. Sewing the elastic to the skirt keeps it from fraying at the place I cut it. It also keeps the skirt up at my waist. That is obviously very important. This skirt has more of an A-line shape because it is from the bottom of the dress where it was the biggest.

I used a zigzag stitch right at the edge to control the fraying. The zigzag stitch will allow the skirt give and stretch with the elastic when I put it on and off. I measured my waist ahead of time so I knew how long the elastic needed to be. The elastic is smaller than the skirt. That is what you want. It will strtech to fit the skirt. Tug on the elastic gently to stretch it as you sew. The elastic will stretch and then spring back. This will make a comfortable stretchy waistband.

The new 2 piece dress has a new shape. It fit my hips better and looser. I am short so this is a better length on me. Win. Win. Win.

The ribbon and elastic waistbands do not really show when I have the outfit on. But I wanted to show you where they were. 

I can also break up the set and wear the top by itself with other clothes. I liked it as a warm layer with for cold days too. 


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