What Not To Toss Weekend#3: The Outgrown Dress

I have a love/hate relationship with little girls’ dresses:


love the adorable high waist and full skirts that twirl perfectly.

hate that those cute skirts get too short and the bodice too tight with a good growth spurt.

Time to toss, donate or hand-down, right?

Wait! Don’t toss that!

Those skirts can last a few more months on your little girl with the help of a seam ripper and some fabric scraps.

To save this too-short, 18-24 month dress and make it work for my 5T little girl,  I removed the skirt and all the fluffy layers of tulle from the bodice using a seam ripper.


For simple, lightweight fabrics all you need to do is add a simple elastic waistband by rolling the top hem and making a casing.

But since mine had multiple layers that would be too bulky for a rolled casing …


… I decided to make a casing out of a left-over sheet and attach it to the top of the skirt.


It was easy after that to open the casing, thread through some reclaimed elastic and stitch the waistband closed.


Start to finish was less than 30 minutes.

And the end result?


A cute summer skirt for my 5T girl with enough length on it to last her through next summer.

So go dig those outgrown dresses out of the donate pile and have a second look.

Outgrown Dress?


It’s What Not To Toss this weekend.



6 thoughts on “What Not To Toss Weekend#3: The Outgrown Dress”

  1. I adore this tip. I dutifully saved all my little girl's dresses hoping they would last for other children… but she was followed by two boys. I generally donate things that are outgrown, but some of those dresses are just too hard to part with.

  2. Thank you!! I have two dresses in my pile waiting to do this very thing. I couldn't work out how to sew a casing with all the layers, so I just put them aside. Now my girly will have to sweet skirts for summer! Thanks to you 🙂 xx

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