It’s Hard to Find Black Dresses for Girls


I’m sure if I shopped long enough and spent enough money I’d be able to find an adorable black dress for Penelope, but I just didn’t want to! My sister’s colors were baby blue and black and she wanted all of the bridesmaids and girls to wear black dresses. I was originally planning on dressing her up in her charcoal and white striped dress from Easter, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as wearing something new or new-ish.

before-1T-shirt Before and During

Christopher, who is all too often my muse, had dressed Penelope in one of my shirts (pictured above) about a week or two before the wedding.  While the shirt nearly ate Penelope, I got thinking that hacking it up wouldn’t be that hard to do. After all, it would just be a snip here and a seam there, right? Iused one of Penelope’s little polo dresses to serve as my guide and I just cut away! I discarded the middle section, but reused the sleeves, collar and bottom of the shirt. All I really had to do was re-attach the sleeves, gather the bottom part, stitch and top-stitch it all. My first attempt at attaching the skirt was really messy and as a result I spent a good hour fixing my mistake, but besides that the dress was a snap to construct.

after-1Penelope's T-shirt Dress

While this dress wasn’t nearly as formal/wedding appropriate as Nathan’s nieces dresses were (they were wearing the most adorable shiny poufy dresses!), it was perfect for her. She’s a messy little girl, so I didn’t have to worry about stains or spills. Best of all, this shirt has had more use in the last 2 weeks than it had in the last year.

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    1. Ashley says:

      So cute! I wish I had that kind of sewing talent.

    2. Valerie says:

      that is totally adorable! A great use for a shirt you don’t wear.

    3. Elsa says:

      That came out adorable! What a great way to save money and get a custom dress!

    4. linda says:

      Incredible. You made a perfect dress for the occasion. She looks so cute. I miss her terribly. The photograph of Scott and Penelope (in the dress) on the bench ouside of the temple is endearing beyond words.

    5. Jenn says:

      That is one adorable little black dress. You make me want to learn how to sew.

    6. Deanna says:

      You never cease to amaze me Melissa!

    7. Alessia says:

      how adorable! you are so creative!

    8. Alison says:

      That’s just lovely! And she looks so pleased with her new dress. :)

    9. christine says:

      oh wow! This is so cute!

    10. Tiffany says:

      What a cleaver idea and it turned out adorable.

    11. lane C says:

      Could you be more creative…WOW!

    12. Valerie says:

      Oh wow. What a great idea. I love it.

    13. Laurie says:

      So cute! You are so good at sewing!

    14. Lillian says:

      Oh my gosh, you are incredible. Did you know that? WAY TOO CUTE!

    15. Ceci says:

      Have you been sewing for a long time? I have these ideas all the time but have such limited sewing experience. This is an adorable idea!

      • Melissa says:

        I’ve kind of been sewing for a while. I made my prom dresses (skirts) in high school. When I say that, I mean I sewed the straight lines and left the cutting, hemming and zippers all to my mom. I really started sewing about 2 years ago. All of it has been self-taught and experimentation. Nothing special.

        You should get the book Sew U, by Wendy of Built By Wendy. It’s loaded with good stuff.

    16. um…okay. penelope is ADORABLE. and your sewing isnt too bad either :)

    17. Lisa says:

      Great re-make. I love the finished project! :D

    18. Man alive- she looks adorable. I’ve always loved women in menswear but consider me a convert to the school of little ones in womenswear!

    19. Ashley says:

      So cute!!! I love this dress. I have a new pattern for refashioning t-shirts into little girls dresses. I’m giving away 3 tomorrow. I love everything on your blog. I’m a new follower!

    20. summer says:

      i’m new to the blog world & just found you through lmnopeas. i LOVE how this dress turned out & really enjoy your posts. i’m hooked, what are you making next?

      • Melissa says:

        I have a few things percolating and I’m really excited for my next project. It’s a little bit of a secret, but what I can say is that it’ll be a challenge for all of YOU IS•LY readers! It won’t be hard, but it’ll be very rewarding (if all things go as I see them in my head).

    21. Alma says:

      You are awesome!! Maybe I will have to send you a picture of the dress that I bought the other day that seems to be a tad too short. I’ve been wondering what to add to the bottom that would look cute and not “added-on”…

    22. Allison says:

      I think God gave you my helping of creativity when he was handing it out in heaven. That wouldn’t have occurred to me in 10 million years. When are you guest blogging on PE?

    23. […] of clothes for kids clothes going on on other’s blogs. Here are some links to check out, if you want more ideas. So, it got me thinking– I could do […]

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