Refashion: Back-to-School Sweater Dress


This sweater vest was a hand-me-down from a friend. She gave me a bunch of sweaters for crafting. I was going to make this into another sweater pillow, but I’m really trying to add more color in my decor, so I decided it needed to become back-to-school clothes for Penelope.

She already has a sweater dress I that I thrifted some time ago, so I used that as a template.

Just by taking in the sides and the neck at the V, I had a new dress for Penelope.

I think the jury is still out on if the dress is liked or not. She says it’s scratchy, but I don’t think so. It’s a cotton wool blend, so it shouldn’t be. But she does have extra sensitive skin, though.


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    1. Jaime says:

      That is super cute! Great job.
      When it gets colder you could put a long sleeve t-shirt and legging under it and the scratchy s gone!

      Love your blog!

    2. What a darling dress! Makes me want to hit up the thrifts to see if I can fins something similar to refashion for my little one. In regards to the scratchiness, does she wear any sort of undershirt? My 4 year old has a few camisoles with characters on them that she wears under things. I’m not a big fan of characters on clothing, but you can’t see it on the undershirt and she loves knowing its there.

    3. Nicia says:

      That is soooo cute! Nice work! What size was the sweater vest you worked with? Do you think I could do it for Alyssa (5T)?

    4. Amy says:

      Will you share how you took in the v-neck please? I’ve tried it before and can’t get it to look right – your’s is perfect!

    5. mandie says:

      that is darling!!! I was just thinking yesterday that I need to go raid my local goodwill to find good sweaters for pillows! I was going to knit, but then remembered it’d be MUCH easier to sew. ;)

    6. Leanne says:

      That dress is darling! Maybe she could wear a t-shirt and leggings under it if it’s too scratchy.

    7. Kristin says:

      Sounds like she needs a slip. My skin is sensitive enough that any wool blend itches. Adorable sweater dress out of one hideous sweater vest. Great job!

    8. Kelly says:

      This is really cute! For the scratchiness issue – you could put a thin lining in the dress pretty easily, I imagine, and then you wouldn’t need to wait for legging weather. ~Kelly

    9. amelia says:

      Oh, I can’t wear anything with wool in it. It makes me insanely itchy. I just thought people were crazy for wearing it but now realize, maybe i just have sensitive skin…only took me 34 years to figure that out. ha.

    10. Katie says:

      I love it so much! She is so, so sweet in it. :) I’m going to have to keep my eye out for fun sweater vests now!

    11. Johanna says:

      So cute, what a great idea! And I totally understand the scratchiness issue, I cannot wear anything with wool (not even cashmere) without some sort of shirt underneath.

    12. phil says:

      magnifique !!!

    13. Erin R. says:

      Oh my stinking goodness. That is so cute. I might actually be able to do my own refashion like that. Thanks for the fabulous idea. Love it with the boots too.

    14. Miranda says:

      So cute. I kind of need a giant to donate his sweater-vest so I can make one for me.

    15. Rajya says:

      Could you post a tutorial on refashioning sweaters, or specifically about making this cute little dress?

    16. marissa says:

      oh my, i love that look – i think she made that sweater feel itchy to me! ;) scratchy or not, though, it is so adorable on her!

    17. Melissa says:

      You can find the refashion tutorial here:

      Sewing with sweaters isn’t as tricky as it might seem. Just use a regular needle and thread, but use a short stitch length. Depending upon how loosely it’s knit, you might want to zigzag the sewing allowance.

      Hope that helps!

    18. […] kind of adore this Vest to Dress transformation from Melissa Esplin.  Look how sweet that little model looks in her new dress.  SO […]

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