The sewing place competition this month is to refashion, upcycle and recycle. This coincides with requiring a birthday outfit or two for my niece who will be celebrating her first birthday next month. So I think I'll be entering a toddlers dress!
They are just so. darn. sweet.
I remember having dresses like this when I was small in the 80's. When my daughter was small the done thing was to put them in leggings and tunics but there seems to be a big resurgence in retro styling now and I am jumping all over that for my niece.
I have an Oliver + S pattern with the correct sizing, so I traced off the bodice hoping that I could use it however, the front was a wrap dress and the back had a button placket. I ended up having to draft my own bodice based on my toddlers measurements but a tiny bit smaller (he's almost 2).
I kept the whole of the bottom half of the shirt to make the skirt with, it adds a nice amount of fullness and means I keep the slight hi-lo hem and the side slits as features. The flounce and the bias binding were made from one of the sleeves. The button placket is the one from the original although I almost added more buttons and buttonholes but I think it's ok as is. I did add new cotton as a lining for the bodice as I didn't want to leave seams exposed there.
With the apron, I wanted to keep as much of the original tops detail as possible, especially around the shoulders where there was shaped lace and on the front where there were buttons, more lace and pintucks. I ended up keeping the whole neckline which happily lent itself to a curved 'V' on the back of the apron where it is secured with a couple of snaps for an adjustable waist.
I am really happy with the result. The size may be a little off but at least it's too big and not too small so that she can actually get some wear out of it. My teen declared that she wished she was 3 so that she could wear it :) A glowing endorsement indeed.