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Quick tutorial: How to turn a dress into a playsuit

After blogging about New Dress a Day yesterday I was inspired to do a little re-working of my own.

Before the transformation!

I found this retro St Michael frock in a second hand sale a little while ago and had been pondering what to do with it. I really loved the pattern and the shirt-style top but the skirt was long, shapeless and sack-like.

After some consideration I decided it would look better as a short playsuit, keeping the detail on top but making it more fun and less frumpy.

The shorts on this playsuit were loose and easy to copy

To work out the pattern I looked at this playsuit which I bought from Urban Outfitters last summer. I decided to copy the shorts as they’re loose-fitting, a simple shape and not too fiddly.

If you want to do this at home then any pair of loose-ish shorts should work just as well.

I folded the playsuit inside out and then in half to get the panel shape. Then I folded my dress in half and traced around the outline in pencil, leaving enough room for the seams and hem.

Just about to start sewing!

After unfolding my dress and cutting out the pattern, you can see there is a little ‘flap’ in the middle.  This will be sewn together to create the crotch area.

It’s a good idea to pin the seams together and try on at this point to make sure everything fits!

I zig-zag stitched all along the edges to prevent fraying, and then hemmed the ends and sewed the crotch together to create some shorts.

The finished result!

Et voila! A cute little playsuit which I can wear with sandals in the summer or black tights and ankle boots when it’s a bit chillier. Much better than the frumpy sack I started off with!

What did you think of this tutorial? Was it easy to follow? Please let me know below!



  1. So glad i came across this, i’m about to make a play suit out of a frumpy old dress and this has really helped me to get an idea of how to create it!

  2. Rosie

    This actually looks like it’s worked unlike others I’ve seen
    I’m trying to do the same however the top has boning and underneath it’s ruched – do you think that will just cause it to poof out when made? :S I have two dresses both with ruching the second I wanna take the hem up but quite a lot – will that make it stick out lots? Thanks! 🙂

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