How to Make a Child's Dress from an Adult Sweater: 8 Steps
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Use an old sweater to make a sweater dress for your child.

Sweater dresses for children can be pricey in stores. Instead of shelling out big bucks, make one out of a sweater that you've outgrown or may have a small stain or snag. By cutting the sweater and sewing new seams, the dress will look brand new. If you don't have a sweater you really don't want, look around the local thrift store or consignment store. For just a few dollars, you'll have a dress that would have cost $20 or more somewhere else.


  1. 1
    Lay the sweater flat on the table, arms out the the sides. Lay the dress that currently fits the child on top, smoothing it out flat. The neck of the dress should line up with the neck of the sweater.
  2. 2
    Cut around the dress portion with about an inch extra all the way around. Do not cut the neckline of the sweater and do not cut out sleeves at this point, just the body of the dress.
  3. 3
    Slide the sweater sleeves on to the child; they should no longer be attached to the body of the sweater at this point. Make sure the cuffs are at her wrists. Trim off the excess sleeve at the shoulder. Slide the sleeve off and cut it up the side where the seam is.
  4. 4
    Fold each sleeve in half with right sides together. Sew along the long cut edge, making it just wide enough for the child's arm to fit in. Trim off excess sweater fabric. You have just make a new sleeve that will fit the child. Do this with bother sleeves.
  5. 5
    Lay the dress pieces on top of each other with the right sides facing. Sew up the side seams with a half-inch seam. Be sure to leave the sleeve openings un-sewn.
  6. 6
    Turn one sleeve right side out and stuff it in to the dress through the sleeve hole. The dress should still be right sides together; it's a little difficult to explain, but the right side of the sleeve should be inside the dress against the right side of the dress.
  7. 7
    Line up the seam on the sleeve with the seam on the dress and pin the two pieces together. Sew, using a half-inch seam. Repeat with the other sleeve.
  8. 8
    Roll up the bottom of the sweater a half-in and sew the hem. Turn the dress right side out.


  • Add flowers, buttons or lace to the sweater dress to dress it up. Embellishments make it unique and stand out


  • Try not to stretch the sweater as you sew; this could leave stretch marks and odd bumps in the seams.

Things You'll Need

  • Adult sweater
  • Dress that fits the child
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Cutting the Sweater

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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