Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The All-Purpose Dress

I love hand-me-downs.  I love them for my kids and I'm not opposed to wearing them myself.  Some of my kids have even handed down clothes to themselves.  How? you ask.  By re-doing an item a bit to make it last longer.  A few years ago when Maddie had grown too tall for a pair of jeans, but  they still fit in the waist.  I bought a roll of thick pink ribbon and stitched it the hem of the pants for an adorable way to lengthen them. 

My favorite (and super easy) alteration, though, has got to be this dress.  Alaine received it as a hand-me-down from an older cousin.  She wore it through the summer with its original ornamentation: a pretty hot pink fabric rose. 

By summer's end, the rose was droopy, but instead of sending the dress off to the rag bag, I snipped the threads and removed the flower.  There was a slight pink stain where the dye had rubbed off, but this bright orange button (from my button jar) and this bronze-colored leaf (from a candle I had purchased) covered the mark. 

She wore her new look over and over and over throughout the fall.  In fact, when looking back through my photos of the past few months, it is almost embarrassing how many time I dressed her in it, but it was lightweight for warm days (of which we had many), yet still cozy with tights and a sweater. 

Alas, on Thanksgiving night when I put the dress in the laundry, I snipped off the reminders of fall and  the next day I stitched on a red felt flower with a silver bead, creating a bit of casual Christmas attire.  Of course, any girl knows that if you are going to wear the same item of clothing over and over, you need to mix it up a bit so this time she paired it with a light shirt and jeans.  (The hair band lasted less than 30 seconds.)

The questions is: do we re-create it come January or finally let it go?


  1. I love it! I'd say keep going. Maybe an aqua blue yarn pom-pom for January.

  2. I looooove this! And I say recreate it! I've never been quite this creative with Miss M's dresses, but I have several dresses that fit but are too short, so I stick pants or leggings under them and they are tops! Love being able to do that!

  3. My 3 year old daughter has that exact same dress, a hand-me-down from a friend :)
    I love the idea of redoing the embellishment and, seeing how the rose on my daughter's dress is looking a little iffy, I'll have to change it up for the Christmas season!

  4. Hannah, if you do re-do the dress, please send a picture! I'd love to see it.

  5. That one's easy... if it still fits, you still like it and you can come up with something (white in January is calling my name for this dress), they yes! Go for it! :) Or... you could send it to me. Haha. Just kidding!

  6. I saw keep going. A snowflake for January...a heart for February...

    Girls are so much easier to make hand-me-downs look cute...with boys it's, "What do I do with these worn (or ripped) knees??"

    BTW...I seriously cannot believe how big she is! And beautiful...those eyes!

    Love, kathi

  7. Super cute! I would make something out of it like a baby doll blankie that she could keep as a memory! love it!


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