You guys…I’m worried.
No…I’m not merely referring to the general malaise into which 2020 has plunged us all.
I’m worried about this dress.
You’re looking at an Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dress I found on the $1 clearance rack at the thrift store. I bought it because I thought it looked nice enough. I also thought mayyyyybe no one could tell it was a bridesmaid dress.
I wore it a couple of times. Once to a red dress charity event and once to dinner at a nice restaurant.
You guys. I THINK I’VE BEEN WEARING A MATERNITY DRESS.
Now that I have seen the side view of this dress I cannot unsee it, and I definitely can’t wear it again.
The top, however, fits realllly well! It seemed a shame to get rid of the whole dress altogether!
As I mentioned in my recent Christmas hoodie dress refashion, I have quite a few pieces of holiday apparel I’ve been stocking up on while thrifting.
Suddenly, I was inspired!
Let’s make a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Dress, shall we?
I didn’t want to use up my entire Christmas sweater stash on this one dress, so I carefully selected the following:
This cute reindeer sweater (size Small)…
These cozy holiday joggers (size Large).
Now that my pieces were chosen, I was worried…did I have enough fabric to actually make a cute DIY Christmas sweater dress?
Only time would tell!
Let’s start with the bodice of the dress.
First, I got to work on separating the bodice and belt thing from the top of the dress.
I picked and picked.
I also unpicked the back zipper from the bottom half of the dress.
When I was done, the top of the dress looked like this:
After I separated the pieces of the belt thing (technical term), I labeled them with a fabric pencil, so I could remember how to put it together again.
I cut off the top part of the holiday joggers and pinned the pieces of the belt thing to it.
Then, I cut them out.
Then, I unpinned everything, flipped the jogger fabric right side up, and pinned that over the satin layer.
I decided to leave the original satin attached underneath it, as the jogger fabric was quite thin. I thought the satin, along with the interfacing would better hold the structure of the fitted bodice upon completion.
I made sure to label the pieces as I worked.
I sewed the jogger fabric to each piece, following along the original stitching used to attach interfacing to the satin.
When that was done, I reattached the pieces of the belt thing together.
Then, I pinned the belt thing back onto the bodice of my dress, right sides facing each other.
Here it is flipped over, so you can see what I’m going for.
I happily reunited the belt thing with the bodice of the dress with the help of my sewing machine.
Now, let’s move on to the bottom of my DIY Christmas Sweater Dress!
I pulled a dress out of my closet that I love the fit of, and laid the detached bodice of my red satin dress over it to make sure they could work together.
Spoiler Alert: The bottom of that leafy green dress is about to become a pattern for my new Christmas dress!
I pulled out a roll of pattern paper and traced the skirt pieces of my leafy green dress onto it.
If you don’t have pattern paper, parchment or wax paper from your kitchen (taped together for larger pieces) will work for this too!
Since the skirt of my dress was just two pieces repeated, I only needed two pattern pieces (because I can just flip them over to work for the opposite side).
You can see how I added a seam allowance to each pattern piece (the line around the original traced line).
I also labeled each piece in much the same way I labeled the belt thing to denote which side of the pattern piece worked for which part of the dress.
Since I would need to add the zipper to the back of my new dress and the leafy green dress has no zipper, I folded the large front piece in two. This would later become two back pieces.
The zipper will go between them.
I cut my reindeer sweater apart and measured out where it would lay on the front center pattern piece.
You can see I don’t have quite enough fabric for the top of the pattern piece.
This is the tricky part of this type of refashion. It’s a LOT of puzzle work.
I ended up cutting off the top part of the pattern piece where the sweater ended and used a piece of sleeve to fill the gap.
I attached the two pieces together when I was done, thus creating the single front panel.
The front and back side panels were much easier. I just used the legs of the joggers!
The back center panels got a little tricky.
I ended up using some of the fabric from the sweater sleeves combined with the fabric from the pockets of the joggers.
Once I had all my pattern pieces cut out, I started attaching them all together.
First, I sewed the front.
Then I sewed the back, EXCEPT that center seam where my zipper would end up.
THEN, I sewed the front and back together.
Time to attach the skirt of my dress to the bodice.
I pinned the skirt to the bodice, right sides facing each other.
I stitched it all together on my sewing machine.
Now that the top and bottom of my dress are attached, it’s time to tackle that zipper!
First, I pinned the zipper into place.
Then I hand-basted & then hand-stitched it into place.
I could have used my machine for this, but with all of those different fabrics combined, I just thought it would be easier to do it by hand.
I sewed up the bottom of the back of my dress up to the zipper
Now for a happy holiday hem!
I pinned a verrrrrry small hem on the bottom the dress as it was looking quite short.
I stitched the jogger part down with a simple straight stitch and used a wide long zigzag for the sweater part.
The zigzag will keep my sweater fabric from fraying and keep the front from warping due to the tension of the thread/being pulled through the feed dogs.
I gave everything a good press annnnnd….
Look at my new DIY Christmas Sweater Dress now!
I couldn’t decide whether to wear my new dress with a wig or a beret, so I went with both! 😉
The back didn’t end up lining up perfectly, but I’m still okay with it.
Some of you might remember when I used a similar technique to make an Ugly Christmas Sweater Gown a few years ago!
Mr. Refashionista and I hopped over to Main Street to snag a few pics by the SC State House Christmas tree!
I hope you’re all finding fun and creative ways to celebrate the holiday season this year!
69 thoughts on “DIY Christmas Sweater Dress”
I love it! Festive, fun and creative! You’re hard work paid off
So much work went into making this, I hope it’s not too cold in your part of the world to wear it.
Woah, that is fabulous!
This is adorable! I’m always in awe of you and your talent. A lot of people have the vision, but can’t execute the product, or they can follow a pattern but don’t have the vision. You’re like a sculptor looking at an blank slab or marble. Great job! I love it!
Adorable, you look amazing.
You are so creative. Clearly you live where it is warm. Such a fun and happy Christmas dress.
This refashion is wonderful. I have been saving various red and black items to make just such a dress – you inspire me! A project for those long dark January days.
Great idea. I especially love the back. What a cute little Santa helper you’d make.
wow wonderful job!, and, as usual, written in a very amusing way! merry Xmas to you and your family and a next year full of joy and blessings!
Wow, what a great idea! I really like both christmas refashes!
Lots of love from the Netherlands xxx
LOVE THIS! I did not see that end result coming! Defy 2020, and you and your sweet, handsome husband have a merry Christmas ❤
Super cute dress! Very festive. Wishing you and your hubby a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!
I like a sweater dress any day because it’s cold here BUT I have that reindeer sweater and I love wearing it! I’ve proudly worn it to the office holiday party the last two years. LOLOL.
The dress wig and beret look so cute together on you! And I was so lost trying to piece it all together. You wear it well. I, on the other hand, would look like a drunk troll trying to impersonate an elf if I tried this.
You are an inspiration to all of us. Keep at it!!!
I seriously adore this one! That dress did NOT look maternity to me at all….
Thank you. And whew! I feel a little less self-conscious now!
Hey! Mr. R. here! I grew up in Oakwood! Graduated from OHS and The Pine Club is my number 1 favorite place to eat!
Hey cutie! 😉
The dress is cute, but the fact that you can wear a sleeveless mini dress in the middle of December is blowing my mind. Said the woman who left the house in 3 degree weather this morning *sigh*
Haha! In the first picture, temps were in the 40s and in my ‘after’ pics in this dress temps were in the 70s! Our weather has been all over the place here in SC!
Honey, none of us line up perfectly. I love this adorable outfit. So cute!
Thanks! Good point. I could probably go back in and fix it too!
Wowsers, what a transformation! I am really impressed with your pattern numbering shorthand. And of course, you look adorable.
Love it! This is your best flip ever!!! Fantabulous and Merry Christmas.
Oooooooh! Thank you for the high praise!!! And Merry Christmas to you and yours!
You are such an inspiration. I love your ideas!
You are so cute!
I couldn’t help noticing the Mr.’s t-shirt. The Pine Club is in Dayton, Ohio where I live (close enough to walk to it) and I have been there often, as it was my husband’s favorite steak place. I’m so glad you are on the down hill side of your chemo. I am a thyroid cancer survivor and my journey was so easy compared to other cancers, but I keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
Another winner!!! You look so cute! ❤️
That was a bit like reading a Sherlock Holmes story. I knew all would be revealed in the end, but until I saw it all done, couldn’t quite imagine. This is why your tutorials are so very useful. We can backtrack and break it down to copy one of your amazing ideas. I have to admit that your work is encouraging me to gather and save every unlikely thing so someday I can put it all together like you do.
The beret, pixie hair, and accessories are just right. Merry Christmas to both of you inspiring people!
Thank you so much! 🙂 Why not let “someday” be today? 🙂
As I followed your process I was thinking, “Oh. this is wild.” Then I got to the end and thought, “This is wildly good!” I wish I had your vision. Your creativity is a wonder to behold and this looks so dang good on you!
Elfishly cute! Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Gown is also awesome. Your shoulder look sort of chilly though, perhaps you need a… …sweater 😉
Love it! Though I maybe would try to make just a skirt with the bottom…too short for me as dress!
Amazing!! The combination of fabrics is daunting. I loved your labeling of the parts. Glad you have the energy to do this refashion.
This is amazing.
I mean seriously. I would buy this dress if I saw it in a store!
Cut as a button! You look like one of Santa’s elves!
UH-Dorable!! I love how you come up with these!! But it’s NOT ugly!!!!
Ambitious, ingenious and flippin’ cute!!
The original red dress was gorgeous! Think I would have just made a cute Christmas jacket for over it.
Ahhhhhh! I just thought that stomach part looked so weird. Maybe I was overthinking it. Rest assured I DID get a couple of wears out of the original though! 🙂
It is absolutely adorable. Took a lot of work. I can’t believe you have energy for this, but I am glad that you do!!! Now you need to make an ugly Christmas sweater vest for your adorable hubby! Merry Christmas from southern Colorado. We got 7 1/2 inches of snow and it was -10 last night. That dress would be a bit chilly for our holiday! Stay cozy!
Thank you! It DID take a lot of work. I’m guessing 6-8 hours. And it definitely took a lot of energy! 🙂 Our weather has oscillated from 30s-70s over the last week. South Carolina weather is crazy!
Just amazing I can never envision your refashioned crocs much less sew them ! Love your creativity and praying for your recovery!
Thank you so much for your kind words!
True originals — you and your new holiday frock! It both fits and suits you wonderfully. And, I think that the “pouchiness” of that original red dress had a lot to do with those released tucks/pleats. Some designs should just never have made it off the drawing board. Merry Christmas!
Thank you! I think bridesmaid dresses are just intentionally made to not be perfectly flattering! :/ Glad I got a couple of wears out of this one before I took it apart though!
Wow That’s amazing.
VERY creative! You always look so cute.
Just adorable, that’s all. I love the new skirt!
Thanks so much!!!
Wow can’t believe you could figure out that whole bodice thing. It’s so cute and you look great in it!
Thanks so much! When you take something like that apart, putting it back together really isn’t that hard because you see how it’s constructed as you go!
The more I refashion, the more I realize it is a journey not a 1,2,3 project. So many times I have changed my mind, or it didn’t work, you name it. So glad seasoned refashionistas also go thru a process!
You are crazy, and I mean that as a compliment! Crazy creative!
What an adorable and fun dress! Love the photo of y’all together. Blessings and prayers!
Oh my gosh-so adorable. Wonderful work.
You are AMAZING. I just kept scrolling having NO idea where this would end up! Awesome work!
Splendid! Love the green tights and beret with it. You can put it over the top by adding a Christmas sweater! And Christmas jewelry!
That is the bust frankendress ever! I also have to add that you are looking smashing!
First of all, y’all are a cute couple! Secondly, the dress is sooo fun!!!!!
Love it, beats an ugly Christmas sweater any day!
You looked beautiful in the original red dress.
This is a work of art! Your creativity knows no bounds! Absolutely fabulous!!!! ⛄️
hee! hee! love it! so clever!