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Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion

90s Babydoll Dress Refashion with Repurposed Face Mask Collar
Mini Sewing Machine Review: Are They Any Good?

Sartorial options for pregnant women used to be fairly abysmal my friends.

Refashionista Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion before
I look like a weird overgrown toddler.

Women must have really really really wanted kids back then. Why else would they suffer the indignities of wearing dresses like this one?

Let’s take a closer look at that collar…er…those collars.

closeup of double collar

There’s a lot going here. We’ve got a sailor collar. We’ve got a white collar. And for some reason we’ve also got a bow.

closeup of collar with back flipped up
It’s a bit extra.


I would have loved to have been in the meeting where this design was pitched.

It’s just too much. And when paired with the shapelessness of the dress and sleeves, it’s not a flattering look.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission. Thanks!

However, it was only $1 (Yay thrift store clearance rack!), so I thought I’d give refashioning this maritime maternity dress a go!

First, I removed the bow.

removing bow with seam ripper
Away you go, stupid bow.

Then I removed the white collar as well.

removing white collar from dress
Pick. Pick. Pick.

I know some of you are disappointed that I removed the white collar rather than the sailor collar. Some of you weirdos may even think I should have kept them both.

But don’t be too bummed. I’m saving that white collar for another refashion! Come back in a couple of days to see it re-homed!

removed collar and bow
“I’ll be back!”

I’m like Beth in The Queen’s Gambit…always thinking steps ahead y’all!

While I was on my seam ripping spree, I also got rid of the sleeves.

seam ripping out sleeves

Temps are in the 80s here in Sunny SC, so they had to go.

removed sleeves

This left me with a lot of raw edges to deal with.

I clipped open edge along the neckline where I removed the white collar.

clipping collar back together
Close ‘er up!

Pinning would work for this too, but sewing clips (you can score your own here) make it much easier.

Then, I stitched it up!

sewing down collar of dress
Sewing this part slllllowly!

I folded the armholes under twice and clipped them into place.

Clipping armhole into place
Begone raw edges!

Usually, this is an easy task, but this fabric was oddly tricky to work with, so it took a little longer than usual.

When the armholes were at last secure, I stitched them down.

sewing arm hole of dress
My arms are about to be freeeee!

I put my dress on my dress form and pinned the sides where I wanted to take it in.

pinned side of dress
Like this!

Since this is a maternity dress, I thought I might have to unpick that gathering at the front and reattach it (sans gathers). But upon closer inspection, I didn’t think the gathers made the front of the dress too blousy, so I left them/saved myself a few steps.

I sewed each side of my dress down.

sewing side of dress
Stitch that side!

Then, I trimmed off the excess fabric with my pinking shears.

cutting off excess fabric
Pinking shears help keep the fabric from fraying!

Now for the length!

I put my dress on and pinned a couple of inches below where I wanted the hem to fall (to allow for said hem). Then, I cut off the fabric below the pin.

cutting off bottom hem of dress
My owlie in the background matches my dress! Surely a good omen.

If you fold the bottom fabric over as you cut, it’ll stay nice and even.

folding fabric over and cutting

I turned my dress inside-out and folded the bottom under twice 1″, pinning it in place.

pinning bottom hem
This could be the beginning of a beautiful…hem.

Then, I stitched it down.

sewing hem of dress
Just a little hem stitchery.

I could have stopped right there, but I decided to add a little something fun to the bottom of my dress.

I re-threaded my sewing machine with white thread and selected this stitch:

wavy decorative stitch selected
Ride the wave!

Then, I sewed my stitch.

sewing wavy stitch on bottom hem

I think it gives the bottom of my dress a nice bit of contrast/visual interest!

refashionista Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion after
Paired here with a French 75!

My new dress enjoyed a couple of afternoon cocktails with a few friends!

refashionista Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion after sitting
That collar isn’t so bad now is it?

I styled my new dress with these Elton John-esque sunnies.

refashionista Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion closeup of sunglasses
B-b-b-benny and the Jets!

I think the solo collar is a much better look for this dress.

Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion in front of stairs
Feeling quite fetching!

The overall style of this dress is a little preppier than my usual…

refashionista in front of brick wall
Ready to step onto my yacht!

…but I still think it’s really cute!

Jillian and Brian
Mr. Refashionista thought it was cute too!


Refashionista Sailor Collar Maternity Dress Refashion before and after
90s Babydoll Dress Refashion with Repurposed Face Mask Collar
Mini Sewing Machine Review: Are They Any Good?