How to Make Girls' Dresses


Make a double-dyed dress.
Make a double-dyed dress.

Learn how to make girls' dresses for dress-up games or to wear to a party. Try out basic sewing and fabric techniques while working on the project, then have something new to show off -- or play in.

Create new play outfits from hand-me-downs, or use tie-die techniques that require just a little patience and skill. Making these dresses is a good way to learn about sewing, and a creative way to spend time together.

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Follow the links below to learn how to make your own girls' dresses.

Ball Gown Dress-ups

Turn an old skirt into a girl's ball gown.

Double-Dyed Dress

Create a double-dyed dress and see different color combinations come to life.

On the next page, to find out how to make a dressy ball gown.

For more fun activities and kids' crafts, check out:

Ball Gown Dress-Ups

Make a girl's dress from an old skirt.
Make a girl's dress from an old skirt.

Turn mom's skirt into a ball gown. A little elastic, some adornments, and a bit of patience combine to create this cute play frock.

What You'll Need:

  • An old skirt
  • Blunt scissors
  • 14 inches of elastic
  • Needle and thread
  • Trims such as sequins
  • Old jewelry
  • Lace

Step 1: Find an old skirt, and estimate the correct length for the gown you'll create -- the skirt should fall to the floor from under her arms. Step 2: Cut the elastic in half. Sew a piece of elastic at the skirt's waistband to make a shoulder strap. Step 3: Repeat with the second piece of elastic. Step 4: Sew on sequins, old jewelry, and lace at the skirt top, the waistband, and the straps to decorate the dress.Continue reading to find out how to make a colorful double-dyed girl's dress.For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

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Double-dyed Dress

Place rubber bands around gathered sections.
Place rubber bands around gathered sections.

Making a girls' double-dyed dress can result in some beautiful color combinations. See how gorgeous splashes of green are made from yellow and turquoise dye.

What You'll Need:

  • White dress
  • Rubber bands
  • 2 buckets
  • 1 cup salt
  • Teaspoon
  • Lemon yellow and turquoise concentrated powdered dye
  • Tablespoon
  • Soda ash
  • Scissors

Step 1: Put one hand inside of dress and poke up an area with your finger. Rubber band it anywhere from 1/2 to 4 inches from the tip of the poke. Repeat this about 12 to 14 times over the entire dress, front and back. Make the distances between the tips of the poke and the rubber bands different for most of the pokes. Leave space for more rubber bands to be added later. Dampen the dress.

Step 1: Put one hand inside of dress and poke up an area with your finger. Rubber band it anywhere from 1/2 to 4 inches from the tip of the poke. Repeat this about 12 to 14 times over the entire dress, front and back. Make the distances between the tips of the poke and the rubber bands different for most of the pokes. Leave space for more rubber bands to be added later. Dampen the dress.

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Step 2: Wearing rubber gloves mix the dye. Pour one gallon hot water into each bucket, and stir 1/2 cup of salt into each bucket. To one bucket, add 1 teaspoon yellow dye and to the other bucket add 2 teaspoons turquoise dye. Stir each until well mixed and dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon soda ash to 1 cup hot water and stir to dissolve entirely. Add soda ash mixture to one dye and stir to mix. Repeat for other dye. Place dress in yellow dye for about 45 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes.

Combine dye with water, salt and soda.
Combine dye with water, salt and soda.

Step 3: Remove dress from yellow dye and rinse thoroughly. Add a rubber band to each banded poke, either closer to the tip or farther away than the first rubber band. After each poke has 2 rubber bands, remove about half of the rubber bands that were in the yellow dye bath.

Add more rubber bands after applying yellow dye.
Add more rubber bands after applying yellow dye.

Step 4: Place dress in turquoise dye. Let it remain in the dye for at least 45 minutes. Stir every five minutes or so. Remove from dye and rinse until the water runs clear. Remove all rubber bands. Dry in the clothes dryer with an old towel.

Cut off rubber bands an allow to dry.
Cut off rubber bands an allow to dry.

For more fun activities and kids crafts, check out:

ABOUT THE CRAFTERS

Double-dyed Dress, created by Christine DeJulie, Janelle Hayes, and Muriel Spencer.