Upcycled Overall Dress Tutorial

Here I go again, making something for a little girl. I just can’t seem to help it. My baby BOY was growing out of his overalls and they had holes in the knees (they’ve been through all 4 boys), so I dreamed up this project idea as a way to upcycle them. If you’ve got old and holey kids overalls I recommend giving this a try. It will up the size of them at least 1 size too so you can use them longer. This is my overall dress tutorial from old overalls.

Upcycled Overalls Dress Tutorial

I think this is a fairly easy, straightforward project too. Here’ what you need to know.


Overall Dress Tutorial:

Supplies Needed:

1/2 yard to 3/4 yard of 3 coordinating fabrics (depending on size of dress) I got mine at The Ribbon Retreat

Old pair of overalls

Ribbon (I recommend at least 1 inch wide)



Start by chopping off the bottom part of the overalls right at the waist. Then measure how wide your overalls are.

Now, cut your three fabrics so that the length of them is 4 times the width of your overalls. You will want to cut them in staggering widths so that they layer. For my 18 month size my widths were 7.5 inches, 9 inches and 10.5 inches. Adjust this for a larger or smaller size by figuring out how long you want the dress to be (to her knees) and then cutting your bottom layer to fit that sizing but be sure to leave a little extra (about 1 inch) for a hem. Then make the other two layers slightly narrower.

Hem each of your layers.


Then, layer them one on top of the other in the order you want them:


Now run a basting stitch along the tops of them. Do it again half an inch or so away so that you have 2 basting stitches:


Now we are going to ruffle them. Gently pull the top threads of your basting and slide your fabric down. Be VERY careful not to break the thread. (If you need a run down on ruffles I’ve got a tutorial for you here).


Ruffle it until it is double the width of your overalls. Sew the raw edges together to form a loop. Pin it in place on your overalls and stitch it on:


Then pin your cute ribbon over top of the ruffling and sew that on.Pinribbon

And you’re done!

This post was originally posted at The Ribbon Retreat.

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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!

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  1. Debbie says

    Absolutely one of the sweetest ideas I’ve seen lately. My mind is sifting through all the people know with little girls just so I can make this…lol. I can’t think of anyone. Everyone in my family at the moment is giving birth to boys!

    Thanks for the inspiration.


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