Ottobre Blouse Top + Skirt = The Hula Hoop Dress!

I have been planning to make this dress for about a month now. I am always looking for good ways to use clothing that I don’t wear anymore and re-purpose them for the kids. So… when I saw the skirt for a good deal, I also remembered that I had a perfect purple (too short, shrunk, ack) shirt of my own in the sewing box. And… tada… an idea was born!

It would be fun if that was the end of the story, but I have a much more random way that this dress finally came about….

A few weeks ago we bought a (standard Ikea) shelf on Craigslist. Nice shelf, nice people. While we were moving it into our vehicle my husband told me that the lady of the house liked to sew. This (of course) was very exciting to me, so I asked him to give her my Thread Riding Hood card and thought maybe she would like to come visit the blog (I know – shameless self promotion!)

A week or so later I got an email from her, she said she was moving out and selling off some of her fabric stash and would I like to come and see it? Turns out I was excited and so were 3 of my friends – so we all trooped down there on Wednesday night of last week to take a look.

Long story short she was selling A LOT of fabric! We got some really great deals and I scored some Ottobre magazines for FREE! If you have not heard of Ottobre, it is a sewing magazine designed in Finland. Each one of their issues has about 40 patterns in it, a clothing sewers dream!

I got home and immediately thought I should find a kids shirt pattern I could shorten to empire waist length and use above the skirt I had found. The pattern went together really well, and I am so excited to use another one! Once I had the dress bodice I took the skirt, opened the casing to shorten the elastic to fit my daughter and stitched it to the bottom of the bodice. Perfect!

Since the skirt has pockets, the dress does too – and my daughter loves them! The drawstring adds a cute detail to the front and I was able to use the extra length to add a ribbon detail to the neckline so the whole thing looks more matchy and put together.

Just a note for posterity! My daughter wanted to call this the “Sparkle Dress”.

So, my random fabric adventure turned out to be pretty useful! A bookcase led to some fabric which gave me some free magazines that had the pattern to the top of this dress in them! It also shows how you can “recycle” adult clothing into cute stuff for your kids. Seeing as how it is Earth Day next Monday maybe you want to try too?!