I snatched up this bright aqua housedress at the thrift store a few months back for $3. The shape (or lack thereof) is terrible, but the color and adorable embroidery on the skirt really called to me.
To begin the conversion from housedress to sundress, the first step was to chop off the yoke at the armpits.
Next I cut about 8 inches down each side seam. I'm going to create a couple bust darts before rejoining the sides to one another.
I took the front flap and folded it down onto itself. I pinned about 1 inch from the fold (for a 2-inch dart) and tapered the dart as I went inward toward the button band. I did this on the other side as well, and them sewed along the pins.
I flipped my dress inside out and pinned my new sides seams, giving it a shape less... rectangular.
I hemmed all the way around the top edge.
From my remnants, I cut four long strips and four tapered strips (there are two of each stacked up in this picture).
I joined the skinny end of each tapered piece to a long thin strips. Then I joined each pair to another pair to create my straps. I gave them both a quick top-stitching along the edges to a neat edge.
Finally, I attached my new straps, and I'm ready to go!
It's still a bit too chilly to wear this, maybe with a cardigan on one of the recent warmer days, but I know I'll get plenty of use out of a cotton dress in a few months.
Look at those cute little dragonflies!