Modifying a Baby Romper Into an American Girl Doll Dress

I’ve been working on tweaking my blog and creating a social media presence lately, so I haven’t had as much time to craft.  I’m feeling the need to put out some crafting energy today, so I’m pulling out an old blog post about giving ruined baby clothes a second life.  I hate waste and I love up-cycling something that might go a landfill otherwise. If you don’t have a young one around, you may know somebody who does.  If they have an outfit no longer suitable for wear, I’m guessing they’d be happy to get it off their hands and up-cycle it. Bonus? It’s greener for the environment.

Also, I’ve learned a lot more about photography since then, so please forgive the quality of the photos.  I’ve tried to tweak them as best I can.

*****Spring 2013–(yep 5 years ago)*****

I am trying to get through my laundry basket full of mending. In it was this little baby outfit that I accidentally let oxyclean sit on for too long. I didn’t really think to take a “before” picture, so the best I can do is show you the cut off bottom piece next to the jumper. If you look closely, you can see those enzymes had a grand ole’ time eating through the bodice and the legs in particular.

Some time ago, I came across this tutorial on how to convert a baby dress into an elegant dress for your 18″ doll. I hate to let things go to waste, and I knew this outfit was too far gone to remake into anything useful for a baby, but I thought I might give it a shot for making it into a doll dress.


After I cut off the bottom of the jumper, I did a simple hem that would hide most of the uneven flaws.


I then put it on the doll and figured out how much I would have to take in the sides. I pinned the dress where I wanted the new seam. I probably would have been easier to put the doll with the reverse side showing first.


The pinned sides.


I did a simple basting stitch up the sides I started about an inch up from the hem–I wanted to take advantage of the fullness of the skirt.


Then I began to trim away the excess…


The excess is trimmed off and it is ready for a finishing stitch for knits.


The finished stitch.


Final product!


*****Update 2018*****

The daughter who originally wore this baby romper is now old enough to play with her own 18″ doll.  She calls it her “American Girl Doll” when in reality we go for the less expensive brand of 18″ dolls.  She really doesn’t know the difference, but my wallet does!

2 thoughts on “Modifying a Baby Romper Into an American Girl Doll Dress

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