Hot! The “Nursing to Nautical” Jersey Dress | Adey Lim


The Facts

Fabric: Old RTW nursing top and dress
Pattern: None
Notions: Red bias tape and and ribbon from stash 
Time to complete: 1 hour
First worn: 19 June 2011
Wear again: Totally!

Total Cost: $0

I've only attempted refashioning once when I used an old skirt and scraps to sew a summer top from a Japanese sewing pattern and that was all because I wasn't gutsy enough to use new fabric for a pattern I wasn't sure if I could handle.  The blouse didn't turn out very well and since then I have been suffering from refashion-phobia. Have you tried refashioning? And do you prefer refashioning or starting on a completely new piece of garment? 

For this week's refashion theme, I searched my wardrobe for RTW I no longer wear and ended up with two pieces of nursing garments. A Marks and Spencer navy blue jersey dress with gold embroidery trim which I had only wore twice, more than four years ago as a nursing dress for my son. I no longer wear it due to the low cut neckline and unflattering length.  

The other is a brandless navy blue and white striped jersey (really short) nursing top which I have never and would never wear due to its length. With the matching blue and white stripe buttons (which I ended up not using), red bias tape and ribbon in my stash, I started working on my 'new' dress.  

I surprised myself when I had the revamped dress completed in an hour! To be totally wearable and in jersey too! While I am still not really into refashion (somehow I just really enjoy the entire process of creating a new garment), I am so glad to have attempted and completed this project! It was surprisingly fun! It's bye bye nursing wear and hello nautical dress and I bet my hubby who took my photos this week didn't even realized it was a refashioned item. Wait till he reads the post!

IMG_0650I first started off by cutting a rectangular piece of the stripe jersey fabric with the neckline intact (that way I didn't have to re-stitch it) and pin it to the deep V-neck of the dress while sandwiching the red bias tape in between. After stitching the red bias tape on, I turned the dress inside out and trim off the excess stripe jersey fabric. I then attached a red velvet ribbon to the waist ties of the dress to set off the color and show the waistline better. The golden trim and the bottom of the skirt were trimmed and hemmed. Now I have a dress that is not too low cut and long! Yay! And the blue/red/white vintage flower brooch I bought many months back on etsy went perfectly with the dress. I think this nautical number might be perfect for my family vacation to the Great Barrier Reef end of July!


I hope you are having just as much fun with your refashion this week! Ahoy! I'm ready to set sail.




Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


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  1. Great job Adey! I’m excited for you going to the GBR … I’ll be there for two weeks in August as my daughter who lives in Airlie Beach is having a baby. Make sure you go snorkelling!!

  2. This is an awesome dress! Have fun at the Reef. It’s where I’m originally from and it’s beautiful–just like your new dress! :)

  3. I would not believe this is a refashion if you didn’t show the befores. Boy, did that come up well. Great summer dress.

  4. That is so pretty, I wish I could do this with my old nursing clothes, but most of them are viscose and my 30 year old sewing mashine will not sew it.
    I actually have made lots of refashiones, though most of them are refashioned with fabric paint. And I’ve sewed skirts from old trousers and dresses from mans shirts. I started sewing when I was ten (by hand) so this was mostly due to not having money for fabric, but my mom always had some old clothes she could spare.

  5. So cute, and I loved that you used nursing wear b/c really I have tons of that stuff sitting in drawers, and what else would you ever do with it?!

  6. Adey, your dress turned out really nice and the moment I set eyes on it I thought “nautical” (which I love)! It looks easy to wear and perfect for your upcoming vacation.
    I’m in your camp. I really don’t refashion much, just a few old sweaters that were very boxy. Most unwearable clothes gets moved out. I think my mission in life is to keep my closet as uncluttered as possible or I will never get to work on time!

  7. Adey, you’ve really transformed a very boring dress into a winning ‘Great Barrier Reef’ dress he he Great photos too.

  8. judy roberson

    You did a great job on this dress. as always…it looks great on you.
    I too. am not much for refashioning a garment.. I hate to repair things when they break…sure dont want to start from something old.ha I to start with new fabric.
    Looks great on you..

  9. This is incredibly clever…a great way to salvage t shirts that have a stain that won’t go away but too cute to completely ditch. Nautical is so easy to do…Vogue Fabrics has some great nautical appliques to make a similar re-do quick-o!

  10. Really charming! What a great way to turn “nothing” into “something!” That has become a keeper!

  11. adey, i swear. you have magical powers.

  12. Adorable!! You did a great job both with the re-fashioning and the styling : )

  13. This is a most fabulous refashion! Very nautical indeed and perfect for your summer trip – well done!

  14. margueritedesigns

    That is gorgeous, well done!

  15. Looks absolutely wonderful! I love red, white and blue as well and you look absolutely stunning in this colour combination! Great that you were able to save these outfits and now they can be a regular staple in your wardrobe!

  16. It looks so comfy as well! Great refashion for a new refashionista Adey! xoxoxo

  17. Adorable!!!

  18. oh it must feel good to turn an old nursing dress into something ‘not for nursing’!!! I had a very cathartic toss out of all clothes with button fronts when I was done!!

  19. Wow! This is so lovely!

  20. I am always amazed how simple you make everything sound. The dress is 1000 times cute-er the way you have refashioned it and it sounds like it was just a simple thing to do. Wow. I have two dresses I keep saying I will refashion but have not gotten to. Now I want to try to see what I can come up with after this week of great makeovers. Good Job!

  21. Thank you Hashi! I’m really excited to visit the GBR too…can’t wait! Congratulations! I’m sure you will be taking loads of cute baby photos, the shots on your blog are just breathtaking!

  22. Thank you Reana! Love your pink skirt and I’m sure you are having a great time in Venice, it’s one of my fave places in the world!

  23. Thank you Jen! I love its new look too :)

  24. Thank you Nora! Fabric paint sounds really interesting to me ( I used to do some oil painting) and it’s definitely on my must try list. Its just that I have no idea where I can purchase them in Singapore so I’m gonna search for them! And I think refashion is a great way to start sewing, I might start my daughter off doing refashions if she’s keen later on :)

  25. Thanks Jessie! I’m glad my nursing wear has found a new lease of life too:)

  26. Thank you Cathe! Yeah, I think unwearable clothes get out of my closet pretty fast too cos I’m always struggling with not having enough space for the new pieces I sew. Soon, I will be invading into my kid’s space too haha.

  27. Thank you Kazz! Love the photos of hubby and you in ascot worthy wear, so fun! I can never get my better half to do that. And those shoes…I so WANT them!

  28. Thanks Judy! I am totally with you on starting on new fabric, just love that too much:)

  29. Thanks MB and also for the tip on nautical appliques!

  30. Thank you dear! A keeper indeed :)

  31. hocus pocus sewcus hehehe

  32. Thank you so much Loran!

  33. Thanks Meg, I am definitely packing this with me :)

  34. Thanks Debi, I’m totally glad these nursing wear found a new lease of life :)

  35. Thanks Veronica, so glad this refashion worked out :)

  36. Thanks Casey, Yeap, feels great that I can redo these pieces into something wearable but I did toss out quite a few of my nursing clothes. For some reason, there were a few pieces that I couldn’t bear to part with :)

  37. Thanks babe! Sure wished we had Target here!

  38. Oh, thank you dear Sue! Can’t wait to see your refashioned dresses!

  39. Question – did you use regular store bought bias tape? or self-made jersey tape? I am wondering if the bias tape shrunk in the wash and busted a seam on the jersey…I really want to use some cotton bias on a jersey dress, and save me making jersey tape. Let me know how it worked out!
    GREAT blog

  40. Hi Jess, I used store bought bias and it's still fine after a few washes, no busted seam so far.