Hot! The Trackie Dacks Dress | Veronica Darling

P1070178The Facts

Fabric: Green Stretch Knit Tracksuit Pants, $2
Patterns: McCall's 4260 as a guide
Year: none
Notions: none
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: To the movies on Sunday, June 2011
Wear again: Yes, on 'skinny' days

Total Cost: ~$2 


Recycling, upcycling, refashioning, reusing! These are all wonderful things in my book and I've built much of my sewing 'career' around used, op shopped, thrifted and second hand materials. My first sewing adventures were with thrifted bedsheets and my mum's vintage patterns and quite possibly 90 % of my crafting, even today, is recycled or second hand.

For this week's theme, I searched my wardrobe for something that needed a new lease of life, and couldn't find anything I was inspired by. So I looked in my 'fix up' pile in my sewing room, and found these really soft green tracksuit pants! They were mountains too big, and I *think* I got them at an op shop thinking I would refashion them one day!

Yippee! That day has come!

After my formal outfit last week for Sew Weekly, I was totally ready for something very comfy and fitted and easy to sew up. And boy, stretch knits take no time!

Well, it should have taken no time, but I measured out how much fabric I had, and *thought* I could make a simple 'Built By Wendy' type dress. As the tracksuit pants were seamed everywhere (so four pieces all up) I didn't really want seams down the centre front and back of my dress.

Then I got thinking about those tube type dresses, with panels that are kinda princess seamed. Long, verticle strips of pattern pieces instead of blocked out bodice and skirt pieces. Is that a princess seam?

McCalls 4260 is a really sweet dress with skinny pieces, up the top, but flared down the bottom. I totally didn't have enough pants fabric to go with the flared, so I tried to 'shape' the pieces around my hips, and whilst it looks intentional and 'va va voom', I pretty much had to go with how little fabric I had. But! I'm super pleased with the dress, and it's kinda perfect for layering! Short and simple!

These really simple dresses (and a few of my Built By Wendy stretch ones) are so comfy, and since I don't wear jeans or tracksuit pants, I call this style of 'comfort' dress my Trackie Dacks Dress. They're so easy to throw on and slouch around in! Never heard of 'Trackie Dacks'? Have a look at this ABC news story! Just an ordinary abbreviation in Australia!


Veronica Darling

Veronica Darling has been sewing well for about 4 years, blogging for 5 years and smiling for over 33 years. In 2011, she joined Mena's Sew Weekly in sewing through the year, and in 2012 will keep challenges slightly smaller in scale.


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  1. Wow! This was a really ambitious project, and you pulled it off! I am inspired to take another look at my old exercise clothes!

  2. Wow! now that’s an upcycle! You had some great vision on this one – the dress turned out great!

  3. That is the cutest green dress! Lovely re-fashioning :)

  4. Who ever thought trackies could look so good. Most impressed!

  5. That’s great.
    I#m imagining you showing the trousers to your husband saying “Hi I’m going to wear this to the party this weekend” :)

  6. Who’d of thought trackie dacks could look so sexy!! I love your “upcycle” – very clever ….. and chic!

  7. That is crazy that those pants turned into that dress! WHAT?! Looks so great on you too.

  8. holy crap. why did i throw all that workout gear away?!!!

  9. Fabulous refashion!!! That color is stunning on you, and I love the style! I really love the layered look you put together – it’s polished and totally trendy :) Great work!!!

  10. WHOA! Those were pants before? Holy cow you did a fantastic job of refashioning them – high five!

  11. Wow you look great!

  12. margueritedesigns

    That’s an unbelievable transformation!

  13. That is an awesome dress!! I want to make one for myself now! :)

  14. Wow! This is super impressive! You are a refashion queen! Great job and it looks super comfy!

  15. Beautiful refashion!!

  16. You, my dear, have vision. Sweat pants?!

  17. wow! I can’t believe you managed to re-fashion the most hideous wardrobe item in the world- trackies! Pure awesome :)

  18. How chic is that green dress! I would never have thought it came from workout pants! Great refashioning indeed:)

  19. I am amazed you ladies are all so talented. I love the dress and it is so you. Green is a great color on you and I love the style of the dress. It is beautiful.

  20. You make daggy so darn cute!! I am in complete awe of your refashioning eye… turning 90s jersey tracky dacks into a gorgeous dress! That last photo is stunning – you look gorgeous. Love the layering for the freezing Melbourne winter! I keep looking between the track pants photo and the dress photo and I just can’t get over it! Completely worthy of a comment with blatant overuse of the exclamation mark :)

  21. Thanks Melissa! I’m so surprised it worked out!

  22. Yay! Thanks Casey! It was a bit tricky and scary when some of the pieces were so skinny. Thanks goodness for the stretch!

  23. Thank you Sahina! It’s such a great shade of green!

  24. LOLZ!
    I’m so glad we remembered to get a ‘before’ photo, makes it so much better! And yes, he can’t believe this dress came from those trackies!

  25. Thanks Debbie! Trackie Dacks & Chic in the same comment! How fun!

  26. Hee hee! Thanks Jessie! Super happy!

  27. I know Oona! How great is the serger/overlocker with ambitious cuts of knit!??!! I’m turning into you! Plus I got SO much stretch knit at the op shop last week, so I’ll be experimenting my socks off with that serger soon!

  28. THANKS SO MUCH! You’re a darling Meg, makes me so happy all round! xoxo

  29. Thank you Stephanie! Nice work on your refashioned skirt this week! YAY!

  30. Thanks Marguerite! There’s another photo on my blog of the trousers before too!

  31. Knitted fabrics are so fast to work with too Sarah! Go for it!

  32. A perfect Friday outfit for work! Comfy and cute! Thanks Debi!

  33. Hee hee! They were so soft and green, but I didn’t expect the dress to be such a hit! YAY xoxo

  34. Thanks Nina! Love using stretch materials!

  35. Thanks Adey! It’s been a fun week seeing all the refashions! xoxo

  36. Thanks Sue! How great is refashioning?! I’ve actually scored some more green fabric from the Op Shop recently after I made this one!

  37. Hee hee! Thanks Amanda! You know I love a bit of the exclamation mark!