Monday, September 2, 2013

The Punky Brewster Dress Tutorial {aka an upcycled scrappy dress} & the Earring Giveaway Winners!

I loved Punky Brewster when I was little. That girl had some major style! 

Who could resist the charm of her mismatched misfit self? So, while the girl didn't wear anything like this dress, somehow it reminded me of her. 

So, the story behind this dress....I wanted to make my Zoe a fun back to school dress. I wanted it to be fun and bright and comfortable (and not cost a fortune in fabric!). So, thrifted knits were the way to go. I love upcycling thrifted clothes. Also, I'm a huge fan of the scrappy clothes this chickadee from the Netherlands makes for her shop Dress Me. Ack! They are so cute and fun and quirky that I might just curl up and die from Cuteness Overload. 

Ok....anyway, I didn't quite get around to this dress until the second week of school. Better late than never, right? I'm still getting used to having a newborn in the house. Things get pretty tricky around here and I'm not able to do half the things I could a few months ago (actually more like a tenth the things I could!) 

So, late at night (when I should probably be sleeping!) after I got all the kids tucked nicely in bed, I got out the fabric Zoe had approved and the pink top I planned to cut up. All of this fabric, plus the shirt, was thrifted. I think it cost me about $5. Huzzah!

First I cut the bottom and the sleeves off the shirt. 

Then I laid the different shirts under it to look it over, make sure I thought it would all look together before I started cutting. 

Then I got busy. I cut the tshirt knits about a length and a half for each tier. The last ruffle I made a bit longer since I wanted it to be a bit poofier. Then I cut out cuffs for the sleeve. 

I decided I wanted another color on the sleeves, so I cut a band of green to add in, too. Then I sewed it all together! I ruffled the tiers and sewed them on, sewed the added bits to the sleeves and then whipped up some cute pockets for the front. 

To make the pockets really easy I cut them out upside down with the top along the hem of the bottom of a shirt. Does that make sense? That way I didn't have to fold down the top of the pocket and sew it. It was already done with the original hem! Great, right? 

I added strips of the green and white stripe to the front of the pockets and some cute buttons. 

And then...Voila! You end up with a fun and bright and scrappy dress which channels your inner Punky Brewster!

I think this dress would look best with leggings, but Zoe's classroom has been a bit warm so she's been sporting it with these stripey bike shorts underneath {for cartwheeling[knicker-covering} instead.

This was such a fun and fast project! And best of all? Zoe adores it. Mission accomplished!


Now it's time to announce the winners of the Hazel and Company Earring Giveaway! 


We have my lovely little assistant, Molly, helping us today...

{drumroll please}

And the winners are...

and Veronica!

You chickadees can head over to my Etsy shop Hazel and Company and pick out some earrings! Email me at erin shakespear at bresnan dot net (without any spaces) with your choice and address (unless you're local...I think I can track you down :)

Thanks to everyone for participating in my earrings giveaway! And for helping get the word out about the reopening of my shop. You guys are awesome. 


  1. Oh my goodness! This is the CUTEST dress ever. So weird to think of Punky Brewster... man I feel old.

    Congrats to the lucky winners!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  2. I love this dress! the star fabric really brings it all together.

  3. So cute!!!! I love it! i love all the colors, and I really like the pockets! Great work! I'm pinning this!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  4. This is super adorable! Great Job! Stopping by from Sugar Bee Crafts!

  5. so fun! The fabric is all adorable and just works together.... love the fact that your daughter loves it! I would love for you to link this up at my party, going on now!

  6. I love all the earring:) It won't let me email you, so I'll just tell you here :) I want the I Large white lacy circle earrings.
    So pretty!

  7. Fabulous - the colors really pop too! I was a big Punky Brewster fan back in the day, so this makes me smile. Your lovely dress has been featured at this week's Craftastic party (as well as on Sew Can Do's Pinterest & Twitter). Stop by and grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to the Craftastic Monday party at Sew Can Do!

  8. What a creative idea on upcycling your clothing! Thank you so much for sharing! I'd love for you to link your outfit to our Fall Clothing Party!!!


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