Having 2 little girls means I have many dresses. To keep them worthy of wearing we have to give them updates every year. I am by no means a skillful seamstress. I've never tempted to sew a dress from fabric but I can alter dresses I find from thrift shops for next to no cost.
This simple cream dress the girls have had for 2 years. It is a 3T dress. The straps were shriveled, there was a remnant of an old bow on the bodice, a few stubborn stains. So I did a layout, just as you would for a scrapbook page.
First, the straps ad to be replaced. I used this gorgeous floral fabric from A Little bit French
I cut a slightly longer strap using the old straps as a general template.
Laying out the materials.
cutting the bottom edge of the dress to lengthen. This step is by far the most useful tip when altering children's clothes. Often it is not that they are getting rounder, they are growing taller. So adding a 3 or 4 inch length to dresses and the bottoms of jeans gives new life to your clothes for another years worth of wearing.
And the finished product on Valencia. She's been wearing it often because "Mommy made it for her". (That term is used loosely :)