Black & White Peter Pan Collar Dress

I have yet another finished project from my unfinished object pile to share with you. I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing that, but you know it’s only because you’re jealous of my discipline. 😉 Anyway, this is the dress that I referred to a few days ago in the post about my tie neck dress.


I started this dress during my trip to California at the end of last summer. While there, I went to the thrift store with my sister and found this argyle dress. I brought it home, not knowing what I’d do with it. I really thought the argyle part of the dress was ugly, but I liked the bottom half. So, I ended up cutting the skirt off and using it to make a new dress.


I drafted a few patterns while I was in California. I made the bodice of my new dress using a shortened button-up shirt pattern that I made for knits.


I didn’t have my drafting tools with me when I made these, so I’ve had to trace and redraft this pattern since then.

I found a white knit material when I went fabric shopping at Michael Levine Loft, during the same visit to California. I cut some of the material out, but never started sewing the dress because my mom’s sewing machine doesn’t play nice with knits. I learned about this problem the hard way after a project was completely and utterly destroyed. Pieces of material get sucked into the black hole that is the feed dogs, and you’re never quite sure if you’ve found all the pieces. It doesn’t matter what needle you use, what settings you use, or how much you try to coax it into submission. Putting knits through that machine is like instigating a prison fight, shivs and all. Things get UGLY! There will be holes that can never be repaired. There will be a lot of anger in the air. Things will get ripped and pulled. There will probably definitely be tears. The project will most likely be dead when all is said and done.

Needless to say, I didn’t start sewing the dress. When I got home, I put the project aside and forgot about it. I pulled it out a couple of months ago and finally finished it a few weeks ago.

Here are some of the details of the reconstruction of the skirt and construction of the bodice. I apologize for the strange omission of photos for some of the steps. I must not have been completely with it when I was working on this project. If you don’t care about any of the details, feel free to skip to the end of the post to see more pictures of the finished dress.

After I cut the skirt away from the original, thrifted dress, I shortened the skirt, removed the pockets and took it in on the sides. I removed the buttons from the extra skirt material to use for the bodice buttons.

For the trim around the collar, I cut a strip from the left-over skirt material. I basted the folded strip to the right side of one of the interfaced collar pieces on the outside edge.


Then, I sewed the collar pieces along the outside edge, right sides together.

IMG_6529I trimmed the seam allowances and turned the collar right side out.


Once I sewed and serged the bodice shoulder and side seams, I pinned the collar around the neckline of the bodice, with the self-facings folded out onto the right side of the bodice. Then, I sewed around the neckline from one front edge of the bodice to the other. I serged the seam allowances, pressed the allowances down, turned the self-facings to the inside and topstitched over the seam allowances, under the collar.

IMG_6545I sewed the skirt to the bodice, serged the seam, and turned the interfaced self-facings of bodice fronts to the inside.


I added the sleeves and hemmed them with a twin needle.


Next, I sewed buttonholes and buttons at the same intervals as those on the skirt. Also, I sewed a snap at the waist to ensure it would stay closed. This snap at the waist served to tack down the self-facings of the bodice, as well.


The final step was to re-hem the bottom of the skirt around the side seams, which I had to take apart when I made the skirt smaller.

There you have it! That’s another project spared a life of rejection. It turns out this dress just wasn’t destined to live in the dark abyss with the other UFOs.


Tomorrow is the deadline for entries in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway. I’m giving away a few patterns and a couple of dresses. Check it out! 🙂

This entry was posted in General, Reconstructing & Thrifting, Sewing & Crafting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Black & White Peter Pan Collar Dress

  1. Marie says:

    Oooh, another great make! I love how neat and tidy the collar is, considering you’ve used jersey!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks, lady! The collar was a bit difficult, but it came out alright. The jersey was pretty persnickety.

  2. LLADYBIRD says:

    REALLY cute! I’m with Marie, I can’t believe how neat that collar is – my jersey collars always look so sad and lumpy haha.

  3. GA says:

    This is a favorite for me!!!!

  4. Lesley says:

    I love this!! Looks great on you also. You are so right I am totally jealous of your discipline :).

    • Becca says:

      Thank you so much! Haha! Now, I hope you’ll forgive me for being a bossy pants. Stop being jealous and go finish a UFO of your own! 😀

  5. Amaaaaazing! I love this dress so much! I think it’s the combo of structure and comfy knit 🙂 I am super impressed with that collar – nice work!

  6. CGCouture says:

    This dress is adorable! LOVE!! So glad you saved it from the UFO pile, and yes, I’ll admit that I’m totally jealous of your discipline. 😉

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! I’m glad I saved it too. Haha! You should definitely go dig in to your UFO pile and save something. 🙂

  7. diya says:

    Very lovely .. The combination also looks great .. Admiring your sewing skills..Have a great day
    Diya from TheHobbyHarbor

  8. I love this dress! The black and white is so great; I’ve totally been wanting to make a shirt or dress with bound or piped edges! It looks so comfortable! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up!

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! I don’t have many black and white outfits, but I like the combo too. I think, the piped edges make it more interesting. It is very comfy. 🙂

  9. Not tired of seeing fabulous UFOs come to life at all! I keep meaning to make a dress with a white top and colored skirt. Your version is so great, maybe it will inspire me to move that idea up in the queue. Looks wonderful on you.

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! Can’t wait to see your dress with a white top and colored skirt! I hope you do move it up in your queue. 🙂

  10. Laura says:

    I think this is one of my favorites on you too! Especially with the casual white flats!! Love it.

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! 🙂 It’s a really fun dress, especially since I can dress it up or down.

  11. Rox says:

    Gosh, this is just darling! Love how you transformed this. So cute!

  12. Ashley says:

    Your re-fashions are just so awesome! You have the best eye for taking something well, ugly, and turning it into something totally fabulous. Love the black and white combo on the collar, too!

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! I’m flattered that you like my refashions so much. 🙂 I think the collar would’ve just looked too boring without the black trim.

  13. This is just awesome! nuff said!

  14. Kelly says:

    This dress looks amazing on you!! I love it, awesome job!

  15. Krista says:

    Adorable!!! One of the best refashions I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to tackle my mound of things that need either mending or makeovers!

    • Becca says:

      Thanks! Wow, that’s quite a compliment. Your so sweet! Get to tacklin’! 😉

  16. Alessa says:

    Very cute dress! I also totally love the hairstyle. 🙂

    • Becca says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely that time of the year again where you’ll see me with lots of braids and scarfs/headbands.

  17. Shirley says:

    Great refashion!

  18. Justine says:

    This is adorable on you Becca. So worth finishing!

  19. gingermakes says:

    Cuuuuuuuuute! I love this on you– it’s just so sweet!

  20. Havalah says:

    I really love it. I’m totally in love with peter pan collars right now

  21. Candie says:

    Love this dress. Another pattern you could make!

Comments are closed.