I could not resist this dress at the thrift store. I knew that I'd never wear it as a dress and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I couldn't resist the print, the sleeves, or the pockets! Pockets, guys. I was sunk. My mother tried to talk me out of buying it, but I just had a feeling and I'm so glad I did because it is now a rather lovely little romper! I've never turned a skirt into shorts before so it was a bit of a sewing adventure, almost a disaster, with a triumphant finish. I'm a bit too impulsive when I sew, but I won this round!
I started by cutting about 6 inches off the bottom of the dress. Using an existing pair of shorts as a guide, I cut a small triangle out of the center bottom hem to create the leg shape of the shorts. From videos I watched and the tutorials I read I could have just sewn the front and back sides of the triangle together on each side to create shorts, but I knew the leg opening would be uncomfortably tight. So I cut two identical rectangles out of the excess fabric I cut off the bottom of the dress and sewed them, front to back on each side of the triangle and then joined the edges of the two rectangles to create the crotch line of the shorts. This may not make a whole lot of sense until you try to do it, but I promise it's a fairly simple process.
To avoid having to hem anything (hemming is the worst!) and to add a bit of extra length to the romper, I cut two 4inch denim strips out of an old pair of jeans. I folded and pinned the denim around the cuff of each leg opening and stitched the denim in place.
I debated removing the sleeves, but I like the versatility of being able to wear them down or rolled up. This mildly hideous dress is now a cute romper that I can wear buttoned up or layered over a shirt. Success!