DIY Summer Dress from Yoga Pants

Clothing, Sewing Patterns

Tada!!! I am happy to hereby announce craft artisan extra-ordinaire: Jutta Dobler. Today I am nominating her as the second artist chosen in ‘A Stitch Above’ awards. For the event, she is sharing a pattern for super-easy DIY summer dresses. Jutta’s living & working in Africa where it has just been a hot summer for the last few months. Thus, she is totally in tune with the kind of summer dresses we will need in just a few month’s time here on the northern hemisphere. As she figured out, we will want to wear summer dresses that aren’t really dresses at all, Instead, we will want to wear gear that’s as comfortable as yoga pants and a tank top!!! Brilliant idea. Who would not want to sport in these in the garden all summer long…. I sure do!

Here is the pattern and instructions for her summer dress, written by Jutta herself:


“It is an honor to be a (small) part of the beautiful blog Fine Craft Guild! I promised Rose a dress made out of recycled t-shirts. But when I looked through my old clothes bin (or, rather, the pile of things stuffed into the back of my cupboard), I came across a recent ‘accident’.

It involved a pair of brand new yoga pants, and a teething puppy:

summer dresses
summer dresses

Since I am neither very good nor very patient when it comes to sewing, I love to recycle old clothes. This way, at least parts of the finished product will be sewn properly :-).



To  make a skirt out of exercise pants, cut the legs off under the knee, and cut the inner legs open:

summer dresses
The lower part of the legs must also be cut open: 



Cut these two pieces into triangular shapes (if you like it neat, use a pattern made out of newspaper or something):

summer dresses


Then pin the triangles to the inner legs of your (ex) pants, one triangle in the front, and one in the back:

summer dresses sewing pattern


Sew it on, using a stitch suitable for jersey or knitted fabric. As you can see, I have a wonderful Singer Sewing Machine.

sewing machine singer
STEP 6 :
After sewing, I cut around all the edges with my zick-zack scissors (serrated edge scissors maybe?) in lieu of seaming and rounded the corners a bit:
summer dresses
Worn with a grey t-shirt, it does kind of look like a dress:

summer dresses silver

In hindsight, I am actually quite happy about the misbehaving pup. The skirt is very comfy, doesn’t wrinkle (actually, skip that, I just looked at the pictures again), and looks a lot more elegant than the pants:

summer dresses hem shorter in front
summer dresses fun

Of course, Maxi knew that all along:

summer dresses dogs

It was very nice meeting you all, come visit anytime :-).

Lots of love, and have a beautiful week! “ 


‘A Stitch Above’ – Awarded

A cut-up yoga pants transformed into a summer dress with a hem that’s shorter in front. Well, that’s so simple that perhaps you might wonder WHY I am featuring Jutta as someone who is ‘A Stitch Above’. As someone we can learn from. Well, dear readers, it is precisely her capacity to be an an artist-in-life, to weave the reality of life (in this case: dog-chewed yoga pants) into her creative pursuits and so create harmonious bliss!

Jutta goes by Leonard Cohen’s philosophy: “Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”


Jutta just started a brand new blog, called It seems like that new blog is a new egg for her. If you visit it, you can see that that egg is cracked wide open, and that Jutta’s light is shining blissfully.

Who actually is Jutta? She wrote: ‘A German living in Africa, with a gorgeous daughter, four dogs, three cats and three chickens.’ That line just says it all. She is unlike every other and like all of us. It is her humanity and her easy ‘oh well’ – artistic way of living that so resonates with me.

Too often we only celebrate the ornate, the elaborate, the pretty, the detailed. There is a time and place for this.

However, it must be balanced with a certain leanness of color and effort, with monochromatic color schemes, with calmness, with ‘white space’. Jutta teaches us the balance inherit in just doing it!


What does that all mean, practically, for you? Well, … mmm…. this: Most practically, Jutta’s projects seem to be always doable in just about 15 min, start to finish. You won’t find ruffles and stuff. Instead, her seams are un-sown, and that’s fine. She gets to wear that summer dress instead of having a work-in-progress project laying at the back of her closet for 1-2 years.

If you still want ruffles ‘n stuff: OK. I suggest you do this: use this tutorial to get your 15-minute-summer dress made. Then, if you have time left over, visit Anthropologie for a few minutes for inspiration. Then go to your craft cabinet for some ric-rac, ribbon or contrast colored fabric, sequins and beads, and embellish. Have fun.

Have a happy day, everyone!

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