Mum repurposes old shirts into stunning children's dresses

Stephanie was inspired to dye the fabric after she couldn't get stains out of the white dresses. Photo: Stephanie ...
Stephanie was inspired to dye the fabric after she couldn't get stains out of the white dresses. Photo: Stephanie Miller/Instagram 

Even with the best minimalist intentions, most of us still end up with unworn clothing populating our closets. More than likely it ends up in the charity bin, hopefully to be worn by another, and making us feel a little better about our own bad purchasing judgement.

One US mum has found a different purpose for discarded clothing, transforming her husband's business shirts into delightful dresses for her daughters. Stephanie Miller, 27, a mum of four from Utah, sure has a knack for turning the sartorially mundane into something special.

It all started in March, when a shirt she had given her husband for Christmas had shrunk in the wash and she found herself seeking to repurpose it. Taking her cues from Instafamous repurposers cottonandcurls and sarahtyau, she set about her very first creation.

 

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It was no mean feat considering she had given birth to a premature baby son the month before, but the project gave a difficult time purpose and meaning - creating dresses for the daughters she had spent so much time apart from.

Sewing wasn't a natural progression for Stephanie. Hampered by post partum depression after the birth of her first child, Stephanie struggled to maintain her former artistic output. With a fine arts degree under her belt, the painter found herself unable to devote time to her art once she became a mother. "I felt a loss of identity," Miller told Babble. "I couldn't paint anymore and didn't feel fulfilled like I used to."

Enter a $50 sewing machine, gifted to Stephanie by her husband who saw in her the need to create. She set out to make a stuffed toy bird and immediately took to the craft, despite not having any experience beyond first year high school. 

She says of the pivotal moment, "That little stuffed bird was a sewing mess, but when I was done, I felt so satisfied. Sewing helped break my postpartum [depression] and honestly made me happy." She later taught herself to sew dresses from YouTube videos and found her daughters loved wearing them.

The proof is in the pudding with Miller's adorable smiling daughters posing first in the original shirt - which of course engulfs them in the cutest possible way - followed by the finished product.

 

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A post shared by Stephanie Miller (@mothermakesx4) on

The road to creating breastfeeding-friendly dresses for herself hasn't been quite as smooth. Something tells us it's an obstacle this accomplished and determined mum will overcome.

 

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