The $4, 5 Minute, Napkin Dress

This is one of those project ideas, like my dishtowel dress, that could easily go either way. Into the absolute-genius-category or the what-in-the-f-were-you-thinking-category.

You can be the judge for yourself, but I am pretty pleased with how it came out.

I bought some napkins at World Market, for $2 each. I used one napkin for the front of the dress and one for the back.

Penelope wears size 4t dresses right now, she is a bit on the tall side and I like her dresses a bit on the long side, so she can get more wear out of them.

I also used an Old Navy tank top that she already had in her wardrobe, they run about $6, so even with the tank top, this dress is way cheaper than something at the Gap.

Napkin Dress2 031

Sweet Pea, is turning into being quite the hilarious one. Her personality continues to explode and grow each day.

Napkin Dress3 032

The napkin had this beautiful white pipping on the edges that I wanted to accentuate. So instead of sewing the fabric like the 10 minute onesie dress, I folded it, hand pleated it, pinned it in place and sewed one line to attach it to her shirt.

Then I sewed along the sides, very close to the pipping. I wasย worriedย this would look dumb, or that the dress would not move properly when she waked but it came out just fine.

Napkin Dress4 033

So what do you think, crazy or genius?

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  • Kristy
    April 17, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Do you remember paper bag pants? The top of the skirt part totally reminds me of them – only much more chic. Good job mama.

    • Stephanie
      April 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      No! I have no idea what you are talking about! Send me a link!

  • Melissa
    April 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Love it! I think it looks like something you’d pay 60$ for @ a fancy children’s boutique…you are awesome, I’m totally inspired!

  • Laura
    April 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    I think it’s really cute! It’s a total success-Especially for $4!!!

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM


  • michelle
    April 18, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    how creative!!! and frugal!!!! love it!!!!! Way to go!! score!:)

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      Thank you!

  • Molly Wintergerst
    April 18, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Love it! I think it’s super cute! Love your blog! My son and I check it daily!! <3

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 1:09 AM

      That is so nice to hear! Thank you for telling me! It keeps me motivated!

  • Jennifer
    April 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Love it! Very cute.

  • Fiona Reyna
    April 18, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Brilliant – love it! You are so creative and talented! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      Aw, shucks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gretchen
    April 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Genius! I’m totally going to check out World Market’s napkins ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 1:46 AM

      I love their napkin selections. And they always have some half off.

  • Rebecca
    April 18, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    I think it is a fantastic idea! I never would have thought of it. I am even more motivated to sew now. Great job!

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 2:22 AM

      This really would be an easy project to start with! Good luck!

  • Heather
    April 18, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Totally cute!!! Makes me wish I could sew :-/ whomp whomp

  • Karen
    April 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I’m sorry but to me it’s really obvious that it’s two napkins.

  • Natalie
    April 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Its Adorable! I think it would be even cuter if you took the tank out completely added straps (ribbon?) or made it a halter dress. Its still awesome, just a little creative criticism ๐Ÿ™‚
    Email me if you want to make some to sell, i just opened Love Child Boutique where we specialize in handmade kids clothes.

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      Those are cute ideas! Thank you so much for the offer, I wish I had more time to sew, but I have too much on my plate already. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • julie tiemeyer
    April 18, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    It’s okay but probably not something I would buy.

  • Jessica
    April 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM


  • Courtnei
    April 19, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Totally adorable! Wish I had a daughter, neice, cousin to do this for!

    Love your blog, constantly recommending it!

    • Stephanie
      April 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      Thank you for recommending my blog! That really means a lot to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carrie
    April 21, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    To me it needs to lose the piping on the sides and just keep it at the top and bottom. I like the pleating but the scale of it is wrong for a dress so small and it seems like the fabric is too thick on the napkins compared to the tank. It looks like a dress made of napkins – cute napkins.

    On a positive note, Penelope is as cute as they come!

    • Stephanie
      April 22, 2012 at 2:43 AM

      Yeah,I kept going back and forth about the sides. Good point about the scale. I guess I could have cut fabric out to get the right length, but that would of added lots more steps and time and I am a lazy and impatience sewer!

  • Gabriela
    April 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    I think it’s both, crazy but genius at the same time, very creative and it looks really cute. Way to go!!!!!

    • Stephanie
      April 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      LOL. Crazy and genius, that does about sum it up!

  • Nita
    April 24, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Love that you think outside the box. The results are adorable.

  • carol
    April 30, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    This would be even cuter if it had an Obi ( the bows that are on the Japanese kimonos) on the back, or in the front.

    • Stephanie
      April 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      That is a great idea!