Mom Makes Her Girl the Sweetest Dress From the Shirt Her Dad Wore the Day She Was Born

refashioned memories dress
Refashioned Memories

When Carli Grant grabbed a shirt out of her husband's closet to make her daughter a dress, she had no idea she was taking a first step toward starting a viral trend. The mom and avid sewer used the shirt her husband, Josh, was wearing the day she gave birth to make an adorable outfit for their 2-year-old daughter, Amelia. Now, her sweet gesture has taken the Internet by storm. 

  • When Carli first came across the pattern for her daughter's dress and thought to use Josh's shirt, she didn't realize how significant it would be.

    "I went upstairs to the closet to grab a shirt, and I picked a black and red oxford that Josh had on the day he first held Amelia," she told PopSugar. "I went downstairs to start sewing it and found myself with tears in my eyes."

    Carli was extra-cautious while making the dress, taking time to carefully measure Amelia and make the proper cuts so she wouldn't "ruin the most meaningful shirt in the closet." The crafty mom used the extra fabric from the shirt to make a matching a bow. When her husband got home and saw Amelia, she knew she had something special.

    "[I just remember] the look on Josh's face when he came home and saw Amelia in the dress made out of the shirt he was wearing on the first time he held her," she tells CafeMom. "I love trying new dress patterns and I thought using such a sentimental item to make Amelia's dress would resonate with so many others."

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  • Josh loved the dress so much he shared it online, and that's how Carli's new dressmaking business was born.

    "Carli asked me if I remembered why that shirt was so special, and I immediately remembered the day I first held my baby girl," he told PopSugar. "Such an amazing memory. One that is hard to even put into words. From there, we went back through old photos and put together pictures of me holding her during her first few hours of life to the beautiful little girl in the dress asking me to dance with her in the kitchen."

    When Josh posted one of the photos they put together on social media, Carli says it went "crazy viral." She tells CafeMom, "From there, he convinced me to start a business of my own, Refashioned Memories."

  • On Carli's website, customers can pick out a dress style they like in sizes newborn to 5T and place their order.

    Refashioned Memories then sends a package with prepaid postage and measuring tape. Customers take their child's measurements, pop a sentimental article of clothing in the package for the fabric, send the whole thing back, and two weeks later they get a beautiful custom dress.

  • The dresses can be made from almost any fabric, from button-up shirts to cotton T-shirts.

    Carli tells CafeMom she also has plans to expand her brand. "We are in the process now of designing some refashioned boys' clothing," she adds.

  • Parents even have the option of adding custom hair bows to their orders, just like Amelia's.

    For Carli, the best part is getting to do what she loves and to help other people preserve their precious memories. 

    "Refashioned Memories is an organization that achieves many things that I hold close to my heart," she writes on her website. "From recycling and reusing materials to creating sentimental moments and memories in people's lives, this project has brought me so much pride and gratitude. ... Seeing how an article of clothing can hold so much meaning and quickly recreate feelings of a moment of time is incredible."