Refashion: Dress to Skirt

A long time ago I found this dress at an opshop for $16 I think:

Not exactly a bargain, but I was in love. Well, I used to love this dress pre-baby, but things are ahem… shall we say, not quite where they used to be? And it just doesn’t fit the same anymore. It has been sitting in my “to refashion” pile for ages. The other day I got organised and started cutting because I finally decided what I wanted to do with it.

Cute, no? And really comfortable. I haven’t had a chance to wear it out yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be one of my favourites.

In case you have a similar problem, a dress that needs skirtifying, here’s how it went:

I put the dress on and worked out where the top of the skirt should sit and then added 5cm for the waistband. I cut straight across, right through the zip (after making sure that the zip was down!).

I unpicked the top 5cm of the zip, then cut off about 4cm of it, just enough to be able to fold under in the next step.

I folded the zip bit in and the fabric down on top of it, creating a zip sandwich.

Using my zipper foot (for the first time! Didn't even know there was one in there) I sewed up the sandwich, nice and close to the edge. Now, don't be like me and forget to finish the edge of the waistband before you do this step. Or undo any pintucks that need undoing. So unpick those tucks, then overlock, zigzag, whatever you like along the cut edge of the waistband before sewing your sandwich. I then repeated these 3 steps on the other side of the zip.


Since this dress was angled a lot at the sides, I needed to unpick the side seams so that when the waistband was folded over it would sit flat. So another 5cm unpick on each side here too.

I cut strips of interfacing and slipped them under the hem before ironing it down. I can't tell you what type it was. The only interfacing I have at the moment is a whole pile that my Nana gave me, all unlabelled and I'm not experienced enough with it to be able to tell the difference between them all. The best I can do is tell you that it was iron-on interfacing, and I tried to go for the one that felt thick and that I thought would be good for a waistband.

I ironed the waistband down, then sewed all the way around the top and bottom of the band.

That’s it! It was so much faster than I thought it was going to be. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get onto it. I could have been wearing a cute new skirt this whole time!

Oh well. There is bound to still be a few more sunny days left this summer, I hope.

Nicola xx