Jupe du Jour

How To Refashion a Dress to a Skirt

Thrifting, Sewing, DIYMonica StebbComment

You guys! I, (Monica), found the most wonderful connection to beautiful vintage and thrifted clothing items ever!

Want to know my secret?

It's a costume shop.

I've been doing some seasonal work there, helping out with costume alterations as they get ready for the busy Halloween season. This place has been operating for over 25 years in the Santa Monica area doing both ready made costumes and rentals. **Not a sponsored post** 

Often clothing will wear out, or items simply won't be rented very often and the cost of holding on to an item/mending an item is more than the benefits of having it on hand. My boss, who is very kind, let me and the other seamstresses go through the store's pile of clothes destined for Goodwill; it was great!

Enough about me, let's get to this Dress Refashion:

I wanted so badly to be able to mend this dress because look at! LOOK AT IT! It is so cute. 

Sadly there were some portions of the dress that seemed beyond repair due to the nature of the fabric and locations of many tears. 

Here are some steps I took to refashion this dress into a skirt. My hope is that this post can serve as a guide in case anyone else would like to do the same thing!

  • Take out zipper (not pictured but you can see where it was.

  • Draw determined skirt length (notice the white chalk line?). This is ultimately where I wanted the top of the skirt to start. I cut 5/8" above that to give myself wiggle room for seam allowances.

  • Install a new zipper.

I picked a red zipper because it's a cute contrast and when properly sewn in the lapped zipper effectively hides all but the tiniest of peeks. 

  • The waist: 

Next I had to figure out how to get the top of the skirt to fit my waist. I had my usual 3 options: darts, pleats and gathers. Since there were these beautiful kick pleats at the bottom of the skirt I wanted the top of the skirt to be more smooth, so that left darts. I tried something a little radical. Instead of doing darts just to the side of center front and center back as you often see in form-fitting pencil and A-line skirts, I took in the side seams as if they were darts. 

Fitting the waist at the side seams worked out great. One thing to note for your own projects: Since I took in the side seams at a curved line to account for my hips, the lines on the on the fabric which were once parallel to each other--when they met at the side seam, now meet at an angle. If you care that the lines will be even with one another you will want to find another fitting option. 

  • Finish the top of the skirt:

I had a few options to finish the top edge of my skirt.

  1. A waistband which is a piece of fabric cut in a rectangle sewn to the top of the skirt and often sits at the waist 

  2. A yoke which is more curved piece of fabric sewn to the top of the skirt and sits at the hips

  3. A facing which essentially mirrors the shape of the fabric opening, sewn right sides together then flipped so it lies inside the garment effectively enclosing the raw edges at the top of the garment. 

I really wanted to go with the facing option because I wanted to bring the attention to these awesome pleats at the bottom of my skirt rather than the top of my skirt. Making a facing pattern is one of my favorite pattern-making techniques because it's so simple and quick to make. 

Here is my skirt with the facing folded out:

A few tips to make your facing look as professional as possible: understitch, clip/notch, use proper pressing techniques. 

Ta Da! Here is the finished product! 

Do you have any questions on how I did anything? 

Do you have a skirt you've refashioned from a dress?  Share with us! contact [at] jupedujour [dot] com for a chance to be featured on our blog or Instagram!