Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Save a Favorite Dress

I bought this dress at H&M a couple months before I got married (way back in 2007).  I didn't have very many dresses at that point in my life, and I really loved this one.  I think it cost about $15.  I've worn it way more than 15 times.  If I'm honest with myself, the top has never been ideal for my body type.  I always had to wear a camisole underneath to keep it decent.  In the last 6 years, I may have gained a few inches around my whole self, so the fitted top didn't really fit at all anymore.  The last time I wore it, I did the "dress as a skirt" trick.  At that point, I thought I should really chop it into a skirt.  Almost a year later, I finally got around to it!

This was really easy, and didn't take much time!  I could see myself doing this again with other dresses - maybe even searching the thrift store with skirt-ifying in mind.  Here's what I did: 

Step 1 was dealing with the zipper in the back.  I just did a little seam ripping, and then sewed a new seam where the zipper had been.  This was pretty easy, because I could just follow the thread lines that were already there!

Step 2 is where I had to commit!  I'm not a precision person AT ALL, so I just used the current waist as a guide and chopped the skirt part off!  

Step 3 was pinning around the elastic, so I would know where to sew my new band.  I left the elastic in, so I could be sure it would fit in the tube I sewed.

I left about 2 inches open, so I could play around with how much elastic to use.  I threaded the elastic through the tube with a bodkin (which is super useful) and then put the skirt on and safety pinned the elastic together where it was comfortable for me.  I wanted the skirt to still be flowy/drapey, so I arranged the fabric somewhat evenly around the new waistband, and sewed up the rest of the waistband part.

This last part is optional, but I wanted to keep the elastic from twisting, and I wanted to keep the gathers somewhat even, so I tacked the waistband in at the back and on the sides.

Here's the final product!  I'm pretty excited for my new skirt.  

Do you ever refashion your clothes?  Any clever ideas that I should try?


  1. Yay! Way to go, fancy pants....I mean skirt :)

  2. Such a GREAT idea! I need a sewing machine STAT! :)