Dress/Skirt Refashion

We love making clothes from scratch, but it can also be really fun to give an old, unloved garment a new lease of life with a refashion. My sister gave me a dress that she no longer wears thinking I could make it into something for Amelie. Let’s go!

You can follow along with the ideas in this project to do something similar. This dress is made in jersey fabric, but it could work for a woven fabric too.

After checking the length on Amelie, I cut the skirt portion off the main dress. In the photo you can just see that I cut above the seam, I then decided that was too bulky so I trimmed that seam off leaving me with a raw edge at the top of the skirt.

Here’s the prepared skirt and waistband. We just need to gather the skirt section onto the elastic and we’re done!

I’m going to overlock the waistband to the skirt, but if you don’t have one, you could use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. If you’re working on an overlocker, try not to let the blade catch the elastic.

Here’s the original dress. It’s by Desigual, and has their trademark mix of different graphic prints and embroidery. This will be a really quick sew because we’ll be able to keep the original hem. Great news with that hand stitching running all around.

We’re just going to use some broad elastic to make a new waistband. You can find this elastic from haberdashery suppliers online and it comes in lots of different colours. As you can see I’m just using black for this skirt.

I measured Amelie’s waist and cut the elastic to suit, making sure it was a nice close fit but not too tight. We need growing room!

I placed the elastic right sides together and seamed it. Opened the seam allowances and top stitched them flat. The photo on the left shows this join from the inside. I’m just trying to make it as flat as possible.

Divide the elastic waistband into quarters, with the seam at centre back and mark with pins. Next we’ll do the same for the skirt piece.

Now we can just match up those pinned marks aligning the edges. The right side of the waistband should face the right side of the skirt. Allow the top of the skirt piece to just sneak past the edge of the elastic a tiny bit.

Here’s how it looks from the inside. You can stop here and call it done, but I prefer to topstitch through the seam allowance just to make it all lay nice and flat.

Working from the right side of the garment, just topstitch through all layers. This will hold the seam allowance down and give a nice crisp finish. As you sew, it’s really important to stretch out the elastic. Hold your work with one hand behind the needle and one in front, stretching it out. This will maintain the elasticity of the waistband.

A quick press and you’re all done!

And there you have it, a very wearable kids skirt refashioned from a ladies dress in no time at all. Perhaps you have some likely candidates for a refashion in your wardrobe too?