Ladies Dress to Girls Skirt Refashion

I’ve had a productive evening. My partner is out, my eldest daughter is staying at my sister’s, and my youngest is tucked up in bed for the night. Time to sew 🙂

A couple of days ago I bought this beautiful dress from a charity shop for a whopping £2.25. I really love it; the skirt is so pretty.

Ladies Dress Ladies Dress - Bodice P1070176

But sadly it’s too small for me. We are only a couple of weeks past Easter, after all. So I thought instead of returning it, I would leave my money for the disabled and disadvantaged individuals the charity supports, and refashion something new out of it. Yes, I didn’t want to let this lovely fabric go.

So, I looked at the dress and the most obvious thing that came to my mind was to turn it into a child’s skirt. I love having daughters! I slipped it onto my 5-year-old and found that, with the elastic band at her waist, the length was fine (a midi-maxi kind of length – longer than she’d usually wear, but it suits the style of the skirt). It was a few inches too wide for her tiny waist though, so a bit of sewing was in order.

It looked like it would be quite a straightforward sew, and luckily it was. I’ll explain how I did it, in case you are wondering…

I began by turning the whole thing inside out and stitching down one side seam an inch or so away from the current seam, to make it smaller. I made sure not to stich up the overlay. I did actually come across a problem here as the elastic slipped out of line. I’m a bit of a perfectionist with things like this; I just need to have it lined up, so I unpicked it a couple of times and 3rd time lucky, I got it all lined up perfectly. The top of the dress was a jersey material, so not very easy to handle. Especially considering I’ve never sewn with it before.

Once I’d got that sorted, I trimmed the new seam, and zigzagged down the edge (oh, I need an overlocker!) I then cut the top of the dress off, leaving 3″ above the elastic. Instead of leaving the elastic showing, I thought I’d fold the jersey fabric over the top of it to create a more comfortable waistband. I took a (pretty poor) photo at this point, and thought maybe I should have taken some more earlier but I was just too into the sewing…

Cut up dress

Next, with the skirt inside out, I folded that extra fabric over the elastic, and tucked the raw edge in all the way around to create a clean edge. I pinned this to ensure that tricky jersey fabric didn’t slip everywhere, and got stuck in stitching it into place. I tried to follow the line already stitched on the elastic so it didn’t show. Nearly done. I turned the whole thing right side out, and pinned the cute corsage onto the elastic. Done!!

P1070181 transformed skirt skirt - elastic waistband

I think it looks pretty impressive. Pretty and impressive. But it was so easy! It didn’t even need any pressing. I feel like hunting the charity shops for more similar dresses to do it all again!

Now I just have to wait for my little princess to get home and she can try it on…

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