Monday 8 December 2014

Dress to Skirt Refashion...

This would have to be the easiest refashion ever - turning a woman's dress into a skirt for a young girl. It's a really quick make; less than half an hour from start to finish.

Dress to Skirt Refashion... a quick and easy make that takes less than half an hour ~ Threading My Way

I began with a 100% cotton, size 8, gored sundress. Size 8 is the Australian size. To see the equivalent in other countries, you can use the Online Conversion tool. This is a handy little tool that I often use. 

  • Measure the child from waist to knee (or where you want the skirt to sit).
  • Add 1½" to the measurement you have just taken - for the waist elastic. There is no need to add anything for the bottom hem, as the existing hem can be used.
  • Cut the dress to the desired skirt length. Measure from the hem up.
  • Turn the top under ¼" + 1¼".
  • Sew, leaving a gap for the elastic.
  • Thread the elastic through and join.
  • Close the gap.

If you would like more detailed instructions for sewing an elastic waistband, check out the Men's Shirt Refashioned to a Girl's Skirt. Today's refashion has a slightly narrower waistband and I omitted the top row of stitching. As the original dress was gored, a wider waistband wouldn't work as well.

The resulting skirt is a lovely full skirt, thanks to the gores, but without too much bulk at the waist. The fabric at the waist measures 46", so for a child with a 20" waist, this is about 2⅓ x the waist measurement. If you have a wider dress, you may need to take some width from the dress. It all depends on the size of the child and how full you want the gathers.

I suspect this skirt will have the all important twirl factor, but it's a present, so no photos on the recipient. My oldest girlfriend (oldest in that we've known each other since we were 12 years of age, not meaning she's old), always lets me look through clothes from her family before she gives them to the Op Shop (thrift store). The gored dress belonged to her daughter. I doubt that it was worn much at all. The dress showed no signs of wear, but it's the label that really shows how much an article of clothing has been worn. In this case, the label looked almost brand new.

The new skirt will be a present for my friend's grand-daughter, who is soon to become a big sister. So, she'll be wearing a skirt that was once a dress worn by her aunty.

Initially I was going to make something for the new baby. I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to feel I should sew most, if not all presents. However, I am learning that it's not always worth the stress if time doesn't permit, so I've bought a couple of cute toys from Little Ladybird (owned by my daughter).

And with the time I've saved, I might just get in a little Christmas sewing.

... Pam


  1. Not everybody appreciates handmade, as we know :D I stopped sewing for a 2 specific relatives because they weren't into it, but the rest of their relatives love it - it goes that way sometimes. Sometimes it's easier/more convenient/less stressful to buy, and sometimes the most appropriate gift is store bought. Sometimes handmade is the perfect answer - it's all good :)

    Pretty skirt - I believe it'll have the right amount of twirl for a little girl :)

  2. I love doing this for my girls! When they were younger and got a little taller and their dresses didn't fit, I was able to do this too. They didn't grow out of their dress in the width direction, just the height, so I was able to make them into skirts. Great post Pam! This is a real money saver for girls!

  3. Twirl is important for little girls and your refashioned skirt has it in spades Pam :)

  4. I've got a couple of dresses of my own i could cut down. Great idea!

  5. I love a simple and rewarding project like this! I hold on to many of my old dresses to do this :) I am sure this skirt will be loved!

  6. The pattern of the fabric is beautiful and so worth keeping for this refashion! Btw, this is the first time I have heard of the word "gored" in sewing. Learnt something new :-)


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