Sunday, November 17, 2013

Turn a frumpy dress into a sassy maxi skirt!

I (Jessica) love maxi skirts and dresses. I think my obsession was cemented when my husband said "I love you in long skirts and dresses. You look so elegant." This is the same man who looked at my wedding guest outfit post and said "you look good. (crickets chirping)" He's not very verbose! Yeah. So when I hear a compliment like that I run with it!

I've been looking for the perfect blue maxi skirt for a long looooooong time now, with no success. I have short legs, so finding a full length anything that doesn't need to be hemmed is just not going to happen.

But when I found this dress at the thrift store for $4, I knew this was my perfect blue maxi in disguise. The jersey fabric is gorgeous! It has a ton of heavy drape, just a little stretch, and it isn't too thick or too thin which is hard to find. Despite the fact that it was an ugly, unflattering dress I knew I could probably use our dress to skirt tutorial to do something fabulous with it. So home with me it came! And became this:

Oh yeah, SO Much better! I'll show you how I did it:

1. Hold your dress up to yourself and mark where you need to cut it in order to make a skirt. I cut mine off almost at the armpits in order to get enough length for a skirt.

2. Take your 2 inch wide elastic and measure your waist with it. You should cut enough that it fits you snugly, then add 1 inch.

Next, the sew the elastic waistband:

3. Sew your waistband together, then sew the ends down on either side of the seam. We have an in depth instructions on how to do this in our Urban Princess Dress tutorial, you can check those out if you want more help!

4. This is what the outside (right side) of the waistband should look like.

5. This is what the inside (wrong side) should look like.

Now we'll pin the waistband to the skirt:

6. Place your waistband so that the seam will be in the center of the back.

7. Pin it evenly all the way around. You may have to stretch your waistband elastic to fit your skirt fabric, but make sure that you do this evenly or you'll have a weirdly gathered skirt!

Now sew your waistband to your skirt:

8. I used a jersey needle on my machine, and sewed it down with a zig zag stitch for some extra give.

Before anyone asks, yes I am wearing sequins in the middle of the day. I'm channeling my fashion hero, Jentine from My Edit, whose obsession with sequins at all times of day is the stuff of legend. I am not as fabulous as she is (she is six kind of serious fabulessness, you should absolutely go check her out!), but I can rock a gold sequined tank at 2 in the afternoon with the best of them, thank you very much.

I debated about making a maxi skirt this time of year because it's getting pretty chilly, but I am loving it! The fabric is just thick enough that I'll be able to wear this skirt all winter and stay warm, and I love how it looks with all the cool weather layers!

I'm so happy I was able to finally make my own perfect royal blue maxi skirt, and I hope I inspire you all to think outside the box when you can't find that perfect piece you're looking for at the "regular" stores! If you'd like to see more of our sewing projects, you can check those out on our "sewing for adults" page.


  1. This looks great! I love finding items at the thrift store that after a little bit of work become something wonderful that will be worn again and again. You did a really wonderful job!

  2. Wonderful refashion! You look adorable!

  3. great tutorial, thanks!

  4. Ooh, that's super cute! Great job! Found you thru Katherine's Thursday Favorite Things Linky party :)

  5. So cute! I love the way you styled it!

  6. Great re-do! I'll have to keep that in mind...
    Also, the sequence are so you! :) You go girl!!
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  7. That is seriously awesome and it looks SO simple, wish I could use a sewing machine! haha.
    Visiting from the Look What I Got Link Up! :)

  8. Turning an ugly garment into a thing of beauty really is a joy for ever! Looks great, and with thick tights and boots you'll be wearing this all winter too I think.


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