A dress from a top + skirt

3 May 2010

dress from a skirt and top

My mum gave me a jersey skirt yesterday as she didn't feel comfortable in the colour for herself. It was too big for me to wear as a skirt so I'd originally planned to reduce the waist and wear it as a skirt, but the fabric is quite thin and it just didn't hang very well on me. I found that it was a lot more flattering higher up on the waist, and decided to attach it to a jersey top and turn it into a dress. It now flows and twirls really nicely :)

dress from a skirt and top

It was very easy to do, and doesn't really warrant instructions, but I thought I'd share the type of stitches and basic steps that I used. There's probably a much better way of doing this with a sewing machine, but I don't have one, so this is how I did it by hand:

dress from a skirt and top

1. The skirt's waistband was orginally constructed from a length of elastic within a fabric tube. I unpicked the stitches that fixed the elastic in place. Then I made an incision along the inside of the waist band and pulled the elastic out slightly, and reduced the length of the elastic by a couple of inches to make the waistband smaller. This created some subtle gathering around the waist.

2. I then put on the t-shirt and pinned the skirt around me at a comfortable height. I took it off and used a tape measure to check that it was the same distance all around.

3. I stitched the very top edge of the waistband to the t-shirt by hand using a small overstitch. To do this, I pinched the two layers together (see above) and sewed in this position, and when the fabric is flattened out the stitches are along the inside of the seam and hardly show. The stitches allow for an amount of stretch needed for taking the dress on and off. (If I had a sewing machine I would have liked to use a zig zag stitch but these stiches would have been more visible than the overstitches.)

4. I turned the whole thing inside out, and sewed the t-shirt to the internal waistband seam using a loose running stitch (see above) so it stays flat and doesn't roll up when it's washed. Then I cut off the excess t-shirt fabric.

11 comments:

Melanie said...

Gorgeous! Nicely done and thanks for the tutorial. I'm always looking for new DIYs... and I can't believe you don't have a sewing machine, you poor thing!!!

Melanie @Unravelled Threads
Don't forget to enter my custom elastic waistband skirt giveaway!

SongBird said...

I just wanted to say two things - one, the refashion is very nice. The dress looks great on you. And two - cats are never optional!

*grin*

SongBird

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

well done!! great dress!!

Amanda said...

This is uber cute, you have a talent.

Kelley Anne said...

You are so good at these DIY projects. I love this dress. What a fantastic idea...and I love the optional cat image:)

one sydney road said...

Seriously, this dress is so cute! You should sell these, I love it! The colors are great together :)

Amanda Wright said...

Such a cute dress! Great job!

Kate said...

too cute!

Kate said...

This is innovative! I've tried to sew but haven't had much ease with it. And I love the optional kitty in the last frame!!

Rebecca said...

This is so adorable! I think you're getting better and better at refashioning things. :) Looks like a perfect dress for summer!

bigBANG studio said...

SO adorable! I'm *quite* impressed with your ingenuity- I'm as confident with a sewing machine as I am swimming with sharks. One day I'll finally really learn how to handle the sewing machine part, but I have no intention of learning how to swim pleasantly along with sharks.

As for your adorable hair cut...well, it's adorable. (Thanks for visiting me over at bigBANG the other day, too!)

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