Monday, March 13, 2017

Refashion a Skirt into Two Dresses


The warm tints and shades of green and yellow from the original skirt make the perfect fabric for today's Spring refashion. 

I used that skirt to make two dresses for two of my granddaughters. Keep reading to find out how easy they were to make...


The first dress has tulle over the skirt, because the almost three-year-old, opinionated girl it was made for will only wear "ballet" style dresses. 


The second dress utilizes the beautiful pleats found in the original skirt.

  
The first thing you'll need for this refashion is two t-shirts in the sizes of your two little girls.


To get started with your two dresses, cut open the back seam of the skirt. If there isn't a back seam a side seam will work too.  

For the first dress, I measured from the hem up to the length I wanted the skirt part of the new dress.  Now follow these 4 steps for an easy ballet style dress:
  1.  Unpick a few inches of the old hem at both ends of the back seam. Then, match the skirt from the bottom up, sewing a 1/4" new back seam.
  2.  Re-sew the hem where it was unpicked.
  3. Measure tulle the same finished length and width of the skirt. Sew the back seam of the tulle. Pin on top of the fabric skirt. Add two rows of gathering stitches to the top of the skirt, one at 1/4" and the other at 1/2". Gather the skirt to fit the t-shirt. Pin the skirt to the t-shirt.
  4. With a sewing machine, sew the skirt to the t-shirt using a 5/8" seam. Optional step, top stitch the skirt to the t-shirt at 1/4".  
 

The final step was to add an accent to the t-shirt top left side. For this dress, I cut out a flower from the skirt's fabric and machine embroidered that onto the t-shirt.



For the second dress, I measured 6 3/4" from the top of the t-shirt and cut the remainder of the t-shirt off.




I carefully unpicked the beautiful pleats of the original skirt. I ran a basting stitch along the top of those pleats so they'd stay in place.



Then I measured the total width of the pleats, added a small seam to both sides, and sewed this skirt onto the t-shirt. The next step was to add a hem.  



For this dress, I used the three covered buttons from the original skirt's opening and sewed the buttons to the top center of the t-shirt.


Not so funny fact: when I finished my youngest granddaughter's dress using the length my daughter supplied me with, it looked too short - keep in mind I hadn't seen this granddaughter in 4 months, so maybe I was just imagining her taller. I sent my daughter a text telling her my thoughts-- that the dress looked too short. She assured me if I used what she provided, it would be right. The next day, I received a text from her telling me she measured wrong & the dress needed to be 4" longer.  UGH!


I ended up using the lining from the original skirt to add the light green border onto the bottom of this dress. I'd already made a diaper cover out of the same fabric and luckily had just enough fabric for this border.


In spite of the measurement frustration, these dresses are perfect for Okinawa's spring weather with their green and yellow fabric and the long sleeves for the breezes and frequent rain storms this time of year.  Happy dress making!   xoxo Grandma

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