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Turning a dress into a skirt

This post is a little later than usual as I didn’t want to come in the office (hottest room in the house) during the heat! I kept myself occupied with making stitch markers and twisting all the yarn I dyed last week.

I have lots of crafty hobbies that don’t involve yarn. One of those is dressmaking. I’m no expert, but I’m slowly learning when I can.

I’ve had a dress which, according to my notes, I made back in 2017. It’s the Lilou dress from Tilly and the Buttons and is made from cotton chambray that was pretty expensive compared to most of my fabric choices. I fell in love with it though as it’s quite unique. Unfortunately, I’d worn this dress only twice since I made it, for various reasons. The main one was that I’d modified the bodice of the dress because the pattern didn’t fit me properly (they never do, it’s why I’m learning to sew in the first place) but apparently hadn’t done it very well as it wasn’t very comfortable. The straps kept falling off my shoulders, the pockets were badly placed and I’ve realised I just don’t wear dresses all that much.

A sleeveless dress made out of blue chambray fabric with line drawings of old ships.

I looked at ways I could modify it but there was so much wrong and so little fabric to work with it didn’t seem possible. So I decided to turn it into a skirt.

I took out the zip, unpicked the waist seam and was thankful to realise I’d left my tacking stitches for the pleats in place. Then I drafted a simple waistband and used the bottom of the bodice fabric to make it. I didn’t have enough fabric to make two pieces, so used the bodice lining for the facing. I also unpicked parts of the side seams and moved the pockets up as I’d originally put them in far too low to be useful. I put in a shorter zip I happened to have, finished off the waistband and had a skirt!

I’m really happy with it, although it’s not my neatest work if you look inside. It’s very lucky the waist was the correct size, although as it’s pleated I can always add or remove fabric from there if I need to modify it in the future.

I’ve worn the skirt at least four times since I finished it a couple of weeks ago, so I call that a success! I also have a little fabric leftover in pieces just about big enough to use for small things such as pocket linings or embellishments.

A skirt made out of blue chambray fabric with line drawings of old ships.

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