I really wanted to have a tutorial for my Easter dress up today, but I spent all night working on my new website and there are only so many hours in the day. I swear my evenings always consist of EITHER dishes and laundry, filling orders, blogging, or trying to work ahead on the new site. No two can coexist in one night. I try to work on the most important and time sensitive item each night and last night blogging did not win. I shared this tulle skirt tutorial last month on Brassy Apple, but if you didn't get a chance to see it- today is your day. I LOVE the concept behind this refashion and definitely plan to do it again in the future!
Back in January, while thrifting, I happened upon this amazing, although dated formal dress. I tried it on and found that the bodice was too small for my rib cage- but I couldn't leave that beautiful tulle skirt behind!The dress came home with me and I got to work creating an amazing skirt from a vintage formal dress.
I love easy projects and this is one that you can recreate too. It can be done in one afternoon with very few supplies. The materials needed for this projects are a formal dress, scissors, pins, a marker, a ruler and a sewing machine.
I started by cutting the top half of the dress off. I left about 4 inches of fabric from the bodice still attached to the skirt, but the rest came off. As I cut, I had to cut through the zipper on my dress because it ran from the bodice into the skirt. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is to unzip the dress all of the way before you start cutting. By unzipping the dress all of the way down, the pull piece of the zipper is still on the teeth and you will still be able to zip up what is left of the zipper on the skirt.
After cutting the top off of the dress, you are left with the skirt and need to finish off the edge. I would recommend first serging around the cut edge if you have access to a serger. If not use a zig zag stitch to 'finish' the cut edge. Then fold the cut edge under and pin it all of the way around with about a 1/2 or more seam allowance. You can determine your seam allowance based on how wide you want your waist band to be.
Next run a straight stitch around the waist band, removing pins as you go, to hold the cut edge folded under. I ran a stitch at about 1/4" and a 1/2" distance from the top of the waist in order to create a strong finished waist. When you get to the zipper, just carefully sew over it. You are sewing a stop for the cut zipper which will prevent the pull from coming off as the skirt zips up. You can see the inside of the waist seam above and the outside below.
Below you can see the new altered waistband which converts the dress into a skirt.
After sewing the waist, I needed to check the length. I tried on the skirt several times and cut the skirt to the length that I wanted.
To cut the skirt length evenly I used a ruler and marker to mark six inches up from the bottom of the skirt lining all of the way around. Then I used those dots as my cutting guide.
Next I laid the skirt out and cut the tulle layer to match the lining. I tried the skirt on again and determined whether any more trimming was necessary. Once I got the length cut, I needed to finish the bottom edge of the skirt. The tulle did not need to be hemmed, but the lining did. I folded the fabric of the lining under just enough to finish the edge by sewing a straight stitch all of the way around the skirt.
And that is it! Basically this amazing refashion just comes down to cutting off the extra material from the top and the bottom and hemming both edges. It was easy, quick and I loved the result of mine!
This refashion is perfect for upcoming proms or formal to semi formal events. Thrift stores have an abundance of outdated formal dresses that still have great full skirts! How fun would it be to alter a dress into a skirt for just a few dollars and then find a sequined tee or a basic blouse to pair with it!?! I would have loved to have that lower cost and more modest option in high school and certainly will keep it in mind when I do have a dressier event to attend!
I really think I'll be on the look out for more fancy dresses with cool skirt while I thrift and try remaking one for a holiday party this year or even for my Christmas dress. See other ways I styled this skirt here.
Do you have any vintage formal dresses lurking in your closets and ready for this kind of refashion? Have you tried out the tulle skirt trend?