Skirt to Dress Tutorial

 

Flower-Dress-Header

Several months ago, I blogged about a similar project here. At the time, I did not include any instructions, but promised I would one day get around to it. So here it is! This project is so easy. All it takes is ribbon and an oversized skirt that will be long and wide enough to convert to a dress. I picked this one up from the thrift store for $3.

Flower Skirt Before

1. Start by basting just beneath the waistband. This holds the skirt together after the waistband is removed (save for later if you would like to use as a belt). Remove the zipper while you are at it, if there is one.

Flower-Dress-2

2. Fold the top of the skirt down by 1 1/4″ (or thick enough to create casing for ribbon to pass through). Pin and stitch.

3. Create arm holes. I used the opening already created by zipper, made opening a bit larger by removing more stitches, then stitched fabric under by a 1/4″. Repeat on other side.

4. Pin a safety pin to end of ribbon and pass through the casing. Tie into pretty bow, add a belt and you are done! Cheapest and easiest dress to make in quite some time! I think I already have my next one picked out. Bonus: I LOVE having clothes that will fit me in both pregnant and nonpregnant stages!

Flower-Skirt-Before-and-After

Little Girl’s Dress from an Old T-shirt

This is a super easy and cute project to do. I made this little dress from an old t-shirt that I no longer wore.

The entire project consisted of taking another dress the size that I wanted it to end up, tracing the outline, sewing (right sides together), and sewing elastic around the waistband. Easy peasy. I had originally removed these flowers from the t-shirt to begin with, since I didn’t like the way they looked on me, but I ended up hand sewing them back on. I think they’ll look much cuter on Little Girl!

And there you have it! A quick project that you can do from any old t-shirt! Enjoy!

Shirt Dress Tutorial

Hello all! Some people may remember this little project that I posted up on Facebook last year:

This was an outdated Navy shirt of my husband’s that I girl-ified for myself. Fast forward to this year: As I was trying to clean out my closet, I came across this shirt and realized I hadn’t worn it very much in the past year. I didn’t want to get rid of it, because I still liked the idea of it, though. After thinking about it, I realized this shirt didn’t get much wear because I wasn’t happy with the length…too long for a shirt, too short for a dress. So I decided to make it into a shirt dress instead. Luckily, we had one last remaining dress shirt that I had been using as pajamas:

The first thing I did was game plan. I wanted to use the top of the ruffly shirt, and use pieces of the new shirt to add on a skirt. After looking at what I had to work with, I decided to keep the old shirt in its entirety, and simply add on length from the new shirt as an extra layer on top. So first thing’s first: I removed the pockets from the front of the new shirt with my handy-dandy seam ripper to be used for later.

Next, I used my cutting board and rotary cutter and cut straight across the bottom of the shirt, just below the armpits. I rolled as I went, lining up the bottom of the fabric, so that the cut would be straight.

Time for the sewing machine. I zigzag stitched across the raw edge to prevent future fraying:

After that, I adjusted the straight stitch to its longest setting, and stitched two parallel lines close to each other along the length of the edge, leaving long pieces of thread at both ends. Using the long stitch makes it so that the thread is easy to pull and gather the fabric. Make sure you don’t use a backward stitch when you start or finish this stitch! You want the thread to pull easily, not stay permanently. Once that was done, I pinned the new layer to the old where I wanted the new waistline to be, matching up seams and creases as I went. Then I gently tugged on the loose ends of the thread to gather the fabric so that it would fit nicely and evenly, and added more pins for security. At this point, I tried on the dress to make sure it looked like I wanted. Once I made a few minor adjustments, I stitched it permanently, making sure to switch the stitch length back from the longest setting.

Now I had a nearly complete dress…it simply did not look very good with the stitching and seams on the outside of the skirt. I decided to take my old belt that I made last year, and use that to cover the unsightly seam. I once again tried on the dress and tied the belt as I wanted it, then pinned and stitched.

Finally, I decided to add the pockets that I had removed in the beginning and add those on. Once again, I pinned and stitched. And voila! Here is my new Navy-style shirt dress!!!

Fourth of July Project: Star-Print Shorts

Hello everyone! I have not posted anything in a while…I promise I have still been working on some projects; I just have not gotten around to putting them up. Must do better! Today’s tutorial is inspired by Current/Elliott’s star-print low-rise denim shorts, shown here:

You can check out the Current/Elliott version at: http://www.net-a-porter.com/

I’ve seen the patriotic trend showing up in several different brands on Pinterest lately. I’m still a bit on the fence as to whether it’s cute or just something that will show up on Awkward Family Photos in a few years. BUT…since we have a 4th of July themed cookout coming up and patriotic attire is a must, I figure, why not? AND what’s better than to make your own pair and not fork out very much money? Can’t think of many better options? I thought so! So here we go!

Supplies needed:

-an old pair of jeans
-sewing machine (optional)
-star-shaped foam cutout
-bleach and water mix (50/50)
-old towel
-cardboard strips
-gloves

1. Find an old pair of jeans you don’t mind possibly being destroyed. Obviously, you’ll make these into cutoffs, so try them on and mark how long you would like for them to be in the end. I like mine with a longer inseam. Also, remember to add about 3/4″ for fraying. Then, go ahead and cut away! (I folded up the jeans a bit from the bottom, as shown, to use as a straight edge guide as I cut.)

Kitty loves to help!

2. Next, I got out my trusty old sewing machine. If you look at the shorts by Current/Elliott, the fraying on the edge is very even. You don’t normally get that if you just cut off some jeans and throw them in the wash…you’ll end up with a stringy uneven hem. So, if you want to achieve a similar, neater effect, try sewing a straight line about 3/4″ from the hemline. This will help prevent too much fraying. You will still get some stringiness initially, but you can remove that and still keep the nice, even frayed look.

3. Set up your working space, making sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messed up. (I always think I’m going to be nice and neat, but usually wish I had taken the extra precaution when I find bleach spots on my clothes later.) You’ll need to set an old towel on the floor to catch any drips, and insert the cardboard strips into the legs of the shorts to prevent any bleeding over to the other side. I filled a small bowl with a mixture of 50% bleach, 50% water. For the cutouts, I got pretty lucky. I found a Statue of Liberty foam crown at Joanne’s last week for a buck, so I picked it up just for this project. If you can’t find anything similar, no worries. Just pick up a sheet of foam, stencil on the shape you want and cut it out. I wore gloves during this project, but this presented a new problem…it was too awkward with gloves to be able to precisely place the stars on the shorts without making a huge mess with bleach drippings. My solution was to run just a bit of thread through the star a couple of times to make a knot, leaving long ends. This way, I could just handle the stars by the strings…much cleaner that way!

4. Now for the fun part! Dip the foam star (by the string) into the bleach, making sure to get it nice and saturated. Pick it up, shake off the extra bit back into the bowl, and carefully place onto the shorts. Press down firmly enough to make sure you get all the details of the 5 points. You won’t see anything right away, so keep a mental note of where you have already placed it. Keep following the design you want, until you have covered one side of the shorts. Flip over, and repeat on the back! You’ll start to see the bleach taking effect within just a few minutes. The longer you let it set, the whiter they will be. I worked pretty quickly, as I didn’t any of them to look too-bleachy. As soon as the last stars got to the whiteness I desired, I threw the shorts into the wash by themselves and ran them through a regular cycle. Be smart about it…use the same rules with these shorts as you would with bleach at any other time to avoid ruining any other items.

And here is the final result! (okay…not quite final..I hadn’t frayed the ends yet…) Pretty easy! The whole project took about 1 hour, tops. Hope you enjoy! I’ll be wearing mine cheesily to my next cookout :-)

Total time: 1 hour (includes washing) Total cost: $1 for the foam

Refashion: men’s dress shirt into a skirt

This is a little project that I did a couple of days ago. I was noticing that my fabric scrap pile was becoming pretty hefty…I have a rule for myself that if I can’t fit all of the items I have in my project pile into the few designated drawers I have set aside for them, then I cannot add anything else to it until I either make a few projects or get rid of some to clear up the space. I was getting close to reaching my limit, so I knew it was time to revisit another project.

This was a shirt of my hubby’s that he had added to the donation pile last year because it was too big for him. After looking at it for a couple of minutes, I thought it might make a nice spring/summer skirt. Unfortunately, my battery died after taking the first picture, so no pictures of the process. But here are the before and after shots!

Total Cost: free Total Time: 1 hour

Refashion: Skirt into a Dress

This is an older project that I did last year. This all began with a large skirt that I bought at the thrift store for about three bucks. I really loved the flow of the silk material and the design, but I wanted to change it up a bit. Luckily, the waistband had room to be able to insert ribbon through, so I simply made this into a type of pillow-case dress (keyholes in front and back, and opening up the skirt a bit at the armholes). Then I ran the ribbon through, added a belt that I already had and voila! a new dress! (I’ll try to make another one in the near future with more detailed pictures and how-tos. I know that description was probably pretty confusing!)

Total Cost: $4.50 Total Time: 40 minutes

 

Garage Sale Find #2: The Pink Pants

I am back today with another tutorial from my pile of garage sale finds. Today’s feature: a lovely pair of pink pants….or…maybe not so lovely…

These poor pants were at the bottom of a box full of other unwanted treasures; gems such as faded acid wash jeans, twenty-year old t-shirts with rips and tears…and these. These pants were actually in pretty good condition…they were just pink.

Lucky for me, pink pants are all the rage with the cool kids these days! I’ve even looked into getting a pair of colorful jeans myself. However, everything I’ve found has been either way too expensive or way too skinny. (On a side note, I tried on a pair of green pants at Target a couple of weeks ago. Holy cow! I couldn’t even get my normal size to fit above my calves. How skinny can pants these days really get?) But a pair of icky pink pants for just $1? Sounds good to me!

I knew that these pepto bismol pants had a new life somewhere in them. They just would look better if they had less material. So here we go!

1. The first thing I did was find a pair of pants in my closet that had a fit similar to what I wanted in these. Laying both pair out, I was able to use my black skinny pants as a reference. Using a chalk pencil, I then marked the starting point from where I wanted to start tapering to the end point; this will usually be from somewhere around the knee to the ankle. Use a large ruler to connect the points in a straight line. (Tip that I didn’t show in my pictures: Turn the pants that you will be sewing inside out so that you can see the seams that already exist. When sewing, you’ll want to work the new seams into the old ones around the knee. This avoids any weird bumps in your fabric when you are done). Do this on both legs. I took away fabric from the outside seams only; I left the inner leg seams alone.

2 & 3. Stitch and snip! Using a straight stitch, sew along the line that you have drawn, going slowly toward the end so that the old and new seams are aligned. I cut off some of the extra fabric first, but you may want to wait on snipping until after you have made your stitches, just in case you decide to let any more fabric out. Once you are satisfied with the fit, follow along the stitch with a zigzag seam on the inside of the stitch to prevent too much fraying of the fabric. Finally, go back and snip closely to the zig zag stitch. Press out the seam and you are done!

Total Cost: $1 Total Time: 40 minutes