Afternoon patterns have been discontinued. Last few pins available on the online store.

#Project Rework: make a dress into a skirt

As I mentioned in my introductory post on #ProjectRework, this is a personal endeavour to slow down and appreciate the value of clothing. After watching The True Cost movie, I couldn't justify the obsessive focus on the accumulation of clothing – and that we need to be part of that damaging cycle to be considered fashionable. "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers," as it was so succinctly noted by Wordsworth.

Nevertheless, let's get on with the sewing. This is what the dress looked like before: a lovely baby-doll style with gathered empire waist and sweetheart neckline. Sadly not too representative of my personal style any more.

Strapless dress, before

Step 1

First up, unpick the bodice from the skirt. This is a tedious process because of the serged seams but patience is worth it. Saving fabric is most important when it comes to transforming a garment – you don't get to choose your seam allowance, you've just gotta work with what you've got!

Step 2

Press and cut the skirt piece up the centre back. This is where the zip goes at a later stage.

Cut the centre back

Step 3

Hallelujah for scraps! I used some leftover black suiting for the waist band. For dimensions of the waist band piece, I cut my waist measurement plus seam allowance for the horizontal, and double my desired waist band depth for the vertical.

For strength, I also ironed on a piece of fusible interfacing the same size as the waist band. Press in half.

Fusible interfacing

Press the waistband

Step 4

Gather the skirt piece to the same size as your waist band measurements. Place right sides together and sew.

Pin and gather

Step 5

Last on the list is setting the zip! I set the zip into the waistband, folding the other half to the inside of the garment and finishing by hand. Even better, the zip is also thrifted from another top that I unpicked and remade.

Back zip

And there's how you make a dress into a skirt! I'll be much happier wearing this, and it just goes to show how much life you can get out of one garment.

Finished skirt