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I bought this cute dress used for €1 at my local market in April. I wasn’t able to try it on but I figured that if it didn’t fit, I could always use the fabric for something else. Well, come the hot weather, I found that though it did indeed fit, it looked pretty bad on me. First off, my bust couldn’t fill out the top of the dress without a bra, which would’ve looked awful. Wearing a support camisole underneath also looked ridiculous (as you can see here). And the gathered fabric under the empire waist made me look pregnant. (In some of the pics my daughter took during this shoot, I could’ve easily passed as being 8 months along.) The uncovered-in-the-summer-pool bathing suit tanline wasn’t very classy, either, though that got tanned-in pretty quickly in Sardinia.
I considered cutting off the top half of the dress and turning it into a knee-length skirt. But the fabric might’ve been too wide and therefore had to get gathered too much at the waist, creating a too-thick waist. So I decided to take advantage of the elastic shirring in the back of the dress, lower the whole thing, and turn it into a longer hippy-style skirt. I could’ve even left it as it was, with the straps tucked inside, but it was a little annoying and slightly chunky that way. And in any case, this is such a quick and easy refashion that it didn’t make sense not to sew it. Here’s how to do it:
First off, cut across the fabric, leaving enough to fold inwards and stitch down at the bottom of the band running under the bust.
Either overlock or zigzag the edges to keep them from fraying (unless, of course, you are using jersey or another non-fraying fabric).
Using an iron, fold the fabric down inwards so that a very small amount of the front band fabric is folded inside. It’s ok if your fabric gathers on the inside because the outer gathering will hide it. Pin it down.
Do the same for the shirred back. Again, don’t worry if the fabric gathers because you will have to stretch this part as you sew it. I ended up folding inwards the top line of shirring so as to keep the fold at the same height as on the front. Pin.
Check from the outside to make sure it looks good before sewing it. The black band here looks nice and even.
On the shirred or elastic back, you will want sew over the stitching with a zigzag stitch and stretch out the fabric as you sew. When you let go of the fabric, it bunches up.
And that’s it! Here’s what it looks like on the inside.
A detail of the stitching seen on the outside, not that you can barely notice it.
Sew a tag on the inside if you have one…
…and enjoy your breezy and super comfy summer skirt! (with a twisted-up t-shirt necklace…)
A super simple refashion that’s perfect for summer fun and trips to the beach!