Friday, May 20, 2011

How to make a tube dress from an XXXL skirt

Do you ever see the cutest skirt at the thrift store and wish it were your size? I did a few weeks ago, and purchased this skirt at a thrift store in Columbia. The elastic was so stretched out you couldn't even tell it was ever a skirt! It was a huge skirt, probably in the size 20s or so. I thought, "hey, this would make an awesome dress!" 
Copy this project with a similar cotton skirt. The boxier the shape the better, and the bigger the better. Make sure it's long enough to be a dress! I lucked out with this skirt and it even had a little slit at it's center back.
Start by removing the waist band's elastic. 
Use a razer blade, or thread ripper. If you're not comfortable using a straight razor blade, use a seam ripper and be patient. It's not worth cutting chunks out of your fingers.
See how sad and exhausted this elastic was? 
Elastic doesn't stand the test of time like fabric can.
Take some elastic, 1/2" is fine. I had this black elastic lying around, but I should have used white. I was just too lazy to go all the way to Joann's today. Wrapping it around your body and above your bust-line, cut a piece that is nice and snug! You don't want your dress falling down, not good when you're in public ha! I took 5 inches off the initial measurement above my bustline.
Go back to your dress. Starting at the center back, or either side seam, fold over the fabric twice, creating a double fold hem. On this dress I simply used the stripes as a guide and the fold is about 1". Sew this all the way around, leaving an inch open! This is where you will insert the elastic.
Take one end of the elastic and attach a safety pin. This one is quite small, and I really wanted a bigger one, but again, I'm impatient. Insert this safety pin into the inch opening along the top of the dress and string the elastic through. Be careful you don't pull the other end in with it when you get about 65% strung through. I like to pin down the other end of elastic to the fabric or you'll have a palm to face "duh" moment. 
Once you get the elastic all the way through to the other side, sew each end of the elastic together. Close up that one inch opening and stay stitch the elastic so it stays in place. And voila! Add a belt and you have a dress!
I love belting dresses at my waistline!
Front and back. See how the bigger the skirt, the better? I love making it super blousy and poofy! You can make the dress a lot shorter by making the top hang over your belt more, no hemming required! If you do this it looks better with a skinnier belt.
 And this belt is amazing! $1 at the thrift store.
 Total cost of reconstruction: Under $5! Just a little bit of sewing. 
Difficulty level: easy.

If you want, you can add elastic at your natural waistline. Measure you waist, take a few inches off that measurement and use 1/2" elastic. Zip-zag stitch on the inside, dividing the elastic in fourths so it is universally pulled all the way around. Then you wouldn't need a belt! Also, straps can be added with matching fabric.

Have any of you ever made a skirt into a dress? Share your pictures!

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  1. That looks really great. I love the colors!

  2. great job! I was at H&M today and there was a dress that had almost that EXACT same print!!!! i walked by it and was like WOW it looks just like sally's skirt :D

  3. Great tutorial! BTW, love the nails. :)

  4. @ Hannah-- haha that's awesome. I'm glad I stuck in your mind : ) : ) Did you get the dress?

    Thanks Alethia! They're Sally Hansen Salon Effects. So much fun!!