Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Sewing: Repurpose/Upcycle » Re-purposing: Women’s Dress to Skirt

Re-purposing: Women’s Dress to Skirt

I am on a re-purposing kick again.
Hopefully you are finding some inspiration in your closets too.
I bought this dress at Ross a while ago and thought I liked it…..but once I got it home, the top part bugged me, and just never fit right.
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So instead of returning the steal-of-a-deal (you know how those good deals are at Ross…) I decided the value was worth turning it into a skirt.
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Do you have a dress of your own that just isn’t doing it for you? 
But do you love the fabric and hate to see it go?
Cut that thing up…..
You can either make a casing at the top and slide some elastic through, like shown here.
Or you can smock/shirr it like shown in the Lily Skirt pattern found here
or the Maddy Dress pattern found here.

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With the patterns, there are step-by-step directions with plenty of troubleshooting tips to help you master this fun technique. 
Before cutting, determine the length of skirt you’d like.  Then add enough fabric at the top to make your casing if you’re going to go the elastic waistband route………or enough to make the smocking at the top.  Then just use the original hem of the dress as the hem for your skirt.   
Quick and easy.
 Once you’re done……you’ll be sure to enjoy your new flirty skirt.
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Twana says:

    I love this idea. And the top part that you cut off looks like it’s be cute as all get out with a pair of jeans. Just put in a quick hem and bada bing, a new top!
    Much better than the dress.
    I’ve got to relook at my donation bag before I send it out. Thanks!

  2. Lorena says:

    Great idea!! I really enjoy recycling like this!! just found your blog and love it!! sure will be around here!! cheers!!

  3. Erin says:

    I'm thinking I'll try this with a slightly big dress and turn it into a maternity skirt. Thanks for the great idea!

  4. CocoJ126 says:

    Thank you!!! I am all over this! The dress I'll be chopping popped into my head before I could finish reading the post!

  5. Lynsee says:

    I was just going through my fabric stash and came across a dress that I made that was atrocious! But the fabric is super cute…so I will definitely be repurposing it into a skirt!

  6. Nan says:

    I've got a black soft knit patio dress that the top is hideous on me and had already planned to cut it off and sew the skirt to a black tank top that is too short. And….I get cropped pants by cutting off regular length pants.

  7. Caroline says:

    So cute. Thanks for the idea!

  8. Margo says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  9. bethanndodd says:

    I love to re-purpose clothes…this is definately going in my favorites :o)!

  10. Sew It To Me says:

    That is sew cute! Thanks for the smocking pattern. I have been wanting to try it out!

  11. memaw:bryant;haylee says:

    That is really cute. I am sending this link to my dtr. I know she will love it. Isn't it fun to make something work another way. So you don't feel like you have just thrown your money away. Keep up the great ideas.

  12. Amy says:

    I love it! What a great idea! So cute! ;)

  13. Andrea says:

    It looks so great!! Love it! You should stop by and link up to Make It Wear It on Thursday at

  14. Pomegranategrl says:

    Fantastic! I love it!

  15. Heidi says:

    love it! well done!!!

  16. Lisa says:

    I LOVE it!! Amazing idea and I love the colors of the skirt. I'm going to have to start looking at clothes in a whole new way!

  17. CraftyBrit says:

    I'm afraid of starting to repurpose anything, I think I'd get carried away! That turned out super cute though!

  18. Donna says:

    OMG I love the skirt so much more than the dress! You need to come and get your hands on my closet!

  19. Sarah says:

    Wow, that's a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  20. Tasha says:

    Happiness!! Love it!

  21. tinahead81 says:

    LOVE it! i just did the same thing with a dress that didn't look quite right on me!

  22. Amy says:

    i love the transformation!! I too just want to re-purpose the fire out of all my old clothes I don't want. It is so much fun, and way cheaper than buying a new wardrobe! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Anissa says:

    got just the dress… very cool. thanks!

  24. Laura Gerencser says:

    Love it!!

  25. javamommyof3 says:

    Love the Skirt! I can't wait to search through my dresses now! Thanks for the inspiration :O)

  26. Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says:

    ooh, I like it better as a skirt than a dress! Very cute!

  27. Joy says:

    Very cute! It looks great on you!

  28. Megan Hoover says:

    OMG I love this idea!!! what a great post! now I have to go look in my closet….fun! thank you!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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