Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Sewing: Repurpose/Upcycle » Skirt Alterations – Long to Short…with added Flowers/Ruffles

Skirt Alterations – Long to Short…with added Flowers/Ruffles

Looking for the Go! Cutter giveaway?  (Valued at over $400)  Scroll down or click here.
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Okay, one more project using the Go! Cutter that I shared other projects with you here and here.
. . .
 Have any extra long skirts laying around?
Or have you seen any on the clearance racks at the stores that were never purchased last winter/spring?
(I got mine at Ross for $8 last week.  Ross has been my dear friend lately…)
Well chop that long skirt off…
…and use the scraps to liven up that skirt.

With some large flowers at the bottom…


And a narrow ruffle to hide a seam.   
(You could add the ruffle even if you aren’t hiding anything.  It actually grew on me after placing it there.)

Oh, and there are no flowers on the back (maybe uncomfortable to sit on?….but you could give it a try), but the ruffle goes all the way around.


 A nice and light new skirt.  

Ready for a couple more months of summer…

Would you like to make your own?
Even if you don’t have the Go! Cutter….

I found this 3-tiered skirt at Ross like mentioned above.
(Raid your closet or the thrift store too…)

I then cut the bottom tier off, making sure that the skirt would still be long enough.
Then fold over the bottom of the skirt a 1/4 inch, then another 1/4 inch, then sew into place.
Then, I cut the gathering stitch off that bottom section, then folded it in thirds width wise.  
I placed the fabric on the 2 1/2 inch die cut
Then placed the mat on top, and rolled it through the Go! Cutter
After it rolled through, and unfolded the fabric, I had 3 nice and long 2 1/2 inch wide strips….ready to be used.
****Remember, if you don’t have the cutter, just cut the bottom section of your skirt into 2 1/2 inch wide strips.  No biggee.….the cutter just saves time.
 Then I folded the strips in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, and sewed along the raw edges, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Then I turned the tubes right side out and pressed them flat, with the seam along one edge.  (Need help with turning a tube right side out?  Click here.)
Then I made a basting/gathering stitch down the center of each strip and pulled the end string to gather each strip up a bit.  (Need help with gathering?  Click here.)
Then select where you’d like to place your flowers.   Begin making the first one by placing one end of the gathered tube down on the skirt and begin making a circle.  Cover the raw end with your circle and then begin winding inwards.
Continue winding the ruffle inwards, pinning as you go, making sure to use enough ruffle to give the flower fullness.
Once you reach the center, tuck enough raw end underneath and trim off what you don’t need.
Then unwind the flower except for the first circle and place the flower and skirt underneath the needle of your sewing machine.  Start at the first end of the ruffled tube and back-stitch a few times, the continue sewing over your ruffle in the circular shape.
Then add more of the ruffle back to where it was placed originally, and keep sewing along the top.  You will adjust your foot and fabric as you go but there is no need to lift up your needle.
Continue until you are almost at the center, tuck under your end, then sew over the top of that, making sure to secure everything in place.
On this flower, I never cut off the excess to begin with, so I had extra length at the end.  I just cut it off after finishing sewing.  Just wanted to show you the finished center……but ignore the tail that hasn’t been cut off yet.

 I did the same thing with the other 2 flowers and attached them right where I liked them.
Then I moved onto the ruffle.  Since my skirt had 2 tiers remaining, I wanted to cover that seam with a ruffle.  So I began at one side and pinned the ruffle right over top of that seam……
…..and pinned all the way around.  
Once I was back at the beginning, I tucked under the raw end…
….and pinned it down.
Then I placed the skirt back under the sewing machine and stitched right over top that original basting stitch, securing the ruffle to the skirt.
Nice and ruffled.

And…ready to wear.
(Once again, I got that little mannequin form at a clothing store in the mall that went out of business.  Keep your eye out for one.  Makes a great place to place your projects, while trying to adjust and alter them…)

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. Geraldine says:

    This is so pretty! Love the flowers/color combination. Never understood how to sew flowers on like that. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Amy says:

    I have that same exact skirt from Ross! I thought I liked it long, but it's just too long for me, so I started looking for some ideas to shorten it, and found your tutorial, with the exact same skirt!! What a coincidence. It will be easy because mine should look the same throughout the whole process! :)

  3. jamie says:

    cute skirt – such a great idea!

    mostly though, i love that you have half of a mannequin all dressed up in your backyard. i kept looking at that first picture, wondering what sinister thing had happened to somebody's upper half. love it.

  4. megan says:

    I love ribbon retreat. I have made soo many bows for my daughter from there free instruction section. And I mean like over a hundred bows, and some with the ribbon from The ribbon retreat! I also want to thank you for informing me about the Sullenger's. They have been on my mind all week long. I even told my 2 year old about Preslee. I have donated to them and really wish I could do more but I live in Alabama. Any who, thanks for this site!!

  5. Anonymous says: OH MY GOODNESS!! ( I have found a website to add to my favorites! I love ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!

  6. Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi says:

    great skirt, nice recycling!
    The fabric is really nice, perfect for summer!

  7. Whitney says:

    I love the ribbon retreat. It is my favorite place for ribbon and has been for years!

  8. Whitney says:

    The ribbon retreat is my favorite online ribbon store and has been for years!!!!

  9. Kelly says:

    So very pretty! And I love the flower detail, it just adds that something special to it. And you have added to my desire (if it were possible) to want a Go! Cutter. Temptress! :D

  10. Alison@howdoesshe says:

    Do you want me send my size over now or later??? I love this!!!

  11. Vicki says:

    This is darling… I wondered if you had a tutorial for the opposite… short skirt that needs to be a bit longer…

  12. Brenda says:

    Red & White is always so Fresh in appearance. Great job done.
    I actually watched a short video tutorial on the advantages of this roller machine you have used here. They focused on the scrapbooking side…but I like this a WHOLE lot more. WAY TO USE A MACHINE!

  13. Robin says:

    love the skirt, but I have to admit the half a mannequin is kind of creeping me out.

  14. Sarah says:

    I haven't commented before. Maybe I've been waiting to shock the room, I don't know. I've been following for a few months and I think I finally fell in love when you mentioned Girls Camp (and all that means) :)

    Thanks for all the inspiration! I love pretty much everything you post. and yes, wouldn't it be so fun to get together and swap ideas. <3

  15. WannaBcrafty says:

    You have the biggest imagination ever, sooo so cute!

  16. Shaper of Little Souls says:

    You know you are a sewing pro when.. you truly have a topless model.
    Love the skirt. Very cute!

  17. Btrflywmn says:

    Love this skirt, thanks for the tutorial. I would love to have a Go Cutter

  18. Zion And Missy says:

    Ashley, omg. I had to laugh out loud as I just last week, bought this skirt from Ross in blue, and cut off the bottom teir. I saved the bottom piece as I was not sure what to do with it, but would be an excellent head wrap, or bow for my daughter. I now had a new idea to add it to my skirt. :) I am beaming from ear to ear! Maybe I will win the cutter and I could make those roses. LOVE IT!!

  19. Lilybird says:

    Great Job! I absolutely Love this. You are so great a reusing things and have inspired me with so many of your projects. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  20. jodi says:

    Hey I found instructions on how to make your own dress form torso. Call me if you want the details. Love your ideas sis.

  21. MEry says:

    voglio realizzarne una!!!
    voglio proprio provarci!
    se ti va passa da me, c'è un candy in corso e se vuoi partepare ne sarei felice


  22. SewLindaAnn says:

    So simple and amazing, can't wait to try it on a couple of skirts that have been hanging all plain and unused in my closet! Great work!

  23. ...t. says:

    VERY cute and clever, I like clever. It's a good thing skirt tutorials are goin' around since I'm consciously adding more of them to my wardrobe :)

  24. Tanyia says:

    awesome, ty for the tut I was wondering about the flowers! Gorgeous

  25. Mini Matisse says:

    Great job using this quilting tool to it's fullest!

  26. Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea says:

    I love this!

  27. Crafty Batches says:

    Adorable! ~Sam

  28. Rebekah says:

    Cute skirt. Creepy mannequin! :)

  29. Nicki says:

    I have to admit… I was wondering why you chose to photoshop yourself off at the torso in all your pictures. Duh. Now I know. WAY cute skirt. I'm definitely going to try this.

  30. PJS says:

    That's perfect…. I have this gorgeous plum tiered skirt which I never wear because it's so long, now I know what to do with it.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  31. Lisa says:


  32. Emily says:

    I love the extra dimension the flowers add.

  33. Hannah says:

    Super cute! I love the fabric :)

  34. Jenglamgirl says:

    YOU MADE IT AND I LOVE IT! I so want this skirt. I love long skirts. I adore the color and the flowers you added. WELL DONE! P.S. i LOVE YOUR BLOG, and I am one of your followers too. I would love if you linked this skirt to my FIRST ever LINKY party going on right now. Thanks so much, have a great day. Jenn

  35. Cadiedid says:

    This is so cute! I may have to go to Goodwill just because of this idea!

  36. Country Girl in the City says:

    This is so cute!! I have some long skirts that I don't really like anymore. They would be so much nicer if they were shorter. I will be trying this for sure!

  37. crafts, crafts and crafts! says:

    oh this is so darling! i am going to make one!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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