Even though I wrote this tutorial for a kid’s size dress, you can do this with adult sizes, too. This is the same way I turned a shirt into a skirt.

My daughter and I both love this dress. She only wore it a few times last season because it was too big. This year it is too small. It probably would have fit her best when it was 20 degrees outside.

easy kids skirt tutorial

The other day she insisted on wearing it. (Yes, it was still hanging in her closet even though it was too small.) I let her try it on so she would see that the buttons could no longer be buttoned. While she had it on, I realized that it was just the top that was too small. The bottom fit just fine. Hmmm… what if I turned it into a skirt?

easy kids skirt pattern

Step 1
Cut off the bottom of the dress. If your daughter is as tall as mine, use a seam ripper. It takes longer, but she needs every bit of length I can save.

Step 2
Measure your daughter’s waist. Add an inch and then cut a piece of elastic. I used 3/8″ wide elastic.

Step 3
Fold the top edge down 1/4″ and press. Then fold 5/8″ and press.

easy kids skirt tutorial

Step 4
Sew the waist leaving an opening for the elastic. Edge stitch the top to help the elastic stay in place.

Step 5
Thread the elastic through the waist casing, sew elastic ends together with a 1/2″ seam allowance, and close up the waist.

easy kids skirt pattern

My daughter was so excited to see her new skirt. She especially loves the bow. The original dress had a two inch hem. If she’s still in love with it next season, I guess I’ll be letting the hem down, too.

refashion: Sewing clothes is sometimes easier if you don’t start from scratch. Refashioning a favorite piece of clothing can make you happy, your budget happy and the earth happy.

Thanks to whipup.net for linking to my tutorial and welcome new readers! For more crafty updates, visit my Facebook page!

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16 Responses to how to refashion a dress into a skirt
in five easy steps

  1. Sarah M says:

    How cute, I love how you save everything and make it into new-so practical and pretty. I have actually never sewn with elastic before, and was kicking myself to learn, and those instructions are a cinch!
    Sarah M

  2. Vi says:

    I love it! I am so totally pulling out some of my favorite dresses that I was getting rid of because they were too small and I can’t save all of my favorites from her whole life in the hope chest. Recycling them in this way will keep them around a while longer.

  3. Trudy Callan says:

    This dress is absolutely adorable.

  4. […] Julie-k created this pretty skirt for her daughter out of a beloved, but outgrown, dress.  By cutting it in two and turning it into a twirly skirt, she was able to extend the life of the garment.  This refashioning method is not limited to children’s clothing, either.  I have done something similar with a loose high-waisted patio dress, turning last decade’s fashions into this year’s hippie skirt.  Go to the tutorial. […]

  5. Anne Weaver says:

    So very pretty! And a great way to extend the life of a much-loved dress.

    I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-simple-dress-to-skirt-refashion/2009/08/30/

    –Anne

  6. Nima says:

    wow…that looks awesome

  7. chantel says:

    Wow it is like you read my mind I just told a friend at church on Sunday that an adorable dress she gave my baby needed to somehow be transformed into a skirt for more use, since it is sooooo adorable! I wasn’t sure how to make this happen, and TADA! Now I do! Thank you so much!

  8. It’s darling. I did the same thing with one of my daughter’s dresses this summer. Maybe you could add a ruffle or another stripe if you need even more length.

  9. So cute! thanks for sharing. :) I’ll be giving this a try for sure.

  10. I LOVE this trick!!! Thanks for posting it!

  11. […] neighbor’s garage sale. I always stop by her sales because she has such cute kids clothes. (This dress was from her, too.) I was excited to find something for myself! I also came home with a few things […]

  12. Wendy says:

    This is BRILLIANT! Now I can eke a few dozen more wearings out of my littlest one’s dresses before we pass them along…

  13. […] After this season, I can easily turn this dress into a skirt for next year, don’t you think? Category: all posts, refashionTags: liberty of london > […]

  14. I like this and going to make one tonight.

  15. Tia Robertson says:

    Thank you for this vote of confidence:) I was just attempting tonight to the same for a jr. size sundress I bought for myself a few months ago, (but realized that the top did not fit when I got home). In love with the fabric, I couldn’t part with it, and just now thought to turn it into a skirt. I was to the seam ripping part, and scared what to do next! Now I know I’m almost there! Thank you!

  16. […] a very cool blog I just came across that is ALL about reusing and refashioning. HEAVEN! I love this one, where she turns a too small dress into a skirt for her little girl. I am so tempted to do this […]