Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Refashion DIY Tutorial: Dress --> Separates

When my t-shirt dress shrank from slightly above the knee to slightly below my butt, I groaned at my laundering (in)capabilities.  Too long to be a shirt, too short to be a dress, I decided to chop it in half to create a tee for me and a skirt for E - whee! Sorry for cheesy rhyming, but I couldn't resist.  Our current bedtime story rotation consists of Dr. Seuss books.

Dress --> Tee + Toddler Skirt
Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~1 hr


  • Existing dress
  • Elastic for waistband
  • Optional - serger, twin needle

What I did:
1.) Try on your dress and mark how long you'd like your shirt to be.  Add on ~1" to allow for hemming.

2.) Cut your dress at your desired length (marked in Step 1).

3.) Skirt - We'll start with the elastic waistband.  To join your elastic ends together, I typically sew and backstitch 2 rows of zigzags.

 4.) If you have a serger,  go ahead and serge your elastic band to the waist of your skirt.  This prevents your elastic band from flipping around in the casing.

ALTERNATIVELY, for regular sewing machines, fold the waist over the elastic band to create a casing and stitch along the bottom.  To prevent elastic flipping, you can stitch / backstitch / stitch with matching thread along the side seams to hold it in place.  I usually go 3 forward, 3 back, and 3 forward to secure.  Go ahead and skip to Step 8.

5.) Fold the elastic waist over into the skirt interior.  Add a few pins to keep it in place.

 6.) Sew along the bottom to anchor and hide your elastic.

7.) Finished skirt:

8.) For the top, all you have to do is hem it!  I folded the hem inwards and then used a twin needle and navy blue thread to sew along the navy stripe.

9.) Iron the seams of both garments and you're finished!

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  1. Lol! at Dr. Suess. :) What a great idea re-using your dress that way.

  2. ingenious! i love all of your ideas, and how you get so much mileage out of everything!

    1. Aww, thanks P! It can be detrimental as it supports my hoarding behavior.

  3. Great solution to a sucky laundering problem. Now you and yours have two new pieces!

  4. Great way to reuse your dress. E is a luck girl to have talent mom like you.

  5. That is very resourceful of you. I would have just worn leggings, tights, or jeans and called it a long t-shirt lol.


  6. I like that dress, actually! I wonder how easy it is to turn separates into a dress.

    7% Solution

    1. Would have definitely kept it as a dress if it hadn't shrunk :( Turning separates into a dress wouldn't be too hard, just need to get the waist positioning right!

  7. Hello dearest, You are so talented. I envy you. :* Bookmarked your blog. Would definitely go back everytime.

    Wilma from


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