Repurposed skirt project

I picked up this retro dress last year as I loved the print but the halter neck sundress was too small and not the most flattering look  for me but I thought it would make a fab skirt for spring


I detached the top and unpicked the skirt panels , they were longer than I thought as the original had been turned up , the fabric is 100% Acrylic so fraying is minimal and the seams were originally pinked

I was pleased to find the remainder of the labels still attached which gave me washing  instructions and the fabric content .


I pressed out the skirt pieces and found the hem creases disappeared , which means I can use the whole piece .

I envisioned a knee length pencil skirt , with pleating to to front and pockets , every skirt needs pockets

For the waistband I cut a strip 5″ wide from the bottom of all the pieces , as the panels were long enough , there will have to be a join in the band as the widest panel is not quite long enough to go round my waist .

I rejoined  the back seam , checking the grain was true , machine basting the top 10″ the seam  for the zip , once pressed I removed the basting .

In order to drape the front of the skirt I machine basted the centre front in a contrasting thread this will help keep front balanced . The panel was cut very lopsided, I then trimmed the panel on the fold so both sides matched.

Next I made up the waistband , I cut one piece measuring half my waist measurement plus 1.5 cm seam allowance at both ends , then two pieces measuring each one quarter of my waist measurement again with 1.5 cm seam allowance at either end ,I then interfaced each piece minus the seam allowance all round . I joined the side seams , pressed open the side seams , machine basted the centre front. I then stay stitched the waistband just inside the seam allowance along the top and bottom edges and then pressed bottom seam allowance under.

Next I draped the skirt , creating and pinning two pleats , the second will include the pocket, I held this up to my waist , keeping the centre straight , I then used tailors chalk to mark along my waistline , giving the eventual seam line.


I then mirrored the pleats on the other side , very tempted to cut the waistline here as would make the mirroring a lot easier , but as is so roughly drafted I don’t want to cut off any fabric at the waist and find that I needed it !

Next I machine basted back darts and pinned front panel to the back making sure side seams were laying flat and were on the straight of grain under the hip line – time to try it on .

I adjusted the pins down the side seams and added a further back dart on each side as I have a rather shallow back , once I was happy with the fit I machine basted all seams and darts ready to try on again right side out . Once I was happy with the fit I pressed the pleats and trimmed the seam allowance all round to 1.5cm .


I also notched the pieces to make it easier when I reassemble . Next pockets , I drafted the pocket bags from lining , adding double seam allowance to the top edge . This allows for the lack of seam allowance on the back of the pleat.

I removed all the basting from the draft skirt ,  cut through the back of the pocket pleat,  pressed the pieces and used them to cut the lining .


I attached the pocket bags and reassembled the skirt and lining.

I attached the waistband matching cf and side seams , I stitched this with machine basting for a final fitting and pinned the hem .

As I was happy with the fit I then restitched the waistband seam leaving back lining free in order that I can finish after inserting the zip.


  I trimmed the waist seam allowance to reduce bulk and pressed allowance up into band .

I reclosed the back zip opening with machine basting pressed open and inserted the zip .


I hand sewed the waistband closed , machine hemmed the lining and hand stitched the hem – and skirt is done .

 Am pretty happy with how it turned out , just need some warmer weather and some tanned legs !

Have you repurposed something recently ?

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