Restyle4Life

Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

The Dress That Really Needed To Be a Skirt

A lot of the clothes I used to buy before I started thrifting and refashioning are impulse buys or things that I bought because I had an event to go to and “nothing to wear” which often resulted in mad dashes to the mall to quickly go in, grab something and get out.

You know what I’m talking about. There are people who love to shop and then there’s me. I love to shop when I’m just browsing. I hate to shop when I really need to find something. When I’m not looking or it’s not in the budget, everything looks great and I want to buy it all up. When I’m under pressure and looking for something specific, of course I can never find it.

That’s the story of this dress. I needed something for a First Communion and bought this dress a few years ago. It was alright. Nothing special. Here’s a picture of me actually wearing it at the event. Yes, I was brunette here. Another fashion mistake (of a different kind). Every time I colour my hair brunette I vow it will be the last time. That definitely was the last time. Just like this dress really needed to be a skirt, I really need to be blonde.

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The so-so dress. Nothing particularly special, though it does have a very colourful print.

I thought chopping the length would do the trick, so that’s what I did.

Dress with some of the length chopped and hemmed.

Dress with some of the length chopped and hemmed.

I still didn’t like the way it looked but look at that print and those colours. I had to do SOMETHING with it.

Off came the bodice.

Stitching the new waist.

Stitching the new waist.

Since this dress had a zipper on one side, I had to cut the top of the zipper off as it was too long for the skirt. I folded the zipper over and stitched it place underneath the new waistband. You have to fold the top of the zipper over, otherwise when you zip your new skirt up the zipper will just come right off!

Another option to folding the zipper over is to stitch the top teeth a few times by hand so that the zipper has some sort of stop to keep it from coming off completely.

That solid green part of the waist was then handstitched in a few places just to secure it further.

Now-much better. There are so many colours to pull from for top options. I need to do some serious shopping for summer tops.

Dress Becomes a Skirt!

Dress Becomes a Skirt!

I like it so much better now. What do you think of my green shoes? I wish I had taken this picture from a different angle so you could see the heel. They’re Nine West from last summer.

This is the last of the dress to skirt refashions. I’m tackling some more challenging dresses (that will stay dresses but be completely transformed) next. Can’t wait to work on them and post the results here.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

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Billabong Dress to Skirt Refashion

I am midway through posting a series of 3 refashions that have everything to do with buying clothes that don’t work for my body, not wearing them and then chopping them into something else. That’s the story with this dress.  I bought it at West 49 a couple of summers ago while out shopping with my teenage kids. Note: teenagers do not always tell you when something doesn’t look right on you.

I almost don’t want to post this because I cannot stand the way I look in this dress. This was a trying summer for me. There was a lot going on in my life. When there’s a lot going on with me, I develop a huge problem. I cannot stop stuffing myself with all forms of junk food.

Here it goes.

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The problem dress: bodice too tight, length way too short, straps too thin.

OK, so there it is. I cannot put into words what it feels like to look at this. There is so much wrong with this dress on me. I really liked the print though and I wanted it because I thought it was young and hip so I bought it anyway. Luckily I only ever wore it at the beach. I was not strolling around the mall in this.

It is amazing how much refashioning and really paying attention to fabrics and drape and body shape has taught me. I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t. I know I’ll never be able to pull off certain styles and that’s okay. We’re all different.

BUT…since we’re talking refashioning here, I couldn’t just throw it away or donate it just yet. I wanted to give it one more chance. I knew it had to become a skirt. I was looking for a simple restyle.

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Step 1: Cut the bodice from the skirt. I thought I could use part of the elasticized upper portion as a waistband. The bodice (or most of it anyway) had elasticized thread running through it and was stretchy enough to be a waistband.

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Mark and cut the new waistband.

My idea wasn’t going to work since the bust area was not made up with elasticized thread. The whole thing would’ve looked wonky, so onto plan B: cut the bodice completely from the elastic waistband. I couldn’t unpick here as the elastic was stitched directly to the fabric. I knew I was going to end up with a raw edge. I don’t have a picture of what I did next. I wanted a way to cover whatever bits of fabric would be visible after I cut the bodice from the bottom.

I remembered I had a stretchy black belt I wasn’t wearing so I stitched it right onto the waist to cover the raw edges. I had to put the skirt on and pin the belt while the elastic was stretched, otherwise I wouldn’t know how much to pull to get it to line up properly.

I ended up with this.

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Elasticized belt stitched right onto the skirt.

I hand stitched the belt all the way around by hand. It was a little tough to do near the buckle as it’s made from an imitation leather and so thicker and more difficult to stitch. I did the buckle up and continued stitching. This way, when I put the skirt on, the belt is already done up.

It’s still not the perfect look for me but I think you can see the difference in the way my waist and hips look in each of the before and after pictures. Quite a difference.

This is probably still not a look I will wear out but it’ll be

AFTER

AFTER

great for enjoying cool drinks on the deck!

BEFORE

BEFORE

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Unpoofing a Poofy Skirt

I’ve had this skirt for a long time and I’ve hardly worn it. I don’t know when I’m going to stop making the same fashion mistakes. Like buying skirts that are too “poofy” or baggy. If I’m truly honest with myself, all this fashion does for me is emphasize my hips. Ugh, those blasted hips! And it was too long, which automatically makes things 10 times worse.

Anyway, last summer I hemmed the skirt to above knee and then put it away again til now.I wanted to keep it because I almost NEVER wear pants and in the summer I literally live in skirts and dresses. Shorts are really not my thing either. I know, I think I’m a rare breed. I just do not find pants comfortable at all and shorts? Forget it. Rarely do I wear them. Besides, it’s red! And I don’t have very many red pieces.

I don’t have a before picture of me wearing it prior to chopping the hemline, but here it is before I unpoofed it.

Excuse the sweatshirt and lack of makeup. It was kind of late at night when I did this.

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No, I’m not trying to partially undress here, I lifted my shirt up to show the waistband. PS: sorry for the mess in my room-we’re repainting and there’s stuff EVERYWHERE!

I began by removing the gathered part of the skirt with my seam ripper.

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Separation success!

Next, I measured how wide the new part needed to be. The zipper was on the other side of the skirt so I just left it the way it was.

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With the original top portion of the skirt and lining intact, I laid it over the piece I just unpicked. See all the fabric? That’s a whole lotta yardage!

Pinned and sewed the new seam.

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Then I prayed that the new piece would line up with the old piece-matching the side seams carefully. Attaching the new and old was a little tricky with the lining in the way. I kept getting mixed up which way was up, er I mean down, I mean right! Ever do that? Think you have it all figured out and realize you’ve sewn it all together upside down or backward or whatever? Luckily, that didn’t happen. Measure twice cut once and all that. i got it right the first time.

The final product.

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I hope it warms up soon so I can take some outdoor shots.

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I think it looks way better now.

AFTER

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

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