Repurposed dress into a skirt and blouse
I found this great dress at a thrift store while visiting my college roommate Shannon in San Francisco this past December. My plan was to cut it up and make a blouse and skirt- then my daughter put it on- and it fit her perfectly. Unfortunately, she says she won’t wear it and I can’t make her… being 14 is silly.
I believe it was Yogi Bera that said “Youth is wasted on the Young” and I couldn’t agree more in this case.
So I’ll cut it in half after all. No longer in my youth, I can pull the look off in halves but not the whole thing at once without looking ridiculous.
Luckily, the seam allowance left behind by the original maker was enough that I could easily add a zipper. I pressed the seam flat then placed the right side of the zipper down the center of the inside out fabric. I moved the sewing machine needle position closer to the center of the zipper (or use a zipper foot) I stitched all the way around.
Then flip the skirt right side out and with a seam ripper (pictured above) carefully pick out the old seam where the zipper is now situated. (This is my favorite, and the easiest way to add a zipper in any garment.)
The darts and zipper, once in place, took off nearly 4 inches of width off. Remeasure the width now to find how much more needs to be taken off to have the skirt fit your waist. In this case I needed to get rid of 4 more inches.
Then, following the old fold lines, I turned the bias tape back to right side out and used the nice finished end to begin the waistband. Don’t finish the other side until you’ve sewn the bias tape nearly all the way around. In the picture above you can see I also folded over and sewed around the top edge of the skirt fabric to add an extra bit of sturdiness and bulk to the waist.