Lop off the Top!

Lop off the Top!

My motto for the year is “Go Green in ’17.”  Will lots of you join me in efforts to eliminate waste and repurpose and recycle this year????  I am hoping so!  Respond in the comments at the bottom and let me know what you are doing or plan to do.  🙂

My next recycle of the year is for this long dress, which was in very good shape at a local thrift store.

It fit me perfectly at the waist, and the length was great , but the top was too wide and too low cut for my liking.  I was originally going to take in the top and add a lace inset across the front, but I decided to scrap that idea.  I realized that if I made it into a skirt, then I could wear either a short or long sleeved top with it, and could also change the color of the top.

So, I began by cutting the top at a shoulder seam and then a side seam.  I then made a small horizontal cut about 2 inches above the top of the waistband elastic.

My idea was to serge this line about 2 inches above the waist, which would finish off the edge neatly.

In doing this, the top of the dress was removed, and the top edge of my skirt now looked like this.

Before I finished the work on the waistband, I wanted to take in the sides of the skirt to fit me better.  I placed a few pins, then drew (with my French Curve ruler and my purple disappearing pen) where I would sew my new seam.

I then serged my new side seams, removing my pins as I sewed.

Next, back to the waistband.  I folded the 2 inch black section toward the inside of the skirt, and pinned it tightly behind the existing elastic.  I pinned just BELOW the elastic, as I did NOT want to sew ON the elastic (I wanted the elastic to move freely).

Seeing that I would be sewing on off-white fabric on the front and black fabric on the back, I got out off-white thread for the top of my machine, and black thread for the bobbin.

I also made sure to switch my needle to a JERSEY/BALL POINT needle.  This separated the threads of the jersey fabric properly without creating actual holes.

Then, I did what we call a “STITCH IN THE DITCH.”  I placed the needle VERY close to the seam below the waistband, and “stitched in the ditch” essentially right where the seam is.  This allowed my new seam to hardly be visible, but yet it held my fabric in place.

I had now secured the black fabric behind the off-white waistband.  This is what the inside of the skirt looked like.

The outside of the skirt looked like this after I had “stitched in the ditch.”

All done with the work … now I just needed to choose a top and start wearing my new skirt!!!

Here is the skirt with a chunky necklace, a wide belt, and my black booties.

Then I added a black “jean” jacket for a slightly different look and/or added warmth.

Happy Making!

Molly  🙂





10 thoughts on “Lop off the Top!

  1. Nice refashion; love the way that you styled it too. My goal in life is to not waste anything…which forces me to be creative. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    1. Thank you! It sounds like you are well on your way to “going green!” Thanks for what you do to help our planet in that regard! 🙂

    1. Connie, I am so glad to hear that you learn from my posts! It is my hope to not only inspire, but to teach those who want to learn different steps or techniques. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  2. I’ve recently been culling my wardrobe, and have many items that I think could be repurposed. My stash is pretty big, so I will be figuring out how to go about it all. I love your new skirt, it looks fabulous. Thank you also for the tutorial.

    1. OH Barbara, I hope you have fun with the repurposing! It can give fun, new life to some old pieces, but obviously some just don’t have the potential. Send me some photos when you get them done …. I would love to see what you come up with! Happy making!

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