This dress I found for $14 at a consignment store. VERY comfy stretch cotton material, but I am not a Petite Medium.
I loved the material and the print on the fabric, so I tried it on. The skirt portion of the dress fit me just fine without needing any alteration, so I knew I could easily transform the dress into a skirt I would enjoy wearing!
I began by cutting off the top portion of the dress.
Then, I determined the length I wanted the skirt to be, and measured and cut where needed.
I had decided I would use the 2 inch wide elastic they sell at fabric stores for my waistband, but I did NOT want to have the white elastic as the top of my skirt. I did not have enough fabric to completely cover the elastic, but I had enough to cover the FRONT side. To do this, I used the top part of the skirt you see above, which I had cut off.
I cut the piece open at one side seam, straightened up the seams so that I had a straight, flat length of the material. I cut my elastic 2 inches smaller than the circumference of my waist. This is the common rule of thumb for a comfortable elastic waistband. I then wrapped my piece of fabric around one side of the elastic, as you can see below.
Front side . . .
Back side . . .
Then, I set my sewing machine on the “stretch” stitch, which on my machine looks like a lightening bolt. This stitch provides the stretch needed for use on elastic. If your machine does not have this type of stitch, your best bet is to use a zig-zag stitch set on the narrowest width (.5). I sewed the fabric to the elastic using this stitch. The tricky part here was to pin VERY frequently so that the stretchy fabric would not stretch and cause pleats as I sewed along. (I tested this using some extra fabric and extra elastic before trying on my project!)
Here’s what it looked like after sewing both sides of the elastic . . .
Turning the elastic over, I then trimmed the excess fabric next to my stitching lines in order to make it look neater.
My waistband looked like this on the back side . . .
Next, I put right sides together of the ends of my elastic, and sewed a seam.
The next step involved marking both the waistband AND the top of the skirt in 4 even sections. To do this on the skirt, I measured halfway between each side seam and marked with pins. For the elastic, I also marked with pins at 4 equal sections. Note: The skirt is LARGER than the waistband.
Pinning the waistband to the skirt (with right sides together), I needed to stretch the elastic waistband to fit the skirt. Pinning frequently, I attached the two pieces.
Lastly, I used my serger to sew my skirt to the waistband. (But you can use a regular machine on a very narrow zig-zag stitch, or you can use a “stretch” stitch if your machine has one.) When stitching, it is necessary to stretch the waistband as you sew, since the waistband is smaller than the circumference of the skirt.
Then, I ironed my skirt, and this is what it looked like.
Ready for wearing, stretchy, and VERY comfortable!!!!!
Quick, Cute, Cheap and Comfortable . . . who can hate that????