XL Skirt ($4.50, Goodwill)
Small amount of navy batiste (sunk cost from another project)
Zipper (re-used original)
Hook and Eye: (1 @ $1.29 a dozen)
Negligible amount of white and navy thread
Sash from summer dressing gown (free)
Total Cost: $5.13
Time: About 2 hours
New Sewing Techniques: adaptive reuse
I found a brand new Coldwater Creek skirt at the thrift store awhile ago. It was made from an excellent quality fabric, but was too wide at the waist and too long.
I originally planned to turn this skirt into a tiered skirt, but after I trimmed off the beads and cut the skirt yoke pieces, I realized there was more fabric than I needed for a skirt and a lot of nicely finished seams. As an architect, I have long been intrigued by adaptive reuse. I saw the potential for a maxi dress- perfect for summer road trips and barbecues.
I turned the yoke upside down (the hips now became the bust). I cut out about 1/4 of the remaining fabric divided evenly over one seam, then gathered the remainder gently. I liked the current hem length, but needed a few extra inches at the top, so I raided the scrap bag for some navy fabric, echoing the skirt's original waistband. I folded it double and reinforced it with interfacing in between the fabric layers. I attached the band to the bodice and the assembly to the skirt, and worked in a few back darts. I sewed the new side seam, replaced the zipper, then made straps from the surplus skirt fabric. A few sash loops, a hook and eye, and this project was ready to go!
If you are starting without a pattern, this helpful tutorial demonstrates how to turn an ill-fitting skirt into a dress; the book New to Old is also full of adaptive reuse ideas with minimal sewing- always key in my book!