Dress Turned Skirt

Five or six years ago I bought a cute little dress at Marshall’s for $5. It just fit at the time. Hey, it’s only $5. Who cares if you size out of it soon? I used to wear it as shown below, or with a shirt over it for work.

$5 Dress

The dress no longer fits. While I was decluttering my closet last night, I came across it. I loved this dress and didn’t want to get rid of it, but realistically I knew that even if I lost weight, I wouldn’t wear it with spaghetti straps any longer. I’d most likely wear a top over it.

Inspired by New Dress a Day, I decided to turn the dress into a skirt, which was always my favorite part of it.

Cutting Off the Top

First I cup off the top of the dress above the waist. I couldn’t unpick the seam because it was serged. So I just cut the top off close to the serged seam. I cut straight across the zipper as well (I used kitchen shears for this, not my good sewing scissors).

Bias Tape

I considered making the skirt shorter, but the top and the skirt were serged together. Since my sewing machine is still in Minnesota, I decided that I’d use the serged part as the waist. (If I’d made a shorter skirt, I would’ve had to find a way to prevent fraying—the serger had already done that for me.)

I ran over to Joann’s and picked up extra-wide double fold bias tape and some black thread (which, shockingly enough, I didn’t have in my stash). It cost less than $5.

I folded one quarter of the bias tape over the serged fabric (sort of tucking it into the bias tape fold) and folded the rest over the top. I then pinned it and hand-sewed the bias tape into place to form a waistband.

Hook and Eye Closure

Since I’d cut the zipper clear across, I had to find a way to keep it stopped. I did some fancy fingerwork, folding the bias fabric over to cover the very top of the zipper. I then added a hook-and-eye closure I had in my stash.

I was done in about 3 hrs; I really need my machine back.

The waistband was a little uneven since I did it all by hand, but considering my sewing skills, it would’ve been a little uneven with a machine, so let’s go with it.


I can tuck a shirt in and wear it like an empire-waist dress, as it was originally made.


Or I can leave the shirt over the skirt.

Either way, I think it looks great! I’m so excited to have this skirt in rotation.