Introduction: How to Refashion a Foldover Waistband Skirt From a Dress and a Tshirt

About: Like a swiss army knife, I’m a graduate student, full-time employee, part-time employee, snowboarder, mountainbiker, yoga practicioner, mom, dog lover, trying to save the world and myself at the same time. …

This tutorial is short, sweet and perfect for a beginner. I’ve made variations of this skirt at least five times already this year and I never grow tired of the supremely comfortable, soft and stretchy fold-over waistband skirt. I am petite which means that dresses rarely ever fit me right. My proportions just aren’t the industry standard. I do however, frequently fall in love with the pretty fabric of dresses at my local thrift store and this is the solution to my former dilemma. For this refashion I used a thrifted dress with a cute floral pattern that was ill-fitting and had a few stains on the bodice. I also used a tshirt that had bleach stains and underarm stains, but would still had enough usable fabric to form a waistband.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Cutting tools (pinking shears, fabric shears and a rotary cutter). If you don’t have all of these, you can get along just fine with a simple pair of shears or scissors.
1 Dress that will fit comfortably over your thighs. Take a dress that you want to work with and hold it up to see how it will look as a skirt. If it looks good, move on.
1 tshirt that fits comfortably around your waist and over your hips.
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Ruler or Cutting mat (or both)
Tailors Chalk

Step 1: Determine the Length of Your New Skirt

1. Hold the dress up to your body and determine the length by folding it where you want it to hit on your waist. I chose to make my new skirt knee length. I folded in half and then marked with chalk. Cut the dress through all layers just above the line.

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Waistband

2. Measure 5″ from the bottom of your tshirt. This will create a fold-over waistband that is approximately 2″ wide. Mark with chalk, then cut through all layers to form a tube.

Step 3: Line Up the Skirt and Waistband

3. Slip the skirt into the tshirt tube and align the seams. The bottom hem of the shirt should be facing down toward the hem of the skirt. The right side of the dress (pretty side) should face the wrong side of the tshirt tube (inside).

Step 4: Pin the Waistband to the Skirt

4. Gather and pin the skirt to the tshirt tube waistband. Start by pinning the skirt seams to the tshirt seams. Next pin the center and then gather and pin at 1-2″ intervals until the skirt is secured to the waistband. You may need to gather and form a few small pleats if the skirt is wider than the waistband. You can do this at random around the waistband by spacing them evenly. You don’t have to be precise. Ensure that the top of the skirt meets the top of the tube.

Step 5: Sew the Waistband to the Skirt

5. Sew the waist band to the skirt using a zig-zag (or other stretch knit stitch). The zig-zag stitch allows the waist band and skirt to be stretched without breaking the thread. If sewing by hand, use the whip stitch.

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