Upcycling – from dresses to skirts

I have had a bunch of things slung over my sewing machine for a few weeks and today was the day when I decided that I need to start working on reducing the amount of works in progress and complete things!

First on the list was a bunch of my daughters dresses which were size 4 years, she is now 7!  She loves these dresses and some were still in fairly good condition, that I thought I need to change them from dresses to skirt as she seems to be getting long rather than increasing around the waist!

IMG_7252 IMG_7253

The above two dresses, I have decided to salvage the fabric to use for other projects and not make these into skirts for the main reason that the first skirt had a few marks on it and the bottom skirt just didn’t look right as a skirt but the fabric is so nice that I can see it in another project.


Photo taken in fading natural light.

This dress was a favourite and it worked great for converting it into a skirt. I simply chopped the pink top part off and folded the ruffled waist line over, sewed a seam and threaded some elastic through to the required fitting.


Photo taken with a flash

This skirt fits perfectly and looks great on. I think if I was to do this again, I would have made a denim waist band and attached the ruffled waist so it was sitting more on the hips and that way it would have been longer and perhaps laster more than one season!

I forgot to take a before picture of this dress, however, it was quite a simple one to convert as it just had straps over the shoulders which I simply cut off. I did add a bit of elastic into the waist band as it was a little loose but other than that, it was a very simple transformation.

I have to admit, I don’t like wasting things so I am pleased I could transform two dresses into skirts for my daughter and the other two dresses will be used for projects in the furture, perhaps a sunhat?? I think I have got that upcycling gene from my own mother who was very creative with sewing all our clothes by upcycling all her old office work clothes.  We had some beautiful outfits that were original (my mum sometimes made up her own pattern) and they were made out of very high quality fabric.


Speaking of my mother, last year she gave me an old butterick pattern which she used for my sister and I when we were 7 years old, I have been meaning to get and make something with this pattern so I am going to attempt to do so this week.  I think I will use some cheap fabric first as it has been a while since I followed a pattern, I tend to make things up as I go!  If it turns out okay, I shall post a picture!


About Melanie Paul

Welcome, I am Melanie, a freelance surface pattern designer and mum of two gorgeous children. This blog is a journey of discovery and appreciation into the world of arts, crafts, design and everything in between. I keep everything real and honest in everything I do. I hope you enjoy reading and please do comment or share, if you share, please link back accordingly.
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8 Responses to Upcycling – from dresses to skirts

  1. easycraftsforchildren says:

    Very pretty !

  2. Gayle says:

    Well done Mel, you are super talented!

  3. Thanks Gayle 🙂 Not sure about being super talented but I do enjoy being creative!!

  4. Mia says:

    What a great idea! Look great!

  5. masqua says:

    My mother, who passed away over 40 years ago, was truly skilled as a dress maker. She could make just about anything one could ever want in either men’s or women’s clothing, drapery and knitting. One item which stands out for me was an outfit for my new bride which was a period piece based on 1867, complete with bonnet. We still have that item.

    When I viewed your posting, it immediately brought my thoughts back to my mom who so dearly loved her craft. By the way, her sewing machine is now with my daughter-in-law in the hopes that she also might take it up.

    Thanks for posting those pics. Lovely work and so right for a sunny day’s worth of cycling.

  6. Wow, your mother sounds like she was a very talented lady and so lovely that you have a very special outfit that your mother made for your wife, it sounds amazing and so original.

    I hope the tradition continues with your daughter-in-law. I think handmade items have much more personality and there is always a story behind them too!

    Thank you for your comments, they were very touching.

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