Upcycling a Dress to Wrap Skirt - Zero Waste


I had time to refashion a dress into a wrap skirt - in fact I'm wearing it now - even though I've been busy with my workshop and presentation preparations for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire.!  I think this is lovely for the summer. As the dress was almost rectangular in shape, there was no need for me to cut the fabric. It was simply unpicking, hemming and simple stitching I ended up with almost zero wastage!

This dress was a very weird length, 44 inches (113cm) from shoulder to the bottom - I know what you are thinking! It has been in my wardrobe for the longest time and it was bought from Marks and Spencer (and explains the weird length), but you have to admit the pattern is lovely AND the fabric is of good quality. 

It was unpicked along the all the seams except the shoulders. Here it is dissected.

Somehow, refashions take very strange twists and turns. I was thinking of making a cape-like top using the two panels, but then after some experimenting, I decided that it would be very baggy for my body-shape.

So it would now become a wrap skirt instead.  The sleeves were used to make pockets for my orange t-shirt that I was fiddling with last Saturday.  If you have a very long dress or a baju kurong, you would be able to cut a rectangle from the fabric, leaving out the top part of the dress. 

Here's a simple pattern.  Basically, I used myself as the body form (it will be good if you have one, and even better if you have a friend to help you) and had the front and back panels in landscape mode in front and behind me, respectively.

Making the split!
Then, I marked and then pinned the side where I wanted to sew the skirt up. I did this about 10 inches from what was the bottom of the dress.  I sewed 13 inches - if you want a smaller slit then go further, but just remember that you have to be able to walk!

Making the wrap!
I put the skirt back on again and then determined where the two buttons should go by wrapping the fabric from the opposite side of the split in front of me. .I then determined where the corresponding button holes would be by making a mark on the fabric directly on top of the buttons.

As you can see here, I gave up on the button hole for the second button. I used some scrap rickrack to secure the skirt.

Here it is! I love how the pattern contrasts against itself. If you look carefully you can see an arm hole and the original neckline somewhere in the wrap! 

And..... not to waste anything, this is where the sleeve went to.....

Happy refashioning!

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  1. As always love to see your upcycling projects. The remake is pretty. Ruffle edge is great.

  2. I love the skirt! Armhole or not, it still looks so natural and pretty! You are really good with refashioning, Agatha, this is so inspiring and I think I should keep all my old clothes and upcycle them too! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That's awfully kind of you, Summer!

  3. Ooh, I love wrap skirts, and yours turned out so cute! It's such a great print!

  4. Gorgeous fabric, Agy!!! The skirt looks great.

  5. I've featured your refashion today, Agy...

  6. Great idea! Your skirt is awesome!
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze