skirt to dress refashion tutorial

Sadie has turned into quite the little model. She dragged me outside to take pictures, and posed like crazy. Notice the hand on hip. Sassy!
Okay, sorry. Got carried away with showing off my adorable daughter. On to the tutorial!
Ask, and I will deliver!
A tutorial for a refashioned skirt to child’s dress. ๐Ÿ™‚
I picked this skirt up at a thrifting 50% off sale awhile ago-those are the best! I always check out the skirts for potential skirt to dress refashions.
I loved the diagonal stripes-and the little ribbon accent was perfect.
There are a million and one ways to refashion a skirt-but this is a cute and easy way I like to do it.

Click below for more!

So, here’s the skirt.
You’ll need some measurements, or your child if they’re cooperative. Mine is touch and go, so I keep current measurements on hand! That way I don’t have to wait until nap time is over to wrestle with measure her. What a waste of time.
You’ll need:
Chest measurement (right under the armpits-that’s such a yucky word)
Measurement from chest to where you’d like the dress to fall. (knees, mid calf, etc)
Measurement for the straps…I’ll give you my measurements I used for this dress, but this should be measured over the shoulders from the front to the back of the dress, plus a little extra room for the elastic. (make sense? hope so)
So my zipper was in the back of the dress-no biggie. If it’s on the side, then you only have to cut/sew one side of the dress-it’s just a little simpler, that’s all.
So I had my chest measurement (21 inches) divided in half (10.5 inches) plus an extra 1/2 inch on either side for seam allowances. I knew I wanted to keep the ribbon detail as intact as possible, so I cut fairly close to the edge of the skirt, following the curve of the skirt.
Then, I folded the skirt in half, making sure the top folded piece equaled about 5.75 inches, then cut along the edge like so.
Place your skirt pieces right sides together, and pin.
Sew down the sides with 1/2 inch seam. Finish your seam with a zig zag stitch or serger.
Now measure from the top how long you’d like your dress to be, adding a little bit for the hem. Cut, following the curve on the bottom of the skirt. I eyeballed it. (Yikes! but it worked fine)
Hopefully you had enough extra material from your skirt to make some sleeves…otherwise you could always do them in a coordinating fabric!
I cut mine 9 inches long x3 inches wide (as shown in pic)…the middle measures 4 inches wide, one side cut on a slight curve. It doesn’t have to be exact. (I probably would have made them a bit longer if I could have-but that’s all the material I had to work with)
Serge or zig zag stitch the edges, and iron over about 1/2 inch…pin down.
sew along the edge to form casings for your elastic.
I cut my elastic to be about 6 inches long. Thread through your casing with a safety pin, and tack down the ends like so.
repeat on the other sleeve.
So this is what your sleeves should look like now. ๐Ÿ˜€
You should also serge or zig zag stitch the raw edges now.
Now pin them to your dress…
and sew a top stitch along the top, starting and stopping at the zipper.
tada! hem it up, and you’re done!
with an already done zipper-can’t get much easier than that!
Hope you like the tutorial, and let me know if you have any questions! ๐Ÿ˜€

and…another pic of my little model-she gets paid in chocolate chips, if you couldn’t tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

***If you have used any of my tutorials, I’d love if you’d add a quick pic to my flicker group! Thanks!***


  1. Super cute! Oh yeah, and the dress looks great too! Thanks for the tut, I love refashion.

  2. I would gladly get paid in chocolate chips. and fabric. As such I have to take money, haha.
    Adorable fabric on the remake!

  3. So cute Jess, LOVE sadies sassiness! She is SO adorable! I also am obsessed with your blog makeover, woah! SOOOOO amazing!

  4. I love your “new look”. It’s so fresh and fun and fabulous.

  5. Super cute dress. And awesome tutorial. If Olivia ever actually starts to run out of hand-me down clothes (or outgrow all of her 0-3 months stuff–yes, she’s a year old and tiny) I may need to use it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Very cute little dress and I love the new blog makeover!


  7. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! What an adorable refashion! I love the ribbon that was already attached. Cute, cute, cute!!

  8. Jess –

    How much easier do you find making Sadie and Charlotte’s clothes are with a serger? I want one – really bad, but am not sure it is going to make it that much easier?? Which one do you have? they scare me – is it easy to use? Thanks so much!

    I LOVE Your blog and ideas for dresses etc – my Charley is a little older then Sadie and my Andie Kate is a little younger then Charlotte ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is so neat to read a blog with 2 girls around the same age…now if I could just find time to get back to blogging…

    thanks for the inspiration. you rock.

  9. Brillant tutorial.
    How else would a two year old want to be paid, other than in chocolate? I want to be paid in chocolate!

  10. Now if only little boys could wear dresses, I would be set! This is a great tutorial…I’ll have to try it for one of my friend’s little girls.

  11. I have that same skirt in different colors in my closet. When I’m done wearing it, I know exactly what to do with it!

  12. Love it! You find the cutest skirts to refashion, I need to get out there for these finds and try your tutorial now.

  13. So simple and so cute! The ribbon really does add just the right touch. I can’t wait to try one of these.

  14. These are some of my favorite pictures of Sadie! What a cutie! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I’m officially on the lookout for skirts to cut up!

  15. She IS sassy! I love it!! I’m picturing a skirt in my closet that would work great for this! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. Totally love it!! Great job ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I have a skirt that I’ve wanted to repurpose into a dress for my daughter but I’ve never been sure how to do it.
    This is such a great tutorial! I hope I can make mine look as great as yours.

  18. This is such a fabulous refashion idea!!! Genius..I’ll be linking!

  19. I love those photos of Sadie! They need to go in her room somewhere. Love this refashion. Course, love everything.

  20. Super adorable! I am totally intimidated by makinng something with sleeves in a stripe, but they look great!

  21. my little girls does the hand on hip thing too! love the refashion!!!

    have you seen this? Ruffles and stuff + V and Co have both done similar ๐Ÿ™‚
    One of my favorite refashions!

  23. Aww, that is so cue! And so is your budding supermodel. =) Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  24. fabulous ! i love these types of ideas !

  25. Thanks for this! I often see cute skirts and think I’d like to refashion them, but seeing it makes it so much easier to actually get to it!

  26. Thanks this is easy peasy!!! Appreciate it and your blog is precious.

  27. Darling little girl, darling dress re-fashion, darling blog! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Felicity @ Simple Elegance

  28. This dress is beautiful and easy to do this morning Princess dress fits you well

  29. I have to send you a huge thank you! It was this site along with This tutorial almost a year ago helped start my insane business/charity/crafting days that I have endured for almost a year. It has been therapeutic through a rough year, and I have raised so much money and helped others while helping myself. Please visit my blog to further understand the impact you have made in so many. Thank you.

  30. Love this idea, I always dreaded zippers, still never mastered them. Just wish I had a little girl still, mine are all too big to make this work.

  31. This is a brilliant idea! I’m getting rid of clothes that no longer fit, have a stain/hole etc, but could definitely use some of them to make my toddler a dress. Thanks for the tutorial!

  32. I love to have matching outfits with my daughter, but have a hard time finding them. How cute to purchase two skirts one for Mom and one to makeover for my daughter.

  33. Hiii, i love your blog.. You so creative.. Cai I do like you to my daughter? Cause I dont havetailor skill’ *Lol
    Ohhhh, almost forget.. I’am from Indonesia, nice to know you ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Simply wonderful!!

  35. I love this! I just found you yesterday because a friend pinned some of your things, and I decided to make a dress today. A skirt I’ve had for 7 years now made the perfect target for the project. My 3 1/2 year old daughter absolutely loves it!!!

  36. I don’t understand f,”Then, I folded it over, making sure the top folded piece equaled about 5.75 inches, then cut along the edge like so.” The picture isn’t very detailed. It looks like you made a larger cut from the first for the dress. Could you better explain this before sewing the side seams?

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