I picked up this professional-looking dress for $5 at one of my favorite thrift shops. It had definite potential, but the fit was all wrong. The bottom fit okay, but the top was way too big and the waist was way too long for my short torso. The center back seam had come undone a bit and the bottom of the zipper was poking out (no wonder with how high the zipper stopped - clearly the manufacturer doesn't know what hips are). Add to that the fact that I like a little more color in my wardrobe, and I decided I would get a lot more use out of this piece as a skirt.
My first step was to carefully remove the zipper. I seam-ripped the back seam about 8 inches further down also so there wouldn't be too much pressure at the bottom like there was originally.
Then I cut the top off, just below the under-bust seam. I also snipped off the hanger straps with the intent of reusing them. Ultimately though, I forgot about them and discovered them still laying on my sewing table after the skirt was complete. Oh well!
I folded the waist panel downward and trimmed off the excess to match the angled seam in the back.
Then I tucked the edges under and stitched around the edge to create my new waistband. I stopped a little short on either side of the zipper edge though, so I'll be able to insert my zipper between the two layers of the waistband.
Then I reattached the zipper and trimmed the excess length.
I top-stitched the waistband along the top part of the zipper...
...and around the entire top edge of the skirt.
From my scraps of waistband, I cut six little squares, about 2 inches on each side.
I grabbed my iron and pressed the top and bottom edges inward about 1/8 inch (top two in pic). Then the sides were pressed in toward the center (middle two). Then the whole thing was folded and pressed in half (bottom two).
After stitching around the edges, these little guys are going to become my belt loops!
I attached one on either side, plus two in back and two in front. A few quick stitches on the top and bottom of each belt loop completed the project.
Hey, these pics look familiar!
I paired it with my new floral blouse and a hot pink belt. They're the perfect colorful compliment to the conservative grey skirt.