My coworker gave me this skirt about a month ago and it's been sitting in my clothes to reconstruct pile. I knew all along it was going to become a dress. It was only a matter of time....
First you will need to cut off the pockets of the skirt. I drew a straight line across the skirt just underneath the bottom edge of the pockets. If your skirt doesn't have any pockets, put your skirt on and hike it up (above your bust area) so the edge of the bottom of the skirt sits where you'd like the finished length of the dress to sit. Make sure you leave an extra inch at the top for the elastic casing. Mark off how much you'd like to take off and proceed as stated above. Cut Away!
Put the skirt on (or on again) inside out and pin it snug underneath your arms. Make sure it's not super tight because you'll be adding elastic to the top of the dress and you'll want it to gather just slightly. You'll also need to take in the sides a bit, so pinch and pin all the way down the side of the skirt until you get the desired fit for your dress. I took mine in about 2 inches.
Now use chalk to mark a line down each side where you've pinned the skirt.
Sew down each side of the skirt where you've marked your lines in chalk.
Use your pinking shears (or scissors) to remove the excess seam allowance fabric on each side of the skirt.
Now use your serger (or zig zag stitch on your sewing machine) to finish the top edge of the dress. This prevents the top edge of the dress from fraying.
Measure 1 inch down from the top of the dress and fold that towards the inside of the dress. This will be the casing for your elastic. Stitch along the bottom edge of the casing. Make sure you don't stitch this casing all the way closed, leave a small hole to feed the elastic through.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the 3/4 inch wide elastic and start to slowly feed it through the casing. When you have reached the other end of the casing, pull the elastic through a bit and pin the ends together. Try the dress on and if the elastic needs to be tighter, adjust the elastic as needed and re-pin.
Cut off the excess elastic, unpin, and overlap the ends. Stitch the ends together with a zig zag stitch.
Now straighten out the elastic inside the casing and stitch the casing feed hole closed.
Put your dress back on, inside out. Mark underneath your bust with chalk. Take your dress off and mark a straight line across the front of the dress where you made your bust mark. Flip the dress over and continue the line from the front all the way across the back of the dress.
Stitch your 1/4 inch wide elastic to this line with a zig zag stitch. Make sure you stretch your elastic as you stitch.
Now cut four, 15 inch long pieces of ribbon. These will be your straps.
Put your dress back on inside out (I'm using my wonderful assistant Betty) and pin two straps to the front of the dress.
Now pin two straps to the back of your dress.
Stitch all the straps to the dress.
Stitch lace or eyelet to the interior bottom hem of the dress, and tie your straps into cute little bows.
Now go put your super cute dress on and go bask in the beautiful summer sun.