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• • • • •
Time
2h00

An easy (and adorable) way to recycle that old skirt you never wear!
This DIY was inspired by the abundance of rarely worn maxi-length skirts I have in my wardrobe. I wanted to get some more wear out of said skirts, so I came up with a way of transforming them into something even better - a brand new dress! With a design heavily inspired by '60s-style pinafore dresses à la Mary Quant, this DIY takes little skill to make but looks just like something you'd find on the rack at your local vintage shop.

Posted by Self-Constructed Freak from Madison, Wisconsin, United States • Published See Self-Constructed Freak's 9 projects »
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  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 1
    Step 1

    ~Step One - cutting out the dress pieces~

    The skirt:

    Determine how long you want the skirt part of your finished dress to be. An easy way to do this is to find a skirt in your closet that’s the right length and measure that, then add an inch for the hem. Mark that length on the skirt you’re working on (starting from the top of the skirt) with a sewing pin, then sketch out a line with your marker or chalk where the hem will be and cut along that line.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 2
    Step 2

    The fabric that’s left over after you’ve cut out your skirt will become the top part of your pinafore—the bib and straps.

    Make two measurements: (1) across your chest, as wide as you want the bib to be; and (2) from the top of the bib to your natural waistline. (I wanted my bib to hit about an inch and a half below my collarbones, so I started my measurement there.) Add half an inch to both numbers for seam allowance, then measure and sketch out a bib on your fabric. (I made mine in a sort of trapezoidal shape, but you can use any shape you want, like a circle, a square, or even a heart! Repeat this step so you’ve got two identical pieces for the bib.

    For our straps we'll need to sketch out two skinny rectangular pieces, allowing half an inch length- and widthwise for seam allowance (mine ended up being three inches wide and 25 inches long, but yours may vary depending on the length of your torso and your personal preference).

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 3
    Step 3

    Lay the two bib pieces one on top of the other, with the “outside” sides of the fabric touching, and pin the tops and sides together.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 4
    Step 4

    Fold the straps in half, widthwise, and pin the raw edges together along the entire length of each strap, so you end up with two “tubes” of fabric.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 5
    Step 5

    Sew the bib and strap pieces alongside the pins, about half an inch from the edges, using a straight stitch. Remember to leave the bottom of the bib, and the ends of the straps, open so you’ll be able to turn the pieces right side out!

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 6
    Step 6

    Trim the edges of the three pieces, about ½ inch from the stitches you just made.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 7
    Step 7

    Turn the bib and straps right side out and press them with an iron.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 8
    Step 8

    Next we'll need to attach the suspender clips to our straps.

    Stick a pin into each strap, one inch from the end. Lay out the straps and place a clip (“wrong” side up) at the pinned end of each one. Weave the ends of the straps through the clips, and fold them over so the ends line up with the pins. Sew across each of these little ends to close the loops you just made.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 9
    Step 9

    Now we're (finally) going to begin assembling the dress!

    Fold the skirt and the bib in half widthwise, mark the fold on each with a pin, then unfold them.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 10
    Step 10

    Flip down the top edge of the skirt at the seam you made earlier, then lay out your the skirt and bib the way they’ll look when the dress is done, with the bib on top of the skirt, their edges flush against each other. Be sure to line up the pins you just stuck in them.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 11
    Step 11

    Flip the waistband back up and pin it to the bib. Sew the whole thing in place along the top edge of the waistband.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 12
    Step 12

    Flip the skirt over to the back side and mark two spots with pins, at least three inches from the sides of the waistband. This is where your straps will go.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 13
    Step 13

    Place the clipless ends of the straps on top of the inner waistband of the skirt, right where those pins are. Pin, then sew, the straps in place.

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 14
    Step 14

    Just one step for this last part! Hem the bottom edge of your skirt however you like—I suggest going with a double-fold hem because it’s quick and easy, and the sooner you get this skirt hemmed the sooner you can wear it out!

  • How to make a pinafore dress. Skirt To Pinafore Dress ~Transformation~ - Step 15
    Step 15

    And you're done! Pair your new dress with a cute collared blouse or sweater top for maximum Quant vibes. ♥

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