Refashion / Sew

Dress to Cardigan + Skirt

Another vintage Canadian find from the thrift store:




Initially, my plan was to take it in and bring up the pleated section to my waist….however, my genius cousin Vanessa had a far superior idea! She suggested splitting up top/bottom sections and making two difference garments. I took her advice and got to it:


Separation time!

Would I be able to pull off the top section as a “cardigan”? I hemmed and hawed, and eventually decided that yes, it would become a cardigan. I liked the oversized fit and the sleeves. All I had to do was zigzag the raw edge to prevent fraying and hem it. I got to keep the cute pockets, too!



I hemmed as little as possible because I wanted to keep the length.


It’s a tiny tiny hem

I’ll save the cardi reveal for the end of the post.

Up next was working on the pleated section. I put the pleated section around my waist, guestimated how much fabric I would need, and chopped off the excess. I zigzagged and hemmed the remaining fabric above the pleated section to become the “wasitband”. THEN it dawned upon me….I made it form fitting to my waist, so that meant I would have to put in a….ZIPPER! This fabric would not stretch one bit, so I had no choice but to end the zipper installation procrastination. I followed my sewing machine’s instructions (mostly, I think?) and it wasn’t a total disaster. But it wasn’t pretty either!


This was so confusing in the process!!!

As you can see, the sections above and below the zipper are open.


First timer mistakes

I “fixed” the top with a button, and the bottom with a few stitches. And it ended up not looking TOO bad. I was lucky the pleats covered up my errors nicely!

As I was perusing my refashion closet, I spot a forgotten thrifted cotton white tiered skirt and an idea popped into my head– how about layering this skirt with the one I had just refashioned? I pulled up two tiers of the skirt and sewed it down (without cutting out any fabric), so that the white skirt would stick out a little bit beyond the pleated skirt. Plus there was a bonus addition of volume! Somewhat of a tutu effect- you’ll see.


Annnnnd dun dun dun….here are the final products:




IMG_3001IMG_2998  IMG_3004


My apologies for the lack of photo croppage. I just upgraded my apple software to Yosemite and my photo app (no longer iPhoto, how strange!) is being difficult.

Semi acceptable photos aside, I was quite happy with how this refash turned out. AND impressed that I installed a functioning zipper for the first time ever.


9 thoughts on “Dress to Cardigan + Skirt

  1. I am happy my suggestion worked! I think it is much better in pieces because the pattern is less overwhelming! I really really love the skirt! Especially with the other skirt underneath! So so cute!


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