How to Turn a Dress Into a Skirt and Top in 4 Simple Steps

Pam Oduor
by Pam Oduor
6 Materials
2 Hours

I have an off-shoulder dress with an elastic waist that I don’t wear anymore. So, I’ve created this tutorial to show you how to turn a dress into a two-piece skirt and top set.

If you don’t have a dress sitting around to use, you can pick one up at a thrift store. This DIY skirt and top are really quite simple, so let’s just get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Off-shoulder elastic-waist dress
  • 1-inch-wide sewing elastic
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
How to make a dress into a two-piece set

1. Make the top

Cut the dress about 1½ inches below the elastic waistband. 

Finished DIY top

Turn up the bottom twice and sew the hem. That’s your top!

Dress to skirt and top

2. Finish the top edge of the skirt

Trim the top of the dress bottom piece to make sure the edge is even all around. 

Turning in the top edge

Turn in the top edge just enough to sew it in place.

How to make a dress into a skirt and top

3. Make an elastic waistband

With the skirt inside out, mark 3½ inches from the top edge all the way around the skirt. 

Pinning the elastic waistband

Now, fold and pin the top edge of the skirt down to the 3½-inch mark. 

Positioning the elastic

Position your 1-inch waistband elastic just above the skirt top-edge seam. Notice that there is extra fabric above the waistband elastic. 

Mark about a quarter-inch above the elastic all around the waist. Then sew the casing first on the upper line you just marked, and then right along the stitch line you created in Step 2.

Remember to leave a gap on the lower row of stitches to insert the elastic. 

Finished elastic casing

Here is the finished casing.

Inserting the elastic into the casing

Insert the elastic in the casing. Attach the ends, trim off excess elastic, and sew the gap in the casing closed.

Lining the skirt

4. Line the skirt

Cut your lining fabric to fit the skirt and pin it to the inside of the skirt with the top of the lining 

With the wrong sides together, attach the lining to the small seam allowance at the bottom of the waistband so that the top raw edge of the lining is hidden under the seam allowance. 

Hem the lining so it is shorter than the skirt.

How to turn a dress into a skirt and top

How to turn a dress into a skirt and top

Here’s the finished dress to skirt and top makeover and it couldn’t have been much simpler to make. Try it yourself and enjoy wearing this two-piece set all summer!

Leave me a comment to let me know how it turned out for you.

Suggested materials:
  • Off-shoulder elastic-waist dress
  • 1-inch-wide sewing elastic
  • Scissors
See all materials

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