From Maxi Dress to Jogger Pants and Crop Top Remake

You know a fashion trend is waning when you see it filling the racks at the thrift store, like this maxi dress. I found this perfectly good maxi dress for $5 and could have worn it as-is, but I felt it deserved a sassy remake into jogger pants and crop top.

The colorful, tribal pattern of the skirt caught my attention. Here’s a close up.

Here’s a step by step tutorial of this nifty DIY project.

Step 1: Chop off the skirt and hem the bodice

I forgot to take a picture of this step, so use your imagination.

Step 2: Trace and cut out jogger pants

For this step, I used the same technique in my frumpy dress to jumpsuit upcycle and used my old pajama bottoms as the pattern for the jogger pants. I isolated the front pattern piece of the bottoms and folded the rest of it out of the way. As I mentioned before in this blog, I’m a lazy sewer and try to keep as many original seams as I can to save time, so I laid the side of the pajama bottom right up to the skirt seam and did not include a seam allowance. Notice how I didn’t align the top of the pj bottoms to the top edge of the skirt? I needed an excess of 2.5″ to fold over to make a casing for the elastic waist. I cut the inside leg and crotch with at 5/8″ seam allowance. Be sure to cut only the top layer of the skirt.

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but I used the bottom of the skirt as the top of my jogger pants. It has a finished hem, which saved me a step in making the elastic waist casing.

For the back, do the same thing – trace the back leg pattern on the other side of the seam. Don’t forget to add 2.5″ at the top.

Once I cut out one leg, I use that as a pattern for the other leg.

Step 3: Sew the pants together

I’m missing pictures for this step because of an unfortunate accident with my phone. Never go to the bathroom with the phone in your back pocket. You guessed it – I dropped my phone in the toilet. I’ll spare you the details because it’s gross and disgusting.

Once again, I’m asking you to use your imagination. With right sides together, sew the inside seam of both legs from bottom to crotch. Turn one leg right side out and slip it inside the other. Match the crotch seams and sew together. Turn the pants right side out.

Step 4: Make casing for elastic waist

To make the casing, fold over the top of the waist 2.5″ and sew the waist, leaving a 1″ gap. Usually you would have to fold the fabric twice – once for a finished edge, and then a second time for the casing. Since I used the finished hem of the skirt, I could skip the first fold.

Thread the 1″ elastic through the 1″ opening of the casing. I used the a safety pin to pull through the elastic and pinned down the other end of the elastic so I wouldn’t lose it in the casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic together, and sew the casing closed.

Step 5: Finish the hem of the pants

Use the same elastic casing method for the hem of the pants. Since I didn’t have a finished hem to work with, I folded the hem 1/4″, and then folded it over 3/4″ for my 1/2″ casing. Sew the casing, leaving a 1″ gap. Thread the elastic through, sew the ends together, and then sew the gap in the casing.

Here I am, modelling the finished product, sucking in my stomach in as hard as I can.

The one thing that bugs me is how the stripes are misaligned on the inside leg. I could have been more careful laying out the fabric.

The jogger pants and crop top were so comfy I was inspired to strike a yoga pose.

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