Oversized House Dress Refashion


I used every spare minute before Sewing Summit to refashion pieces I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. Gosh, I think I’ve had this number for at least 8 months. If I remember correctly, I got this at Savers in Phoenix for something like $6.

I didn’t like the shape, red details or the fit. I did like the circle skirt & checked pattern, but that was about it. When I looked at it I knew I wanted to refashion it, but I originally thought that I needed to just update the sleeves, fit & neckline to something a little more modern. Last week it hit like a ton of bricks: it needs to be a midi skirt instead. Once I decided on that my work refashioning this little number took about 30 minutes. Lickety split, eh?

I just cut out the skirt just below the waistline and attached elastic to the waist, using leftover elastic from my leather belt project*. Just to break it down, here’s what I did:

  • measured my waist with the elastic
  • cut out elastic & sewed ends together
  • divided elastic & skirt waist into fourths & pinned together
  • pinned elastic wrong side out to outside of the skirt which was right side out
  • evenly pinned gaps of skirt every 2-3 inches along elastic
  • stretched elastic to match up with skirt waist as I sewed my longest straight stitch
  • ironed & wore

I think it’s a big improvement on the original & I love that I now own a midi-length skirt! I’m just over the moon that they’re super hot this fall. The above outfit is what I wore during my Refashioning class at Sewing Summit. The class went really well, too! We had a great time making fun of the gross things you can find at thrift stores. See outfit details here.

*Elastic provided by rufflefabric.com

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    1. Lisa says:

      This may be the best before photo ever featured on this blog. Awesome.

    2. Amy says:

      Oh WOW!!! That polka dot little number just ties the whole thing together so perfectly! i love the vintage-y-ness of it. It’s adorable!! Great job.

    3. Katie says:

      And it’s even cuter in person! The before pic is hilarious. Love it!

    4. Virginia says:

      super cute!

    5. Allison says:

      you’re awesome

    6. bmerry says:

      Fabulous. I have so many things to work on…

    7. Katie says:

      The difference between the dress and the skirt is about 50 lbs.

    8. moxiemandie says:

      holy smokes lady! that’s great!

    9. Melissa says:

      Thank you SO much, ladies! I’m right there with you, @KATIE – the dress really made me feel 50lbs heavier.

    10. Gabrielle says:

      what a great idea!! that’s what i need to figure out how to do with one of my dresses honestly (please grant me with your sewing skills)

    11. marissa says:

      you’re a genius!

    12. Libby K says:

      you’re a genius. it’s true.

      and paired with the polka dot number-really great. also-your hair looks so cute like that.

      apparently, i’d like to be the president of your fan club!

    13. erin says:

      this outfit is gorgeous on you! i really love your t-strap shoes too!

    14. Sadie Fox says:

      I love this! You are so crazy cute! I love your style and you have mad sewing skills!

    15. phil says:

      amazing !!!!! :-)

    16. kate says:

      great refashion! i have a similar dress to the before picture, but I’m not sure what to do with it yet!

    17. Wendy says:

      Fantastic job on the refashioning! I LOVE how this came out :)

    18. Natalie says:

      That turned out really cute! I love it! :)

    19. […] I seriously love the way Melissa refashions clothes! This house-dress turned skirt is […]

    20. Eva says:

      it’s incredible how much the fit changes the way your body looks! just goes to show how important it is to have clothes that fit. love this refashioning.

    21. Nyah says:

      Barefoot’s fine with me. What you created here though is great. Retake the last two photos but without shoes, for the best result all-around.

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