Subscribe to updates via email!

Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY

An Overdyed Polka Dot Dress Refashion
Vintage Hawaiian Muumuu Refashion

When looking through my closet the other day, I noticed I had tons of dresses, but somehow very few skirts!

How did this happen? And how do I remedy the situation?

Wait! I know! How ’bout an easy Dress to Skirt Refashion?

This refashion is super easy, friends. All it takes is a dress, some elastic, and less than an hour of your time (if you stop for a quick snack, which I did).

Step 1: Pick your dress!

Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY Before
I choose you!

You don’t want your dress to be too big for you for this one. The dress I chose is teetering on the edge being not ideal for this refashion, as the top of your skirt can end up looking bulky if there’s too much excess fabric.

Step 2: Chop that top!

Remove the top of the dress from the bottom, but leave enough to make a waistband of your desired width. Keep in mind you’re going to be folding this over once to make your waistband, so don’t be stingy!

removing top of dress

I knew I wanted my skirt to be high waisted with a top ruffle, so I left a good bit of room.

Step 3: Fold & Pin!

Now, turn your skirt inside-out and pin the top of the waistband over. Pin as close to the skirt of the original dress as possible.

fold and pin waistband of skirt

Step 4: Stitch it down (but leave a small gap)!

Run this through your sewing machine, keeping as clllllose to that orignal skirt seam as possible.

Make sure to leave about a 1.5″ gap between your starting and ending points, as this is where you’ll be threading your elastic!

stitching casing for elastic

Step 5: Pin the top of casing to make a ruffle!

Pin the top of the casing for whatever size ruffle you’d like to have on your skirt.

pinning casing for ruffle
Just make sure you leave enough room for the elastic on the bottom!

Step 6: Stitch the top part of your casing down!

Just a simple straight stitch along your pinned line will do!

sewing down top part of casing
Future ruffle in progress! Also, that’s paint on my hand from another project! 😉

Step 7: Thread the elastic through!

I have this mondo huge roll of elastic in my stash that I used for this project.

roll of elastic
If you’re going to stretch, stretch rite!

Wrap the elastic around your waist and decided how tight you want it to be. Add a tiny bit to that length (for a seam allowance), and then cut it off!

cut elastic for dress waistband
You will be my waist!

Add a safety pin to one end of the elastic…

safety pin for threading elastic through skirt waistband
Safety first!

…then thread it through!

threading elastic through skirt waistband
In ya go!

Once you’ve reached the other side, just stitch those two ends together!

stitching ends of elastic together
A tiny whirrr!

Sew off the gap you left to add the elastic with and you’re almost done!

Step 8: Press that top ruffle

You really want the top of your ruffle to have a nice sharp crease, so make sure to press it down!

pressing top ruffle of elastic waist skirt
A most pressing matter

Check out my new DIY elastic-waist skirt now!

Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY after
All done!

This skirt would look MUCH better with a fuchsia top, but alas! I don’t own one (yet!).

Here’s what my new skirt looks like up close!

Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY after closeup
Cute, huh?

I was even able to keep those pockets!!!

Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY pockets
Thanks! It has pocketssss!

This is a great beginner project if you’re wanting to begin refashioning, but aren’t quite sure where to start. Just thrift a dress that kind of fits on the bottom in a print you like, and go to town!


Refashionista Dress to Elastic Waist Skirt DIY Before and After
An Overdyed Polka Dot Dress Refashion
Vintage Hawaiian Muumuu Refashion