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Easy maxi skirt upcycle

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upcycling refashioning maxiskirt dress

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I want to catch you up on some of the things I’ve been sewing in the intervening months. The first one is this new maxi skirt that I made this summer! Of course, when I say “new,” I mean something new refashioned from something old. If you know me, you know that I never like to toss an old piece of clothing if it has potential left.

dress refashion


This dress from H&M, which I purchased in 2005, has its flaws, so it hasn’t been out of the closet in years.  I just couldn’t bear to toss it though, because I like the color and love the mix of prints used – each tier has a different floral pattern. I think this is made of  four different fabrics in total. Finding such well-matched fabrics like this to make a skirt from scratch would be pretty much impossible, and I certainly didn’t want them to go to waste.

Luckily, inspiration for a quick refashion was not hard to come by. The skirt portion is just begging to be chopped off and made into a maxi skirt.

sew maxi skirt from old dress

Cutting off the bodice and adding an elastic casing at the waistband was a snap. But even wit the top of the skirt sitting at my hips, the hem was a couple inches too short. However, under the dress was a lining with a ruffle around the bottom that matches the outer fabric. I removed this and added it to the bottom of the skirt. Seam-ripping it off was by far the most time-consuming part of the project!

To add more texture, I broomstick pleated the skirt. I feel like the deep textured folds have a very  statuesque effect.

dress refashion upcycling

This has turned out to be a very full skirt – much fuller than most tiered skirts I see! It has already become a favorite of mine. I’ve been wearing it especially often now that I’ve figured out how to pull it up so I can bike with it. My bike is my favorite mode of transportation in warm weather, so this is important! I’ve put together a quick tutorial on how to do this, as it took me a lot of fiddling to figure out and I thought I could save you some trouble.

Of course, a full skirt begs for lots of twirling and posing.  And I just can’t resist that!

upcycling refashioning maxiskirt dress

Do you have any projects you’ve made from old dresses? Or some good ideas for how to get more use out of something that’s too small or out of season? Tell me about them in the comments – I’m always looking for inspiration!


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