How to Turn a Thrift Store Skirt into a Party Dress
B+C readers, if you haven’t learned by now, I am a huge fan of repurposing thrift store finds. Thrift stores are so cheap and carry items that have so much potential. (And it’s worth noting that they also have a lot of amazing things that don’t need any DIYing.) We came across this basic black maxi skirt and decided to turn it into a maxi dress with a sequin (yas we love sequins!) halter top. I would suggest having a basic knowledge of sewing before tackling this project. You need to know how to take body measurements, sew with elastic and alter a garment for a perfect fit. Remember to share your creations with us using the hashtag #iamcreative.
– black maxi skirt
– sequin fabric
– leather cord
– craft paper
– sewing machine
– fabric scissors and regular scissors
– sewing pins
– measuring tape
– pen and chalk
1. Jot down measurements of the length of your torso, width of your bust, width of your waist and length of an appropriate V-neck.
2. Create a pattern following the picture below.
3. Cut out your pattern and trace onto sequin fabric using chalk. Then cut out the fabric to create your halter top.
4. Fold over the edges of the fabric that will be the top of the halter top (the part that forms the V) and sew in place. Be sure there is enough room to file your leather cord through the folds.
5. Pin the bottom center of the halter top to the center of the waist of the maxi skirt. Stretch the skirt and then let go, allowing the sequin fabric underneath to ripple/pleat. Pin in place.
6. Fold the remaining bottom edge of the sequin halter top around the back of the skirt and pin in place. Our dress has an open back, so these pieces won’t touch in the middle of the backside of the skirt.
7. Sew the fabric onto the skirt by stretching the elastic waist band with your non-dominant hand while you feed the fabric through the machine with your dominant hand.
8. Feed the leather cord through the loops on the top of the halter. Scrunch the sequin fabric along the leather, then sew the leather cord in place.
Fold a piece of craft paper in half to start creating your pattern. Measure the height of your torso, width of your bust, width of your waist and appropriate length for a V-neck. We crafted this piece as a backless halter top, so when measuring our waist we took the measurement from where one “back dimple” would be to the other “back dimple.” This will allow the fabric to wrap around the back without too much side boob ;) Go ahead and jot these down on a piece of paper — you don’t want to forget them!
Start creating your pattern by marking your measured torso length on the folded edge of the paper. Pro tip: Since this paper is folded in half, you will need to divide your waist and chest measurement by two. At the bottom of your torso mark, start the horizontal mark for your waist measurement. Draw in your chest measurement about halfway down your torso measurement. Finally, finish by adding your V-neck measurement on a diagonal, ending near the line of your chest measurement.
Your finished pattern should look similar to this. The top width of the triangle pattern should measure about 2-3 inches. Create the outer edge by drawing a diagonal line that hits all marked measurements. Cut out the pattern and hold it up to your body. Adjust accordingly before moving on to your sequin fabric.
Once you have the perfect pattern, trace it onto the sequin fabric using chalk.
Cut out your piece from the sequin fabric. Save all the sequin clippings for confetti :)
Fold the top edge over, pin and sew to create loops for the halter ties.
Pin the center of the skirt’s waistband to the bottom center of the halter pattern.
Stretch the skirt out to its full potential while it is on top of the sequin fabric.
Let go of the elastic and watch the sequin fabric bunch up. Pin the edge of the skirt to the fabric, leaving the newly formed ripples in place.
Once you’ve pinned the front side in place, fold the rest of the sequin halter top around and onto the back and pin.
Time to sew! You need to stretch the elastic of your skirt with your non-dominant hand while you feed the fabric through with your dominant hand. This will allow the fabric to stretch with the elastic.
Feed the leather cord through the loop on the halter top strap. Bunch the sequin fabric to create ruching and then sew the leather cord in place.
Ahhhh, a sequin maxi dress for all of our sequin dreams.
Bedazzled and ready for NYE :) Add matching metallic accessories to tie the outfit together.
Make sure you try on your dress before the big night and tailor any parts that don’t fit perfectly.
And that’s all, folks! Happy holidays from the B+C gang :)
Don’t forget to share your NYE OOTD with us on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative.
DIY Production and Styling: Kelly Bryden
Photography: Kurt Andre
Modeling: Maddie Bachelder and Anita Yung