I bought this top a few years ago – I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous floral pattern! I know it looks like a dress, but it really is far too short for that…! Anyway, more recently it hasn’t fit on the top half, but I was convinced that if I had the courage to do it, the bottom half would fit if I turned it into a skirt. After such a long time of wondering about it (and some inspiration from Dawn O’Porter’s tv programme, ‘This Old Thing’) I decided to give it a go.
As you can see, the top has a band just under the chest with little buttons to fasten it. I decided to unpick just above the band, so that I could use it for a waistband on the skirt and leave the ties attached at the back. There is a piece of elastic sewn into the back too, and I wanted to leave it in so that I wouldn’t have to insert a zip.
I unpicked the fabric at the front and then cut away the back piece, just a little higher than the elastic. I was so pleased with how it looked – and it fit as well! After faffing about trying to work out how to neaten the top edges without losing most of the waistband, I had a rummage in my craft supplies and found some lovely ribbon that would cover it up and compliment the fabric really well. But – disaster! I was about an inch short of what I needed! It made me think of that bit in West Side Story in the dress shop: “How much can one little inch do?” A lot, when you’re an inch short! How frustrating!
So I had to put it to one side for the evening to be picked up another day… When I started work on it again after buying some more ribbon (I got a 5 metre roll, just to be sure!) I pinned one side of the ribbon to the front of the skirt. I had to get rid of the top button to be able to make sure that the front was level with the back, and then I stitched along the edge. It was really tough doing this around the back with the elastic (which explains why there are no photos of this bit!). I’ve never done it before so was making it up as I went along really, trying to keep it stretched out as I stitched. To finish the other side, I handstitched catching the skirt fabric but not the front side of the ribbon.
Ta-dah! My ill-fitting top has now become a skirt, perfect for these long summer days that we’re enjoying at the moment.
This is the back – I’m pleased that I kept the ties!
Having done this alteration I’ll definitely be more confident at doing another – it’s one of those things that I really didn’t want to ruin this top! But I didn’t, hooray! 🙂 So if you’re like me and you’ve been putting off an alteration for ages, give it a go!