How to Style a Skirt as a Dress

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Get twice as much wear from the same piece by styling a long skirt as a dress. With very little sewing and a bit of imagination, you can transform an already beautiful piece of clothing into something completely different. When the mood (or cold weather) strikes, you can convert it back to a skirt and wear it as originally intended.

Before and after photo of the skirt and dress.
Before and after photo of the skirt and dress. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Long skirt with an elastic waistband
  • All-purpose, sharp, medium-length hand sewing needle 
  • Invisible or coordinating thread
  • Skinny belt
Before picture of the skirt.
Before picture of the skirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Tip

  • This will also work with a skirt that zips or buttons, if the waistband fits snugly around your chest.

Slit in the side of the skirt.
Slit in the side of the skirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Tip

  • If there are slits in the sides of your skirt and they are too high, you'll want to sew part of the slit so it will be appropriate when you turn it into a dress.

Step 1

Thread a hand sewing needle with coordinating or invisible thread. Tie a knot in the end.

Thread a needle with invisible thread.
Thread a needle with invisible thread. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Tip

  • Keep a spool or two of invisible thread in your sewing room just in case you don't have the exact color thread. Invisible thread will go with anything and it could save you an extra trip to the store.

Step 2

Use a blind ladder stitch to close up the top half of the side slits.

Use a blind ladder stitch to close part of the slit.
Use a blind ladder stitch to close part of the slit. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3

Put the skirt on and pull the waistband up above your chest. Fasten a skinny belt snugly around your waist.

Fasten a skinny belt around your waist.
Fasten a skinny belt around your waist. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4

Pull the fabric near the belt up and over the belt, and adjust the fabric so you can't see the belt in the front or back.

Pull the skirt fabric up and over the belt.
Pull the skirt fabric up and over the belt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5

Pair your new dress with a lacy cardigan, throw on some strappy sandals, and enjoy your new summer dress, knowing that when the weather turns cold again, you will still have a long skirt to wear.

After photos of the dress.
After photos of the dress. (Image: Beth Huntington)
After photo of the dress.
After photo of the dress. (Image: Beth Huntington)
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