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I hate it when I can’t tell if something I own is a dress, or a bathing suit cover up.  Then I realize, no matter what it is… it’s not cute.  Here’s how I turn cheap to chic.

First, I browse my closet for something I never wear.

Old Dress

Easy, I found this dress hidden in the back.  Before DIY-ing or upcycling, I figure why I don’t wear the chosen frock.

  • I think this dress looks like a prisoner costume, and not a cute one.
  • I don’t like the cut of this dress.
  • If it’s even a dress, you can’t wear anything underneath.
  • I’m not feeling the horizontal stripes.

Once I get the hatred out of my system, I think what I could easily turn my choice into.

  • I could easily turn this into a workout tank.
  • A few turban headbands could be made from this.
  • I could ditch the straps, and make a strapless dress.
  • A skirt could be constructed quickly.

I weigh all of my options, and select the best and easiest one.  I thought this would look good as a skirt.  I don’t like too many stripes, and a skirt would allow me to break the stripes up with a solid color.

Upcycle A Dress

After deciding on the skirt, I have to make the cuts.  With this dress, I wanted to leave as much of the fabric intact as possible.  I made one cut directly under the arms, and used the back tie as guide for a straight line.  I always hold onto all of the fabric until I’m completely finished with each piece… you never know what you might need it for.

DIY Skirt

I originally wanted to flip this dress, and use the wide black band at the bottom as the waist for my skirt.  After trying that, I didn’t like the look at all.  Then I wanted to remove the black band completely, but that would leave me with barely enough fabric to make a loincloth… so I had to keep it on.  I didn’t want to add elastic to the waist, because I thought that it could make this fabric tackier than it already is.  I settled for a paper bag like waist.  I turned the skirt inside out and folded the fabric over about 1.5 – 2 inches, then I used liquid stitch to finalize the waist.  I knew I had to cinch the waist with something, so I attempted to make a belt with the leftover fabric.  My belt ended up looking like shit, but I did have enough fabric to make belt loops.  I have a ton of belts, so I figured I could use one of them to add a finished look to the skirt.

When everything dried, I was left with this…

Easy DIY Skirt

Not my fave, but I can definitely werq with it.