Vintage Sewing


July 22, 2013

Just a quick question – is it possible to take the bottom half of a dress – add a waistband and create a skirt. – I am looking at butterick 5281 but only have just enough fabric for the bottom half.

  1. As long as the top edge of the skirt is straight, or slightly curved for fit, as they often are, (i.e. it doesn’t have a dip at the front of the bodice or anything) then yes. That pattern looks like it should be fine. You may need to take it in slightly at the waist before you put the waistband on though- fit it before you put the zip and waistband on and take in any excess at the side seams. The fit of the waist on a dress is often looser than that of a skirt.

  2. It should be fine for this one. Maybe do a muslin first to double-check fit since the pattern in dress form doesn’t have a waistband.

    1. Sewing – unfun… never. 🙂
      Is it wierd that i organise sewing nights with the girls – we call them stitch and bitch.

  3. I’ve made this dress, and yes, you could make it a skirt.

    You will definitely need to take it in more at the waist because the belt on this design is what makes the waist fit so the top blouses a bit.

    Measure you pattern pieces (instead of going by the printed size chart) because you might be able to cut it a few sizes smaller than you think.

    1. ha ha no such need with me – I made the dress already and it does not blouse so the sizing is a little small (i would retrace to make the dress but it may mean the skirt is closer to fitting) – thanks for the tip, though it will be useful in double checking.

  4. Definitely! I made Butterick 4790 and the neckline/arms looked weird on me. It also never quite hung right, but I loved the circle skirt look.

    I ended up using just the bottom of the pattern to make circle skirts. I drafted a waist band from Casey’s Elegant Musing’s circle skirt sew along. Also, I love the print on my original dress so much (cherries and polka dots!) that I removed it from the bodice and now it is just a circle skirt.

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