How to Make a Convertible Dress

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Make a Convertible Dress
Make a dress that can convert into a skirt. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Making a convertible dress means making two items of clothing in one, which can only be a good thing. A wraparound dress will easily convert into a skirt and is a great way to get two looks from one dress. You can alter the dress length to create either a full-length or tea-length skirt. If you're generous with the length of the wraparound portion of the dress, you can make a one-size-fits all convertible dress.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 piece fabric 24-by-70 inches long
  • Sewing machine
  • Chalk
  • 2 pieces fabric, 15-by-70 inches long
  • Pins

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  1. 1

    Fold each short edge of a 24-by-70 inch piece of fabric over into a double 1/2-inch seam, so the raw edge is encased. Top stitch the seam together on a sewing machine. This is the body of the dress.

  2. 2

    Fold a double 1/2-inch hem over on one long side of the fabric piece and machine stitch in place. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and make a mark at the halfway point in chalk on the raw edge of the fabric to denote the centre of the convertible dress.

  3. 3

    Pin two pieces of 15-by-70 inch fabric right-sides together along a short edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, to create a length of material 140 inches for the wraparound waistband of the convertible dress.

  4. 4

    Measure in 1 1/2 inches from each end of the seam and mark a 4-inch-long line. Machine sew the seam together, leaving the 4-inch lines unstitched. When complete, the 4-inch lines will form a gap to help tie the dress.

  5. 5

    Divide your bust measurement into quarters, then make a mark each quarter point on the waistband, with one quarter to the left of the seam and three quarters to the right of the seam. The first quarter point to the right of the seam denotes the centre alignment of the waistband tie.

  6. 6

    Pin the centre point of the dress to the centre alignment point of the waistband tie, right-sides together. Measure 6 inches in from either side of the dress piece of fabric and pin these points to the quarter point to the left of the seam on the waistband and the last quarter point to the right of the seam of the waistband. There will be excess fabric between the centre point of the dress and the side.

  7. 7

    Fold the excess fabric into eight evenly spaced pleats and pin them to the edge of the waistband. Machine stitch the dress to the edge of the waistband with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  8. 8

    Fold all the edges of the waistband over in a 1/2-inch seam and sew down. Fold the entire waistband over width-wise, encasing the raw edges of the pleated dress portion. Top stitch around the entire waistband. When you fold over the waistband, the two 4-inch portions you left unstitched on the waistband seam will align to make the tying gap.

  9. 9

    Wrap the dress around your bust, inserting one end of the waistband through the gap in the tie and then securing in a bow, or wrap the dress around your waist to convert it into a skirt.

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