Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: A Convertible Skirt

Have you ever heard of a convertible skirt? It's a skirt that doubles as a strapless dress. The waistband is like a yoga pants waistband that folds over as a skirt, and then you unfold it and pull it up higher if you want to wear it as a strapless dress!

I've been wanting to try one for a while, and when I saw this gorgeous rayon knit at Fabric Mart last month, I decided it would be perfect for this project.  Here is it is as the dress on my dress form:



And here it is as a skirt on me!



The pattern is New Look 6379. It is a super easy pattern with just two pieces for the skirt- the waistband and the skirt itself. You can make the skirt straight or with the handkerchief hem, and I decided to try the handkerchief hem to have fun with the stripe of the knit. The rayon knit is very stretchy, so I did need to cut a couple sizes smaller than normal.



There is elastic in the waist, near the bottom where the skirt attaches to the waistband. This helps to secure it as a skirt, but does nothing to secure it as the dress bodice! I'm pretty sure that if I wore this as a dress, I would be constantly worried that it would be falling down. So, if you try this pattern as a dress, I'd recommend sticking with a fabric that has a high lycra content, and great bounceback- something like a swimwear or active wear fabric might be a better choice!

The hem looks complicated, but it really is all just straight lines that when hanging down, form this unusual hemline.  Here you can see a little more of what the skirt piece shape is:

But left to hang loose, it looks like this from the side:



I knew that I wanted to wear this with a black tank top, and found this pretty pattern in my Burda magazine from July of 2007. If you have this issue, check it out! It's a fun tank with a twist. I made it using a jet black rayon jersey from Fabric Mart also. I also made a white tank version, but it looked a little too pajama like, and I decided that I liked the black version much better.



The construction is very clever. The front has very long straps that you knot and then attach to the back.  You cut a second front piece that ends just below the bust, and this serves as a facing for the strap, neckline and armhole area of the front. Really, really fun to sew!



I did not hem the skirt.  With knits that don't ravel, hemming is completely optional. I think that the raw edge is a more modern finish, and goes well with the abstract art fabric design.  You can kind of see the stripe more clearly in the sitting pose here. 




Have you tried making a convertible skirt pattern? Although I probably won't be wearing this as the dress, I really do like it as a skirt, and will be making more! It's super quick and easy, and great for a skirt with a little something different.



Happy sewing!



Ann

Comments

  1. Looks great! Perfect for hot summer days

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey there! Cute skirt/dress! Suits you beautifully. Off the top of my head, I'm just wondering how complicated it might be to add a casing for some 3/8" elastic to the top edge of the "dress" to help keep it in place? If you made the elastic the same length as the hips/waist area that it folds to, and zigzag it in place all around, it shouldn't bunch up when worn as a skirt, and most women have a larger high bust measurement than their waist and hips anyway, which should give you the "oomph" you're looking for. I'll be making one soonish, and I'll be trying that (I'll also need to double the width of the waistband so that the seam actually gets to the empire line on me as a dress) as well as adding buttonholes or twill tape loops for buttons or hooks on straps that I'll need to add for stability and bra coverage when I wear it as a dress, since strapless anything for me is never a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nickie,
      Thank you for your idea. My high bust is 2" smaller than my upper hip measurement where that would hit if folded over, so I think that adding an elastic band there would not work for me personally. I do agree though that if your upper bust was larger, that would be a great idea! I like the idea of the twill tape loops for buttons too. Good luck on your version!

      Delete
  3. I don't know how I missed this fabric on the website since I look at it everyday! I would have bought some! Love the skirt/dress and the top. I'm not usually a fan of the handkerchief hem, but it is seriously stunning on this piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This fabric didn't last very long at all, popular!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made by a Fabricista: Spring is for Shirtdress

I love shirt dresses! My pattern collection reflects this (I may or may not have eight shirt dress patterns) but somehow my closet does not. I have just two DIY shirt dresses (Mimi G's Katie dress and Simplicity 8546) and maybe two RTW versions. So it's high time that I added some to my wardrobe.


This polyester blouse weight twill by Milly has the perfect weight and drape for a relaxed shirt dress. If you prefer a more structured look, stick to a cotton shirting or light weight sateen. I loved this fabric and print so much that I grabbed both colorways. Unfortunately this fabric is sold out, but you can browse other shirtings and blouse weight fabrics here.


This fabric has a somewhat slinky feel, but isn't truly slippery. There's also a slight sheen without being shiny like a satin. It was easy to cut and sew, but I did get a few snags when pinning so make sure you use sharp pins and a fresh machine needle. I serged my pieces before assembling the pattern because as m…

Fabricista Guest Post: "Julie's Picks" Goes to the Opera

Hello, fellow fabric enthusiasts and sewers alike ! My name is Mary Martha and I am thrilled to be presenting a guest post for Fabric Mart's Fabricista blog. As a bit of background, I fell madly in love with opera in 2015 when I attended my first performance in a movie theater as part of the Metropolitan Opera's "Live in HD" simulcasts, which projects live staged operas in New York City into cinemas worldwide via satellite. (They're fantastic !) Since the start, I have dressed the part of the characters when attending these performances, beginning with outfits fashioned from scarves and skirts in my mother's closet to more ornate costumes. It was during this time that I taught myself to sew using a sewing machine and I haven't looked back ─ my life was changed forever !
In December 2018, I subscribed to Julie's Picks swatch club as an educational experience: I wanted to expand my knowledge of different fabrics besides the typical polyester satins I h…