Refashion: Monochrome Maxi (inc Tutorial)

I’ve been wanting to try out a maxi skirt for a while. The really gathered ones just don’t suit me. Gathering around the waist in general is a no no for me. (I’m too straight up and down, so any gathering at the waist just makes my waist look thick).  But when I saw this slim fitting jersey maxi dress, I thought it would make a cute skirt….

Nothing really wrong with the dress. But another no no for me are racer backs. I need a bit of “soft scaffolding” to keep my “ladies” sitting where they ought to, and I have a thing about not having my bra straps on show. So I just chopped off the top section and added an elasticated waistband….

Now I know many of you won’t need the full deets on how to add an elasticated waistband, because, well, it’s one of the first and easiest things we learn. But I’m mindful too of the fact that I will occasionally play host to some readers just embarking on their sewing “journey” 😉 So I wanted to document  this process for my archives….because of it’s versatility it kinda HAS to be in there…just in case anyone ever needs it 🙂

Encased Elastic Waistband:

1. If like me, you’re refashioning a dress into a skirt, then start by cutting in a straight line, straight across, and remove the top portion.
2. Turn under and press a 5/8″ hem, (stitch if you like but not necessary) then turn over again, according to the width of your elastic (mine was 1.5″ wide) plus 2-3mm extra. Pin in place.
3. Stitch close to the inner edge, leaving approx 2″ open/unstitched.  I used a stretch stitch because I was working with jersey, If working with a woven fabric, a simple straight stitch will suffice.
4. Put your length of elastic around your waist. Stretch it around until it’s under tension and feels like it would hold your skirt up, but still feels comfortable. Holding it in place with one hand, use a pen to mark on both ends, where you want to join the elastic.

5. Attach a safety pin to one to one end of the elastic
6. Feed the safety pin through the gap you left in the waistband
7. Start feeding the elastic through
8. As you ruche the fabric and pull the elastic through, take care that the elastic doesn’t twist.

9. Keep feeding the elastic through until it comes out the same place you started. Again making sure you don’t twist it.
10. Line up the marks you made earlier
11. with the two ends of elastic overlapped, and the pen lines lined up, stitch and back stitch along these lines
12. Trim the excess elastic close to the stitching and then slip stitch or machine stitch that little opening closed; and it’s done 🙂

Such an easy waistband. Probably the easiest there is; and with so many different applications for all manner of garments whether woven or knit fabric.

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  1. RedSparrow May 9, 2013

    Cute! I’m planning to whip up an aline maxi with a zipper closure today, because the gathered elastic ones just don’t suit me, either. 🙂

  2. kristicraft May 9, 2013

    I LOVE the maxi skirt in such a drapey, fluid fabric! You look very statuesque in it, quite elegant!

    I’m still fairly Noobish, but I’ve never worked with elastic. I jumped right into woven dresses and knit t-shirts haha–elastic scares me. Thanks for this quick tute! =D

  3. Helen Le Caplain May 9, 2013

    Lovely and simple – great little photo tute too!

    You’ll get so much more wear out of it as a skirt than as dress – looks lovely paired with that top 🙂

  4. Marie May 9, 2013

    Very light and summery looking, love the entire outfit! And thank you for sharing the tutorial, we can all do with a refresher now and again!

  5. Lori May 9, 2013

    Perfect refashion.

  6. Nelesc May 9, 2013

    Nice, simple refashion. I love the black top you’re wearing too.

  7. Jacq C May 9, 2013

    Very nice refashion – I agree with you, racer backs are a no go for me too. 🙂

  8. uggysburtnest May 10, 2013

    I like your hair parted this way. God’s grace, peace, light, and love Doreen

  9. Erica Louise May 12, 2013

    Gorgeous print on this skirt. I recently made a dress into a maxi skirt too, using the ‘starboard skirt’ technique of elasticated waist at the back, but front pleat. Here it is if you want to see:

  10. Eddie Roued May 18, 2013

    Simple and elegant repurposing of a dress.

    I also want to add:
    I would be ever so grateful if you would help me build an awesome resource for dress refashions by sharing your favourite dress refashion tutorials here and your fab dress refashions here!

    xx Eddie

    Eddie’s Room on Facebook come over for some crafty ideas and conversation. 🙂

  11. Kathryn May 28, 2013

    This is a great simple re-fashion! Thanks for the inspiration too. I’ve had a t-shirt dress for over a year that was too short for me to wear as a dress, all I needed to do was cut it off at the arms and attach elastic – I now have a lovely new pencil skirt!


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