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Saturday, May 19, 2012

sewing saturday! creating a co-ord playsuit from a maxi dress

sewing saturday - two piece playset

Sewing Saturday! Lately, I've been scouring shops like Topshop for two piece coordinates until I realized that I had a great resource to create my own - a maxi dress. It has enough fabric to create two matching separates, plus its bodice functions as a top already made for you - with room to add your own spin. So for this week, I've decided to share how to rework a thrifted maxi dress to create a two piece matching play set.

To make a skirt and top from a maxi, you need two simple ingredients.. a maxi dress that has an abundance of fabric with a loose, preferably a-line skirt, and enough 1 inch thick elastic to fit around your waist (plus an inch or two for ease). Stay away from maxis with a long zipper in the back, unless you want to replace it with a shorter one - I suggest a pullover maxi or button-up (front or back should work). I thrifted this dress from a Goodwill outlet earlier in the week for less than a dollar (I think 80 cents was the grand total?), and it was exactly what I was looking for.

To begin, cut your two pieces. Start by cutting the bodice, allowing enough length to hit the very top of your hips when worn (this allows you to adjust as necessary later on). Then, cut at the very bottom of the dress for your skirt, seeing the hem of the dress as the hem of your new skirt. I wanted a high waisted skirt that was about 16 inches in final length, so I cut 18 total inches to allow for extra when sewing in the waistband.

sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset

Start and finish the skirt. I pressed an inch and a quarter inward at the top of the skirt, then sewed it in place (leaving a gap to feed the elastic in). I slipped the elastic through using a safety pin to pull it through, then secured/sewed it all shut.

sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset

Now that the simple skirt is finished, time to tackle the top. There are many ways to do this - one being if you want to keep things really simple, just hem the top and keep it short and loose. I wanted a fitted top, so I went with another way.

First thing - alter the armholes. My dress was too large, especially in the armholes, so I took them in by turning the blouse inside-out, folding at the side seam and sewing a diagonal line from the armhole (by how much you want to take in) to the bottom edge. I actually took in less than is shown in the photo - about an inch and a half on each side, gradually decreasing it to nothing by the bottom edge.

Then, I unbuttoned and flattened the blouse to trim three inches from the center front, tapering it to nothing at the side seams. I flattened the blouse back and measured the center point about three inches from the bottom, then cut out a triangle to form the future ties. I tied the back to see if the ties were long enough and adjusted accordingly til they tied right (really technical.. sorry for my vague trial and error DIY techniques).

sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset
sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset

I then hemmed the bottom edge of the top, and the set was done!

sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset

sewing saturday - two piece playset sewing saturday - two piece playset
sewing saturday - two piece playset

A great summer DIY for someone trying out sewing for the first time! Maxi dresses are in abundance at your local thrift store and this project allows a lot of room for different styles.. for instance, you can easily make a pair of shorts rather than a skirt, or shorten the top more and add elastic to the bottom hem for a beach ensemble. Or add cutouts, if you like, or make the top tie in the front if it's a button-up like this one. Total cost of project (less than a yard of 1 inch thick elastic, one thrifted maxi dress) was less than 2 dollars, so that's nice. Happy weekend!

23 comments:

  1. Totally doing this. It's adorable!
    -Brittany

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  2. The most brilliant idea I've seen in a while!

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  3. This is incredible, what a clever idea! I'm going to have to give this a go.

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  4. Brilliant DIY, hun. Now only if I had the stomach to sport such a fun look. You look fabulous. :)

    xx Love & Aloha
    http://elisharon.blogspot.com

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  5. This is such an amazing idea that I would never have thought of! Love the little touches like the tie at the back x

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  6. WOW Its absolutely beautiful :) I admire you!!

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  7. LAUREN! This is SO CUTE. I wish I was a better seamstress so I could do something like this. Probably one of my favorite craft projects of yours :)

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  8. It's a really good idea! The original dress was nice, but know is much better! I'm going to do something similar with a silk patterned dress I have. It's my grandmother's, and it's not bad, but I know if I don't make something different with it I won't wear it more than twice. By the way, I love the back's lace, it's so cute!

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  9. I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing!


    Moments of Eternity

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  10. this is very cute! I will definitely give it a try!

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  11. Brilliant idea! It turned out beautifully :)

    thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

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  12. So cute, Lauren! It came out beautifully :) I wish I had your sewing skills.

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  13. I want to do this so badly! It turned out absolutely adorable. I really love the idea of being able to wear it together or separately. I need to thrift a dress to do this to. Fantastic DIY post!

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  14. Such a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing!

    xo

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  15. This is such a great look! Thanks for the idea and the instructions :)

    Yellow Elephant Clothing

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  16. I am SO excited to see this DIY, it has to be the best one I have ever come across! I got a sewing machine for Christmas so I am still definitely a novice but I really think I could do this! Also, I never knew how to make a skirt and you simplified it so well! I am sorry to gush, I am just super excited! Just found your shop through your giveaway on Hannah and Landon (I am also Hannah!) Just wanted to let you know you definitely have a new fan!
    Hope you're having a lovely day
    xo Hannah
    thebraidedbandit.blogspot.com
    thebraidedbandit.etsy.com

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  17. SUCH A GREAT DIY! I love the end result! and the collar on that dress is gorgeous!

    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

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  18. This is sooooooooooooooooooo awesome!!!
    Im gonna sooo try this ^.^

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  19. Wow, I am SO impressed by this! Esp what you did by taking in the top so much & that adorable bow back, you look soo adorable! I feel like I was doing "ok, ok, I can do that..." until the top haha. What a steal on that dress too.
    http://dusanabotswana.com/

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  20. This is so brilliant.. love this.. wanna try this.. :)

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  21. Wow. Brilliant job. I have a maxi dress I was trying to figure out what to do with and now I do! Yayy!

    dewlionheart.com

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  22. This is so cute. My favorite thing about your DIY's is that you never over do it. A lot of DIYers can get carried away with the scissors. This is so great though and is so flattering on your figure!!

    -Sam
    styleboner.blogspot.com

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