Upcycle your old dress into a stylish two-piece set

On this episode of In The Know: Upcycled, style icon and DIY fashion expert Wandy the Maker (@wandythemaker) reveals how to transform an old dress into a trendy matching two-piece shirt and skirt set. Spoiler alert: It’s easier than you think!

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Cut Your Dress

Start your dress transformation by laying your dress out on a flat surface or sewing table. Then, use chalk to mark where you plan to cut the dress. You can cut wherever you like, depending on how short or long you want the top and bottom of your two-piece outfit to be. Next, use a ruler to line up your chalk markings and make sure they run in a straight line across the dress, then use a rotary cutter to make a clean cut. 

Step 2: Hem your dress

Grab your sewing machine and start hemming! First, grab the top piece of your two-piece set and fold the bottom of the shirt down to create a hem. Use sewing pins to keep the fabric in place, then use your sewing machine to sew the hem, employing a zigzag stitch. Repeat this process for the bottom piece of your two-piece set, folding down the upper edge to create a waistband. This time, however, instead of closing the hem entirely, leave a two-inch opening to feed your elastic through.

Step 3: Add your elastic waistband

This step isn’t mandatory, but if you’re planning on wearing the skirt above your waist, Wandy recommends it! Cut a piece of elastic that is one or two inches shorter than your usual waist measurement, then feed it through the two-inch opening in your skirt’s waistband. Next, use a sewing pin to pull it all the way through the skirt. Finally, use your sewing machine to go back and forth over the waistband a few times, then sew the waistband opening shut. 

Step 4: Add your spandex cord

To make your upcycled two-piece extra fancy, add some spandex cord to connect the top and bottom of the outfit. To do this, cut 4 loops from a piece of spandex cord, and sew them onto the top and bottom of your two-piece. Then, use a longer length of spandex cord to attach the two pieces, weaving them through the loops in a crossing pattern. Once your spandex cord is added, your two-piece outfit is ready to wear! 

As Wandy notes, this project is perfect for anyone who is short on time or looking for an easy entry point into the world of upcycling. “I like this project because it’s super simple, and anyone can make it in under an hour,” he explains. “Go ahead and try it at home. Do it your way!”

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