DIY Summer Maxi Skirt Refashion Tutorial

 I’ve been seeing summer maxi dresses and skirts everywhere!

And I had just the thrift store dress to refashion into one. It was so unflattering in every way except I loved the color and the print.


So I got ruthless with the scissors, first cutting off the top and extra fabric from the sides.  

Next, sew new side seams.

Then, using the fabric cut from the sides, make a new waist band.

With right sides together pin and sew new waistband.

Make a small casing in the top of the waistband.

Thread drawstring through casing, tie to fit and off you go looking good for any summer event.

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Oops how did THAT get in there? 🙂

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
This entry was posted in Crafting, DIY, fabric, Photography, Reconstructed clothing, recycling, Refashioning, Sewing, Thrifting, Tutorial, Upcycled clothes, upcycling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

144 Responses to DIY Summer Maxi Skirt Refashion Tutorial

  1. I’m completley fascinated and mesmerized by your sewing tutorials – even though I can damage a shirt just sewing on a button! This one is just like all the others………fantastic!

  2. Kelly Y. says:

    I love this. Now only if I had your sewing skills. My poor (brand new) sewing machine barely gets any use :(. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • If it makes you feel any better, Kelly, my sewing skills are pretty basic. That’s one reason I love to refashion because most of the time, half the work is done already. 🙂 If you ever try it, I’d love to see your work!
      Have a nice night!

      • Kelly Y. says:

        Thanks Beth! I have sewn a few basic things and they come out ok. I think I need to take the time to learn about my machine and how it works a bit more. Then I may be more daring in trying things. I am going to try to sew some training pants for my daughter in the next couple weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks for the great tutorials.

        • You are so welcome Kelly. I have so much fun sewing and sharing the things I make. I hope you’ll share pictures of your project. I’d love to see them.
          Enjoy your Saturday!

  3. astepabove says:

    I pinned this. You do such a good job!

  4. Lili & Mum's says:

    Love it!

  5. Cathy says:

    You are going to need a whole new closet! I need a sewing machine-any out there somebody is not using?

    • I’m gonna have to move into Cooper’s closet. He won’t mind, he doesn’t need much space. 🙂 Too bad you got rid of your sewing machine. I’d love to see what you would make!

  6. nettie says:

    So cute! That fabric is great!

  7. That is so adorable! I love the outfit! Keep up the good work!

  8. mamacormier says:

    You have a great eye for colour and fashion. Love the green fabric and how you pair it with a green T-shirt and contrast it with a crisp white blouse.

  9. Jeny says:

    Oh yeah! What a beautiful transformation!

  10. That is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love everything about it. 🙂

  11. You are so sweet! Thanks for your kind words!!!!

  12. Marty Frasier says:

    I love it ! So glad you are sewing this weekend. I am wrapping soap for market… my socks are rolling up and down:) also started painting my office…..

    • Thanks Marty! Yes, I had to do something to “make my socks roll up and down” this weekend. 🙂 (A Steveism at it’s finest) Don’t work too hard and I might see you at school sometime this weekend.

  13. blankenmom says:

    Oh so much better – I am so glad you took that poor dress out of it’s misery and made it into something so stinken’ cute! Excellent as usual!

  14. Super skirt, your ideas are totally inspiring, I’m going to get the machine out today!

    • Thanks Angela! When I see something I like, I always think, “I could just make that”. Then the idea takes over my brain until I’ve at least tried to make it. Sometimes, I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse. 🙂 Have a great day and I hope you get to sew!

  15. Once again, amazing!!!!

  16. Laurel says:

    Bravo Beth!! This one & the tshirt are now my two favorites. You have a really great nack for doing this. Great job.

  17. ooobop! says:

    Great skirt Beth. The waistband is really flattering and that colour looks great on you 🙂

    • Thanks Janene! You know I really didn’t wear much green until I started blogging and realized it is a good color for me. Now I just can’t get enough of it!
      Happy sewing!

  18. prttynpnk says:

    Definite upgrade! You’ve taken a saggy thing and given it classic styling and flow. Lovely.

    • Thank you! Wasn’t that saggy area hideous! I can’t believe someone even bought that dress “as is” in the first place. Perhaps the color lured them in as it did me.
      Enjoy your Saturday!

  19. Linda Cooper says:

    I was taught the old school method of sewing, with a paper pattern. I am utterly in awe of how you bravely take off and just start cutting. You make beautiful things from things I would throw away! Keep posting your patterns. I am learning so much.

    • Good Morning Linda!
      I too was taught to sew using a paper pattern and following written instructions. While I sometimes still do that, I was always frustrated by working so hard and ending up with ill fitting clothes. I was actually on a quest to figure out how to alter patterns to fit when I stumbled on refashioning. It’s a learn as you go process and I love not following directions (Oops, did my rebellious streak just show?) 🙂
      As far as the brave part goes, it’s pretty easy to just start cutting when the things I’m cutting up only cost a quarter or two. Not much risk. I hope you try it sometime, but just a little warning: Once you start, you might not be able to stop! 🙂
      Thanks for all your kind words! They really mean a lot!
      Happy Saturday!

  20. Mother Deer says:

    I so enjoy seeing your clothing upgrades and am attracted to the same sort of colors and patterns that you’ve been choosing for your projects. I would be really interested in seeing what you would do to create a top from a dress that is similar to the one in today’s maxi-skirt project. I am constantly finding “interesting yokes and bodices,” but need some inspiration to repurpose them into a wearable top or dress. Any plans for that sort of project?

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas and beautiful finished projects 🙂


    • Hi Janet!
      I know this is going to sound funny, but, to tell the truth, the thrift store clothes usually “tell” me what they want to be in their next life. 🙂 I’ll try to listen for one “telling” me to take it’s top part out of it’s misery and make something new. 🙂 Stay Tuned……
      Happy Memorial Day!

  21. seamsfitting says:

    That is lovely! Far more attractive than the saggy dress! I think I will have to find something similar at my Sally Ann to redo.

  22. Stepping My Way to Bliss says:

    LOVE this! You look awesome.

  23. OMG! I love this skirt! 🙂 I think I have a dress somewhere that can go the same way! 🙂 Thanks so much for all the inspiration I am getting here on your blog! 🙂 I think I will have to stick it in my blogroll 🙂 (I’m already following it)

  24. Reblogged this on katherinehpurdy and commented:
    This is a wonderful idea!

  25. Twilight says:

    Great job. And thanks for doing a tutorial. I’m going to do this when I find the right thrift store dress.

  26. Sharon ت says:

    Love this! You are so inspirational!!

    Sharon @ mrs.hines class

  27. Cara Olsen says:

    You know, if you proclaimed to not only have delivered yourself, but cut your own umbilical cord, I don’t think I would be all that surprised. You’re the epitome of efficient and competent! I so enjoy coming by your page, sifting through your tutorials, whilst knowing I will not likely EVER attempt to master one of these DIY’s myself. LOL. You are gifted, my friend.

    Thinking lots about you this weekend.

  28. Dee says:

    Awesome as usual! You’re a restyler after my own heart! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Lovely skirt remake….wish I was as good as you for adapting clothes! Think i’ll just have to stick to making my cushions!! 🙂

    • Thank you Vicky! I just started the whole refashioning thing last winter. I’m sure having fun with it! I do love to redo cushions and pillows, too, but I wasn’t a blogger back then so I didn’t think to take any pictures. Oh well…
      Enjoy your evening!

  30. Beautiful work! I’ve never refashioned anything (since I don’t know the first thing about sewing), but your skirt sure makes me want to try.

  31. rosyragpatch says:

    I really like this. You have so many good ideas.

  32. amysworlds says:

    Hmmmm I wonder if i could do that with a dress I have?

  33. Sandra says:

    I absolutely love this. Read part of it a few days ago; but didn’t have a chance to respond. I love maxi’s.

  34. Shirsha says:

    Your refashioned skirt looks great! 🙂 Thank you for dropping by my blog. 🙂

  35. Niiiice! And it’s jersey as well, I couldn’t tell when I saw the first couple of pics in Reader..

  36. Love the summer maxi refashion! I will have to try this one when I get some time 🙂

  37. thewifeiam says:

    I like the skirt much better after. Cute summer color. Great job!
    I also love how you write the text on the picture.
    Are you putting these ideas on pinterest? If not that would be a great way to promote your blog.

  38. Hi Skylar,
    Thanks for all of your encouragement!!!! Many of my projects have been pinned on pinterest. So far this skirt has actually been pinned and repinned over 500 times. I get so excited and amazed when people like my stuff.
    Have a great night!

  39. Darling idea! Love the potential you saw in the bargain find.

  40. That was an awesome dress to make into a maxi!! I need to find one of those and make a couple of maxi skirts as I have none so far!

    Thanks for the great tutorial too! Are you going to refashion the beaded neckline into a statement necklace?

    • You are so welcome! I thought about making that into a necklace, but it’s in pretty rough shape. Who knows though, it might just speak to me one of these days.
      Have a great day!

  41. dosayit says:

    Ugh! I have a dress that has a similar “hideous saggy area” as well. Why in the world would they purposefully make something look like that? Least flattering bust EVER. I think I may need to turn mine into a skirt as well, great idea!

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  43. Hannah says:

    Very nice!

  44. Lu says:

    So simple, yet so effective! Great tutorial 🙂
    Off to the thrift/charity shops tomorrow!!

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  47. bcarlouet says:

    What a great idea! I love the results.

  48. Holly says:

    Love your refashions! I want to be your neighbor so I could pick your brain daily! 😉 I am a big girl and hate all the big girl fashions. I also love thrifting and have so many ideas for ‘refashioning’ but can not figure out how to do them. I pinned your bleach pen tee. FUN! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    • Hi Holly,
      Thanks for your visit and your kind words of encouragement! I would love to be your neighbor and help you come up with ideas. There is something so satisfying about refashioning. Not to mention how economical it is. 🙂
      Enjoy the rest of your evening!

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  52. Susan says:

    the skirt refashion is gorgeous

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  55. Lily says:

    Wow, I love that skirt! This makes me want to go to the thrift store and find an ugly dress to turn into something awesome!

  56. Pattie says:

    Love your creativity! Had a questions about the ruffle on the cardigan. Just by increasing the tension and lengthening the stitch this will make it ruffle???? I’ve always wanted to buy a ruffler foot, but will have to give this a try.

  57. phyllis says:

    I’ve been getting thrifted dresses and having my friend shorten them for me.
    Many times they are fifty cents, like you say! SO incredibly fun and rewarding.
    I found you on Pinterest and am blown away by your creativity!!! Can’t wait to show
    my “seamstress” LOL 🙂

    • Thanks, Phyllis! It’s so fun to find things at the thrift stores and make them into something new. I hope you find some good treasures for your seamstress to refashion!
      Have a wonderful day!

  58. Anonymous says:

    I love your DIY for sewing. I vowed to make several of my own pcs this summer, and this is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing. Your skirt from the maxi dress is adorable and so simple. yay, thanks thanks thanks

  59. Melinda says:

    Your tutorials have inspired me to get my sew on… lol. You make it look so easy and most of all like all I need is a dose of common sense. Check…got that. I noticed your double straigt stitch on one of the hems. What kind of machines do you use? Serger, Coverhem machine or just a plain old sewing machine? If you have a post on all of this just point away. Thanks for the inspirationan and sharing!!!

    • Hi Melinda,
      I just use a basic Singer sewing machine for everything I do. Sometimes I use a double needle. I don’t have any posts on that, but I think there are many tutorials out there. Happy sewing!!!!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Hello Beth, I love your remakes. I’m so glad I found you. Awesome”.? I want to add ruffled lace to a half slip so that when I wear it you see it. Have you done anything like this.

  61. I love that first photo of you…you’re beautiful! The skirt is really pretty too.

  62. Lbk says:

    So well done. Love the easy to see photos! Nice use of a really ugly dress. It is probably thanking you now! You are right though, cute pattern!

  63. photosarah says:

    whoa, that saggy area was hideous! so cute now, love the fabric. any plans for the beaded section?

  64. Molly Freyn says:

    I may have to try this! I picked up this peacock feather print dress at Goodwill, but it’s hideous as a dress! I was thinking throw pillows but this looks like more fun!

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  66. Linda Hopkins says:

    Totally CUTE! I’m going to the thrift store tomorrow. Thanks for the fun idea 🙂

  67. Judy says:

    Oh yeah, baby. Sewing is always all about the FIT and the refashioned skirt hugged you like a glove! Great job turning the baggy sack into a stylin skirt.

  68. Your awesome! So creative… Just found you on Pinterest… ;0)

  69. Oh, I just LOVE this! I saw the one on refashion co-op from “Go change your clothes”, and I love hers too. How did you guys both end up with the same dress? She didn’t mention where hers came from, and she had a red one in the picture too, which I really love the color of. I haven’t checked to see whether she’s remade that one yet. You look just great in your new outfit!! Well, I guess it’s 2 years old now, but I’m sure it still looks great! Fran

  70. Sunny says:

    I have a sewing machine……it is somewhere on the property I am sure, but I have spoken to it in many years……well, I did yell at it once back in 2004, but I’m a forgiving sort and let bygones be bygones. I sure could use a maxi skirt for church, and just maybe, maybe, I can do this tutorial……if not, I can just step away from the machine so no one gets hurt……

  71. vinylvinie says:

    i’m really impressed by what one can do with an old dress! that is excellent work! i think you may be also interested in my DIYs for summer! i have a few of them on my blog you can definitely check it out and share your comments! 🙂

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