There is Never a Wrong Time for a Polka Dot

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Oh, how right you are, Marc! Nothin’ like a good polka dot!

When I saw this skirt at the thrift store, I knew I had to have it. Not only are there polka dots but the slow gradation of size makes it so interesting. Originally, I planned to keep it as a skirt and alter it to fit me, but pleats don’t do much for my backside, if you know what I mean. 😉

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

The idea actually formulated after I unpicked the seam connecting the waistband to the skirt. When I laid it out to take this photo, it looked like it needed to be a shirt.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

The rest of the refashion emerged slowly as I went along.

Measure around your hips add an inch and a half. Cut off the extra fabric.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Bring fabric around and with right sides together, pin and sew along the back to loosely fit the contours of your body. This seam will be right next to the zipper.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Press seams open and turn right side out.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Gather some coordinating bias tape.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Pin and sew the bias tape all around the top raw edge.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Next, tuck the bias tape edge into the former layers of the waistband.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Continue to pin all around leaving the arm holes open.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

To keep from it from looking too boxy and since I’m a curvy girl, I needed to put a little shape in the back. I cut a small piece of quarter inch elastic and sewed it across the middle of the back at the waistline, stretching it as I sewed. This created some gathers and pulled it in slightly.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

Now, I have a cute spring shirt and a possibility to wear to next weekend’s Kentucky Derby Party.

Polka Dot Shirt Refashion

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Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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.
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115 Responses to There is Never a Wrong Time for a Polka Dot

  1. I agree. Polka dots are always in! I love this one!

  2. Barb says:

    I love this one. Bring summer on!! Looks great on you, too! Snazzy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So cute! I love your photo with the hat down – so mysterious! And a great quote by Marc Jacobs too 🙂

  4. This is a great tutorial. I would never have thought to refashion a skirt in this way and I thought your instructions for preserving the waistband and zipper were so clearly illustrated!

  5. Nikitaland says:

    I am absolutely in love with this new top of yours! That is so ingenious! You are the Queen of Sewing! WOW, is all I have to say!

  6. Kris says:

    Amazing! Wish I had that kind of vision!

  7. Julie Blake says:

    Lovely top – not for me (a little too curvy!!!) but you look amazing in the top, and to think it started life as a skirt. Wonderful project! Julie

  8. Anonymous says:

    Very cute! I would love to see the finished back.

  9. Sandra says:

    What a great shirt I love your ideas

  10. I cannot believe it – you have outdone yourself! I know that teaching is a calling but why has some big fashion house not plucked you up and paid you a fortune to do a new refashion line – how green can you get and that’s all the important thing now.

  11. lacartera says:

    I love what you’ve done with the skirt, and I especially love polka dots! Great Job!

  12. Char says:

    Awesome Lady! Love this.

  13. I dare say this is one of your most creative endeavors – love it!

  14. Renee Minto says:

    It looks absolutely gorgeous!

  15. Mother Deer says:

    I really like this concept, and wish that you would add a picture of the elastic gathers on the finished blouse so that I can see where they are placed and what kind of difference they made in the shape of the garment 🙂

  16. mamacormier says:

    I had a no make-up day as well. Love the shot with your head down and I too, love polka dots.

  17. Judy Carmein says:

    Love your blog Beth – and especially love this one. Were your ears ringing last night? Kris and Karin and I were talking about how awesome your blog is!!

    • Hey, my friend!!! I would’ve given anything to be with the three of you last night. Maybe soon we can all be together again. You three were almost in my post today. I was trying to think of a way to bring in the story of us being mistaken for The Dots in the Whale’s Tail in Newport. Love you!

  18. Nay says:

    Love love love love love!

  19. Anny says:

    You have outdone yourself! Amazingly cute and clever transformation!

  20. sharon says:

    What a creative refashion! I love polka dots, especially when they are black and white.

  21. jasperizer says:

    This refashion is really practical, as I find myself with so many unwearable skirts that deserve a face-lift like this. Please take a look at my refashion blog and know that every opinion is valued!

  22. Vanessa Vandusen says:

    Do you have your own store? If not, you SHOULD!!! Just absolutely fabulous!!! Love it girl.

    God Bless Vanessa A BIG fan

  23. craftysorcha says:

    Great refashion, really chic!

  24. Patty Derdzinski says:

    This is a great refashion, you have the best eye for these things! I am always inspired when I look at your tutorials. Thank you so much, Beth! I have just one thing to add: I wish you had shown the back of this shirt after you were done. Sewing with elastic is always tricky for me, I would love to see how your waistline looked…oops! I see other people asked too! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  25. sjmcclelland says:

    What an adorable top! Love the neckline and the length. How clever to re-fashion an old skirt. Makes me want to head out to my local thrift shop and see what I can find.

  26. That was a great thrift store find. You did a great job creating something totally new.

  27. peggy says:

    WOW!!!i look forward to your awesome ideas….

  28. Great refashion Beth. So jazzy! Lol.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Very cleaver. You inspire me!

  30. Pingback: Tutorial: Off-the-shoulder top refashion · Sewing |

  31. colormusing says:

    Great idea for using that waistband! Fantastic top!

    • Thank you. I originally planned to keep it as a skirt and alter it to fit. But it just happened to look like a shirt after I unpicked the waistband from the skirt and laid it out to take a photo. So I went with the shirt idea. Fun to try a new silhouette.
      Have a great week!

  32. Lori Potter says:

    Love what you’re doing!

  33. rosyragpatch says:

    I love polka dots too and I love this top. What a clever idea.

  34. Leilani says:

    Too smart! I would not have imagined a shirt out of that skirt. 🙂

  35. Deborah D Harris says:

    I am in awe because I put that same skirt in the Goodwill bag last month!!! I am kicking myself now…what a great looking blouse!

  36. Love this top on you and the hat!

  37. This just might be my favorite refashion of yours! I love this much better as a top. It’s very flattering on you! 🙂 Super cute!

  38. justheidi137 says:

    Love this! From frumpy to fabulous!

  39. Shantel says:

    This may be my favorite one yet!! I luvvvv polka dots!! I wish I could see things the way you do…so inspiring!

  40. I love this! you really suit a bit of polka dot 😀 xxx

  41. Love the look on you and the intriguing hat photo really caught my eye.

  42. traditionis says:

    Beautiful transformation!!!

  43. Eddie says:

    Such a great idea and I ‘get’ how you did it now.


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

  44. alicecarman says:

    This is fab! Looks good on you too.

  45. Mizz Winkens says:

    That is pure brilliance! Thanks for the inspiration!

  46. Hi Beth. Thank you for always being such an inspiration! I nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award,

  47. Jo H. says:

    So cute on you, and so clever to make this the way you did!

  48. Carolyn says:

    Love the polka dots, and totally agree with the Marc Jacobs quote. : )

  49. Joy says:

    I love this idea!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try it 🙂

  50. Anonymous says:

    I love this top. It’s so cute and looks so well on you. You have a wonderful eye for creativity. Thanks for sharing!

  51. Jaye says:

    OMGWTCBbQSQUEEE. Seriously, I have almost the exact same skirt — style-wise, not polka-dotted. It was gorgeous and $3 and I couldn’t resist it at the thrift store because I knew I could do Something with it. The original plan didn’t work out, though, so it’s been in my “One Day Your Princess Will Come” Box O’ Nearly Forgotten Things. I just checked and the waistband fits PRECISELY over my shoulders.

    Beautiful blue skirt, your princess has come and out of the box you go! Thank you so much!

  52. Cherylannski says:

    I love your ideas and refashions! I plan to try this, but I will probably make two seams in the back equally spaced on either side of the zipper to help with fit and for symmetry. With the polka dots, it would be an interruption in the pattern but other prints should be fine. 🙂

  53. Becky says:

    I think I might love you a little bit. No, no, I’m sure of it. What makes your work so wonderful, to me, is that you and I are fairly close in body type and build. When you model your finished work I can see what the end result may look like on me rather than a 90 lb teenage girl practicing contortionism to maximize thigh gap.

    Thank you!

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