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Thrift Dress Transformation into a Two Piece Set

I thrifted this green and white dress at my little thrift store in Tuscaloosa, AL and while there is only one in the entire town, I always find the best things there. I picked this dress out because I am totally in love with gingham and thought it was a great spring color. My intentions to wear it in the spring did not turn out due to the pandemic but I’m sure I’ll get to pull it out of my closet this summer! 


As usual, my project began by tearing it apart. I first removed the shoulderpads and threw those babies in the trash. I then removed the zipper and continued to split the entire dress down the back. I next seam ripped out that midsection with the design on it. My dress was now separated into the top piece and skirt piece. 


I next started working on the top portion and pretty much kept it as and just finished it off. I closed the back of it where the zipper used to be by placing the right sides together and sewing a straight stitch. I then zig zag stitched those raw edges to prevent fraying. I hemmed the bottom of it by folding it under twice and doing a straight stitch along it.


I then moved onto making my skirt. I decided to make a pencil skirt because the top was so loose fitting, I thought it would even it out. To do this I drafted a pattern using my measurements and this video:


This was actually my first time using a pattern at all let alone drafting my own. I usually just map something out on the material based on my measurements and cut. However, making the pattern is nice because now I can recreate this skirt whenever I want without doing any math first. 


After drawing out my pattern, I placed it on top of my material and cut. I loved the idea of a slit in this and the original dress already had one so I reused it by placing my pattern at the length I wanted my slit to be. Once, it was cut out, I sewed my darts and the places as designated by the pattern. I then hemmed the bottom of both front and back pieces. My next step was placing the front and back pieces right sides together and sewing them together at each of the side pieces. After that, I inserted my invisible zipper and sewed close the remainder of the dress. I was afraid of doing this for the longest time but watching youtube videos can definitely help with learning any sewing technique. This was a really helpful video for me on invisible zippers: In the video they recommend a special zipper foot that makes it even easier but I just used the standard invisible zipper foot that came with my machine and had no issues. Once my zipper was inserted and the back of the skirt was closed I moved onto hemming the top of the skirt. To do this I just folded it over twice making sure to include the excess fabric of the zipper and sewed a straight stitch across that. 


My two piece set was finished! I am so excited to be able to wear this out soon, I just need the right occasion!

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