Oversized dress to a two piece outfit

Today I am sharing another upcycled sewing project! Again, apologies for the photo quality as this was another project that I made before this blog.

Size 16 dress before

This size 16 dress was bought from Salvos for less than $6. I liked the printed pattern and with it being a larger sized item of clothing, I had more fabric to work with.

When op-shopping I like to look through everything, even things not in my size. I look at the fabric quality and print when browsing. I try on all items that vaguely catch my eye because sometimes a piece that seems okay-ish on a hanger will look different when worn, and vice versa. This often means I have a huge pile of clothes to try on. And when trying things on, I can better visualise how I can alter or upcycle it.

It was only when I tried on this oversized dress did I get the idea to make it into a two piece cropped t-shirt and skirt.

How I did it:

I made a cut around the waist to separate it into a top and bottom.

First I worked on the crop top. I seam ripped the sides (ie. cut the seam stitches to separate the front and back) and adjusted the bust darts to sit higher. The side seams and arm holes were taken in to my size and tried on until it fit well. The hemline was finished with a rolled hem to about 1 inch above my belly button.

For the skirt: I wanted a high-waisted skirt with a fitted waistband (rather than elastic). I tried the skirt on, holding it up to where I wanted it to sit above my knees and cut the excess fabric above the waist keeping the original hemline (this excess fabric would later be the waist band).

Waistband and print detail close up

Initially I thought I would pleat the skirt to bring in the fabric to fit my waist line. But after trying it on, it didn’t look like how I envisioned, so I went for an A-line skirt instead. I wore the skirt inside out and pinned the a-line outline then sewed it and trimmed excess fabric. The original dress conveniently had a seam on the centre back where I could place the zipper. So I seam ripped part way down the centre back for the following steps.

Making the waistband and adding the zipper: Using the excess fabric, I cut a rectangle 4cm wide (for a waistband of 2cm width with seam allowance 1cm either side). It wasn’t quite long enough to go all around my waist, so I had to stitch two rectangles together. I matched the seam where the two rectangle strips met to one of the side seams of the skirt then pinned it to the skirt all around the waistband, right sides of the fabric together. The waistband and skirt were sewn together and excess waistband trimmed at the centre back seam.

Zipper sewn into the centre back seam

I bought a black zipper from the op shop for 50c. The seam I ripped earlier at the centre back was re-sewen together using a basting stitch over where the zipper would lie and a regular stitch for the rest of the seam. I sewed the zipper in. I used a video by Annika Victoria on youtube to learn how to do this.
side note: Go check her out if you’re into sewing. She does a lot of upcycling as well as sewing from scratch.
Once the zipper was in place, the waistband hem was folded over 1cm, then in half, pinned to the skirt and stitched along both the bottom and top of the waistband. I tried the skirt on and adjusted the a-line side seams to get them to sit right, but other than that, it was done!

After: the completed two piece set!

What I also like about this outfit is that I can wear them together or separately!

If you made it to the end of this post, well done! I know this one was more wordy and descriptive. Thanks for reading!


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