Two-piece ball dress: up-cycled midi skirt & cropped top.

The day after my last dentistry rural placement was our Graduation Ball. I wanted to sew my own dress for the ball which meant I had to complete it weeks before (rather than days before like my last gown :P) as I wouldn’t have my sewing machine in rural SA.

I knew I wanted a two-piece outfit with a midi skirt. After looking on Pinterest for inspiration I came to the decision to sew a box pleat midi skirt and tulip open back cropped top.


I found the fabric for the skirt at my local Salvos op-shop. I think it was a table cloth or bed spread/throw? It was a heavyweight white fabric with a raised woven design of flowers and leaves. (I don’t have a ‘before’ picture of the skirt fabric as I was in a hurry to finish the outfit) The top was made from double face satin from Spotlight in an ivory/pale pink shade.


I based the neckline of the top using the Tate Top pattern from Workroom Social as I liked the neckline darts and was familiar with the pattern having used it to make a blouse previously. I brought in the side seams, tapering them towards the waist, and brought the hemline up. For the tulip open back design, I drafted it myself and tested it out first before making the final top.


The box pleat skirt was fairly straightforward to construct. I ensured to use interfacing in the waistband this time, having learned from my last skirt making experience. I also made sure to include pockets!

I even made sure to buy enough satin fabric to make my boyfriend a matching tie! I found a skinny tie pattern online by properfit clothing which had an accompanying video tutorial for only $2.50 USD (about $3.40 AUD). The pattern is sent to you via email as drop box link to a downloadable pdf. However, the print out does not have a test square or guidelines for what scale to print at. When I printed out the pattern and cut it out, it seemed wayyy too long compared to a regular tie length. I tried to contact the company to check if I had printed it to scale, but they did not reply. So instead I found a free pattern on Joe & Cheryl’s blog and used the properfit clothing video tutorial. It came together well and I think my boyfriend was very pleased that he got something new to wear to the ball.


This was also probably my quickest project for its size, taking me just under a week to complete in my spare time between uni work. The tight deadline was probably my greatest motivation haha. The Graduation Ball was a lovely night of celebrating finishing five years of study. And yes, I’m officially a dentist now!


3 thoughts on “Two-piece ball dress: up-cycled midi skirt & cropped top.

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