DIY Dress to Skirt Refashion Tutorial, Shark Edition

Ever find a dress and think “this would look so good as a skirt”? Or purchase a dress and realize the front is too low?

sourpuss shark bait dress


I had my eye on this awesome shark bait skater dress by Sourpuss clothing for some time now and couldn’t help it when I saw it for $25.00 and free shipping on Amazon (the seller was Ruby’s Red Ribbon-Sidecca, they are out of stock now). I glanced over the reviews and didn’t pay much attention. However when I got it I realized that the reviews were not exaggerating… the top was pretty low. For some reason I was reminded of lederhosen when I tried it on. Shark lederhosen. If I wasn’t 5’1″ the skirt would definitely be too short.


Time to turn this dress in to a skirt! Because this is a lightweight (stretchy) knit dress I didn’t need elastic. One less step! I’m all about making things easier on myself.

What you will need:

  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread


  • You will be using the fabric from the bodice (top part of dress) to make a waistband for the skirt (bottom part).
  • A serger is awesome for this. Go buy one and blame it on me 🙂


    1. Separate the top and bottom of the dress.

366 367

    1. Place the bodice (top part) flat and mark a straight line across the bottom, then cut. If you have a fabric rotary cutter this is an awesome time to use it.369370
    2. Put the edge of your ruler flat along the line you just cut (making a 90 degree angle / perpendicular). Use a marking pen and mark on each side. I used a blue sharpie because I live dangerously.


    1. Sew along the lines you just made. You are making a tube for the waistband. You’ll end up with something like this:375
    2. Decide how wide you want the waistband to be. I chose a 1 inch waistband (but could have gone larger). What is your seam allowance? Determine that measurement. Plug the two measurements into the equation below to figure out how wide your waistband should be cut:Waistband Cut Width = 2 x desired waistband width + 2 x seam allowance

      Measure and cut. My desired finished waistband width was 1 inch, seam allowance .25 inch, so I cut a strip 2.5 inches wide. It gets folded in half and the seam allowance disappears when sewed so I was left with a 1 inch waistband.377
    3. Fold your waistband in half (wrong side in). When you pin to the skirt match the side seams of the skirt and waistband together.The waistband is probably going to be smaller than the skirt. That’s good! It helps it stay up. Stretch the waistband piece to match the width of the skirt and pin. It might look strange. When you sew you will stretch the waistband piece to match the skirt.
      Before folding waistband in half.

      Before folding waistband in half.

      Waistband folded in half. About to pin to skirt. Match the side seams!

      Waistband folded in half. About to pin to skirt. Match the side seams!

      Side seams matched

      Side seams matched

      Fully pinned

      Fully pinned

    4. Sew waistband to skirt.
    5. Enjoy!

      shark skater skirt

      Shark skirt!

dress into a skirt tutorial diy