Spring DIY: How to convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set

Spring DIY: How to convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set

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The spring has arrived, and it means it is the time to do fun DIYs! For example, how about to convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set?

I love vintage dresses. They are pretty and one-of-a-kind, but often they require some work to do. Often the cut is not very flattering, and it is simply outdated. In many cases I shorten my vintage dresses, and sometimes I do tailoring… This time I converted a dress into a trendy two-piece set. The original idea is not mine; I saw in on the A Pair And A Spare website. Geneva, the girl behind the website, is one of the most famous and inspirational DIY bloggers, and I often drop by her blog to feed off my creativity. In her MIDI SKIRT & TOP SET post she converted a vintage dress into a matching set. When I saw it I thought – such a great idea! I had a pretty vintage dress, a handmade one, and it was hard to wear it because of is weird cut. Thanks to this DIY the dress got a second life.

Two-piece sets were very popular last season, and it seems the trend will spill out into the upcoming season. We can see matching outfits popping up in the street fashion as well as spring fashion collections. Though I do have a love-hate relationship with matching sets – too matching for my taste! – but I must admit the sets are cute and convenient to wear. If you have a dress you do not know what to do with or you want to make yourself a cute two-piece ensemble, this post is for you.

So, who is up for a bit of cutting and stitching? 😉

Supplies You Need For DIY

  • a dress – mine is handmade vintage
  • needle & thread in matching color
  • elastic band, the length equals to your waist grip
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • fabric marker
  • pins (not shown)
  • sewing machine (not shown)

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

DIY Instructions

First draw the line where the edge of the top will be. I did it at the waistline. Then mark 2 inches (5 cm) down for the seam allowance and draw another line.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

Cut the dress along the seam allowance line. The top will become, well, the top, and the bottom will become the skirt.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

Take the top part. Fold the seam allowance up and pin it down. Keep the edge on the front 1 inch (2.5 cm) lower than on the back.

Hem the edge by hand using a hidden stitch. I use the herringbone stitch. You can also use your sewing machine.

herringbone hem stitch by handby lauraaftermidnight.com

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

The top is finished.

Now take the bottom part and place the elastic along its top edge. Depending on how thick the elastic is, fold over enough fabric. Leave a half an inch (1 cm) for the seam allowance. Then sew it down to create a waistband. Do not forget to leave an opening to put the elastic in.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

Now take the elastic and attach a safety pin to its end. The pin will help you to thread your elastic through the waistband.

Push the pin with your elastic all the way through the loop until it comes through the other side.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

Now keep the elastic ends together and try your skirt on. Make sure the elastic is not too loose – it may stretch out depending on how heavy the fabric is. Adjust the ends if needed and then stitch them together either by hand or machine.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Steps

And you are done!

DIY Result

Here my two-piece set made of a vintage dress. Dare to show yours? 😉

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Result

Before / After

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Before and after

Improvements To Make

I published this DIY on Reddit, The Front Page of The Internet, on subreddit TodayIWore, and one of fellow redditors gave me an amazing feedback:

…to have a cleaner elastic waist, maybe with a thicker band? And also to taper the width of the top just a tiny bit, so it looks less cropped sweatshirty…

Awesome advice, heydelinquent! Will follow it next time when I make another two-piece set!

How To Style the DIY Two-Piece Set

Styling this DIY two-piece set was easy-peasy. No hustling, no thinking hard required.

For the details I went with neutral white and black. White (the socks) was there to support the white pattern of the top. Black… well, my wedged booties by Jeffrey Campbell are black, and they were the only suitable footwear option here. Why? Because the booties balanced out the whole silhouette thanks to the heels and in addition they made my legs look super long (love it!). So, the black came out of necessity. To support the color of the booties I chose dark sunnies. I love their rectangular shape, because it flatters the shape of my face and makes it less round by emphasizing my cheekbones.

And that was it! Super-duper easy-peasy. Oh yes, and of course a bright reddish-pinkish lipstick to add some color.

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Styling

Fur Jacket In Spring? Oh yes!

The day of the photoshoot was very cold with chilling wind and temperature dangling somewhere around 0C (32F). Not that kind of weather you expect from spring. So in order to avoid turning into a pretty icicle (stylish but alas frozen and dead), I had to wear my winter fur moto jacket. Initially I did not plan to keep it on during the shooting, but as I said the mother-nature decided otherwise. Sam took a few shots of me in the jacket, and in the end I liked how the jacket had fit the look. Like it was born to be worn with the set 🙂

Spring DIY convert a vintage dress into a two-piece set: Fur Moto jacket

The jacket is such an amazing basic garment that it fits any style and any look of mine. One of my best recent purchases.

Get The Look

 

Disclaimer: Yup, this post may contain affiliate links! If you buy something from me, I get some margarita money (not enough to buy a pair of shoes). Read more here.

12 replies
    • dushonok
      dushonok says:

      Fernanyi, thanks for your great comment! You are such a skilled DIY-er, I am sure you will do amazing projects 🙂
      xoxoxo

      Reply
    • dushonok
      dushonok says:

      Nephtyis, thanks for stopping by! Soo glad you liked!
      I am not super skilled at sewing despite many courses I have taken, so this is the top level of my skills 🙂

      Reply

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