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Tutorial: Make a Dress into a Skirt


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I’m going to show you how to make a waist facing using the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook. This is such a pretty dress with those perfect pleats. If you find you wear separates more often than dresses, this tutorial is for you!

Using just the skirt portion of the dress we’ll draft a waist facing, then sew up the skirt following directions from the book. Because the dress has a bit more ease than a skirt, you may want to make a muslin first to check the fit before creating your final look.

tools needed

  • Pastille dress pattern
  • Scrap paper
  • Tape
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Tracing wheel
  • Scissors
  • French curve ruler
  • Fabric and supplies for your skirt

Let’s get started!

1. Place scrap paper beneath the pattern. Use a tracing wheel to trace along the edge of the pattern and the dart. The facing should be a least 2″ wide. Repeat for both front and back pieces. Make sure you trace the dart.

2. Go over the tracing lines with a pen or pencil. Mark each pattern piece.

3. Cut along one dart leg.

4. Tape the pieces together along the uncut dart leg. Trim the bottom of the piece as needed to make a smooth curve.

5. Repeat the process for other facing piece. Make sure the pieces match along the side seams. Voila! You’ve got a skirt facing. To finish, cut out and sew the Pastille skirt pieces together according to the directions.

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Caitlin Clark   —  

Caitlin is the Colette Patterns design assistant. You can follow Caitlin at her blog, the story girl.

Comments 8


This great! I was toying around with this idea since I am discovering that the Meringue is not the best fit for me. I’d love to know how to draft in a Kick Pleat!


i’ve done this, and it works brilliantly and makes for a fabulous outfit. the pastile is the gift that keeps on giving.


Thanks so much! I wear separates far more than dresses. Now I know what to do with the darts.

Leslie thebungalowpost

oh hey! turning a dress into a skirt is a great way to make the vintage sizes fit. It seems like they are always so tight!!/2011/05/what-once-was.html
this was my fix to a too tight of a vintage dress.


I am so glad to have discovered your site. Thank you for the helpful hints. Please post all your available classes on line! Your site has inspired me!

patricia koramah

please can you mail me some of your tutorial on dressmaking and also pattern to support my learning through my address.

patricia koramah
Seed Production Unit
post office box 3197

Thank you.

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