Double your money

This dress was part of my huge haul from Thrift Town in San Francisco. I paid $7.99. I managed to squeeze two projects out of it, so I certainly feel like I got my money’s worth from this one!

What a fantastic print! The colours are really vivid in real life. The dress has a border print around the bottom and the green section down the front left is the only one – the back is all beige. The sewing inside is pretty basic, possibly even home made, though the seams are overlocked.

First thing I did was take a deep breath and cut it in half. It hurt, but I knew it had to be done.

Tackling the top half, I removed the pocket, trimmed the excess from the side seams and sleeves and overlocked. I also created a new hem and gave it a good press.

Below you can see what the buttonholes were like – a diamond of straight stitch with a rough hole in the middle!

I gave them some attention. Both buttons were hanging off so I dealt with those too.

The bottom half was going to become a really quick skirt. I measured some elastic by holding it against my waist and sewing the ends shut.

Then I took the bottom half of the dress…

…and, stretching the elastic while sewing, joined the two together at the waist with my overlocker. I recommend pinning the elastic at four or eight strategic points around the waist so you don’t end up with uneven stretching.

Here’s the quick skirt on the dummy.

And here’s how both pieces look on:



  1. lonichol

    Great job – what app/camera effect did you use for the after picture of the skirt if you don’t mind me asking?
    Really like your blog =D

    • charityshopchic

      Ha, thanks for the Kudos, Pattie! It’s more about being creative than being frugal for me, but I’m happy that I can make my wardrobe more interesting for a few quid and help charities at the same time.

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Beth, I have more ideas on how to style this in a more interesting way, but wanted the skirt/top to be the stars of these photos so paired them with neutrals…

  2. BeingZhenya

    I love love love the skirt and the top is amazing too, but maybe wear it with dark skinny jeans and not khakis? sorry if i am being too bossy :) xo

  3. megthegrand

    OH! I just love the colors and the print – too fabulous. And you got two great looking pieces out of it? That’s even better!!

  4. Ecleticmom

    Like your blog very much. Lovely Batik Peranakan (you’ll find more in Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore)

    • charityshopchic

      Thank you very much, glad you are enjoying reading! I actually don’t know anything about this fabric, I had it down as African rather than Asian, but will investigate Batik peranakan, thanks!

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