Turn a 70s Dress into a Gorgeous Skirt

I found a dress at Deseret Industries the other day that absolutely captivated me. The print reminded me of some things in my mother's closet in the early 80s, so I imagine that it was made sometime in the late 1970s. It also had a well-worn, vintage-looking tag, so I knew this was the real deal. Here are a couple closeups of the amazing calicos:

Tier Dress SwatchTier Dress Swatch 2When I first laid my eyes on the dress, I thought it might be cute as it was--it kind of had an anthropologie-meets-prairie-dress vibe. However, when I tried it on, Scott gave it the veto. The bodice was poofy and somewhat ill-fitting.

With that, I decided to remove the bodice and make the bottom tiers into a comfortable, elastic-waist skirt.

Cutting off the bodice of the tiered dressAfter cutting the bottom off, I simply measured the spot on my waist where I wanted the skirt to sit, cut a piece of 3/4" elastic (plus 1" for connecting the ends), and inserted it into a casing that I made at the top. I tried on the skirt and realized it was a little heavy for the elastic (it was making the skirt too big), so I took in the elastic a couple more inches and closed the casing.

This project was super easy. I wore the skirt to the farmer's market on Saturday, and I received many compliments. I even had a significant amount of fabric left over from the bodice, and I'm going to save it for a quilt (someday!) or maybe a flower applique on the bottom of the skirt.