Turning A Dress Into A Skirt

turning a dress into a skirt

This is a dress I made last summer.turning a dress into a skirt The pattern came free with a magazine. Despite some misgivings I decided to have a go at making it.

However, I should have heeded the warning on the packet. “Easy” is usually a synonym for “completely shapeless and won’t fit. You might get away with it if you are stick thin but if you are a bit chunky, forget it”.

I am definitely on the chunky side and there was no getting away from the fact that the finished dress looked like a sack. I made a little belt but it still looked dreadful. It was utterly shapeless and the facings wouldn’t behave. I pressed them the right way and understitched them, but it made no difference at all.

I do not like having clothes in my wardrobe that I do not wear because it is an inefficient use of space. So I set about turning this horrible, shapeless dress and its ridiculous facings into something I could actually wear without needing to cover most of it up with a knee length jumper.

I decided to turn it into a skirt and here is how to do it if you want to do the same!turning a dress into a skirt

How to Turn a Dress into a Skirt

1. Try the dress on and mark where your waist is.turning a dress into a skirt

2. Remove the zipturning a dress into a skirt

3. Cut off the top part of the dress along where you marked with the pins. turning a dress into a skirtFold it in half to check that it is symmetrical.turning a dress into a skirt

4. Add the zip. The zip I used in the dress was quite long, too long for a skirt. Fortunately I had another, shorter zip in the same colour. Otherwise I would have cut down the original zip I used in the dress.

I pinned it over the back seam as this was where the zip was in the dress and some of the seam was still open. turning a dress into a skirtThen I tacked it, then sewed it in place. turning a dress into a skirtThen unpicked the rest of the back seam to free the zip.turning a dress into a skirtYou can find a more detailed tutorial in how to put in a zip here!

5. Try the skirt on. If it needs adjusting, you could either gather it or take it in at the sides. I took the sides in as it only need altering a little bit.turning a dress into a skirt

6. Make a waistband. It will need to be 8 – 10 cm wide and long enough to go round your waist, plus a bit extra. I used the belt I had made. You could use fabric from the top part of the dress or make the waistband out of different fabric altogether.

Fold the waistband half lengthways and press. Fold the raw edges into the middle and press again. Attach the waistband to the skirt by sewing the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the skirt on the wrong side. turning a dress into a skirtThen fold the waistband over and top stitch all the way round, remembering to tuck the raw edges at the ends underneath.turning a dress into a skirt

Transformed! From this…turning a dress into a skirt

To this…!turning a dress into a skirtturning a dress into a skirt

A Bunting Tutorial


Last summer I made some bunting to hang on the front of the house to celebrate the start of the summer holidays. I only meant to leave it up a week or so, but I liked it so much it stayed! By the time autumn swung round, the bunting was looking tatty and sad. I took it down but my poor old house looked naked, so I made some more in beautiful autumn colours.

Now it’s spring and the bunting is very tatty. It’s also got twisted round and round in all the wind. I had actually intended to make some more at Christmas, but as Christmas always manages to sneak up on me I didn’t get round to it.

However, it’s worked it’s way up to the top of my list and last week I made some more. I finally finished it yesterday and I hung it out this morning to reward myself for emptying the bins.bunting

As it is pretty windy where we live, I have tried to make the bunting heavier by lining it, so hopefully it won’t get all twisted up this time.

Here’s my little bunting tutorial!bunting

How to Make Bunting

You Will Need: card for the templates, fabric for the flags, fabric for the lining, bias binding, needle and thread or a sewing machine.

1. Make your templates. On a piece of card, draw a line 20 cm long. Find the middle. Draw a second line 20 cm long from middle of the first line and at right angles to it. Join the end of this line to the ends of the first line to form a triangle.

To make the template for the lining, I cut another template the same size as the first one, then cut about half a cm of the sides.bunting

2. Grab your fabric and cut your triangles. You will need to cut the same number from your main fabric as from your lining.buntingbunting

3. Take one main triangle and one lining triangle. With the right sides together, sew the sides of the triangle, leaving the top free. When sewing the second side, you will need to pull the lining across a little bit.bunting

4. Trim the seams and turn out. Because the lining is smaller, you should find that it pulls a small amount of the main triangle to the wrong side of the flag.buntingbunting

5. Press. If you are feeling fancy, you might like to top stitch your flags. I don’t have a pic for this because I was not feeling fancy.

6. Take your bias binding and fold it in half lengthways. Press it down with your finger to crease it.bunting

7. Take yourself and your flags over to your sewing machine. Starting at one end of the bias binding, sew the edges together. buntingWhen you have sewn enough to tie your bunting to something (I allowed about 40 cm), slip a flag into the bias binding and sew. When you have sewn the top of the flag into the bias tape, add another flag. buntingKeep going until all your flags have their tops contained within the folded bias tape. Continue sewing the bias binding until you have enough to tie at that end.

If you are new to sewing or a nervous nellie, you might like to pin your flags in place first.

That’s all there is to it!buntingbuntingbunting

A Spring Wreath Tutorial

spring wreath tutorial

It’s wreath time again!spring wreath tutorial

It’s only been a couple of months since I last replaced the wreath on our door, but signs of spring are definitely here.

I hadn’t decided what to do, maybe tidy up last year’s spring wreath (you can read about that here!), but at our church a couple of weeks ago they were wanting to get rid of a huge pile of silk flowers. By the time I got over there, they had been raided! But I still managed to find these lovely pink ones and some fake greenery.spring wreath tutorial

I retrieved my willow wreath from the cupboard, very glad that I had not glued on the flowers for my summer wreath (you can read about that one here!) and had just pushed them through the twigs instead.

Once I had removed the summery flowers, I was all set!spring wreath tutorial

Here’s how I made it in case you would also like to!

How to Make a Spring Wreath

You Will Need: SIlk flowers and buds, plastic greenery, a willow wreath.

1. Separate the flowers and buds from the main stems, leaving about 5-8 cm of stem.spring wreath tutorial

2. Start attaching the flowers to the wreath by pushing the stems through between the twigs. Start with one type and try to space them out evenly.spring wreath tutorial

3. Add the buds. As I had 5,I put 2 near the bottom, one at the top and the other two in the middle on opposite sides. I alternated putting them on the inside and outside edge of the wreath.spring wreath tutorial

4. For my bits of greenery, as they had wire in them, I bent them round a little bit so that they would follow the curve of the wreath. spring wreath tutorialThen I put one at the top and the other two on either side.spring wreath tutorial

5. I had planned to put a bow in the gap at the bottom, but when I looked in my box of ribbons I didn’t have anything wide enough and the bows I made just looked wrong! So instead I took some of the little white flowers I’d used on the summer wreath, twisted some florists’ wire around them then tucked the ends of the wire into the willow.spring wreath tutorial

Here it is hanging on my door!spring wreath tutorialspring wreath tutorialspring wreath tutorial


10 Ways To Use Crocheted Flowers

10 ways to use crocheted flowers

I’ve been on a bit of a crocheted flower frenzy recently. I have made loads. Quite a lot of them got used up when I made my crocheted flower garland (you can read about that here!) but I’ve still got some left.

So here are 10 ways to use crocheted flowers so they don’t just sit in a heap on the unfinished projects pile!10 ways to use crocheted flowers

10 Ways to Use Crocheted Flowers

10 ways to use crocheted flowers1. Sew them to a hat. It’s an easy way to pretty up a boring old beanie.

2. Sew them to a jumper. You could add one or two, or several! Try sewing them all round the neckline to add some new life to an old jumper. It’s be almost as good as having a new jumper!

3. Sew or glue a flower to a hair bobble10 ways to use crocheted flowers or a hair clip.I made these for Boy 3’s nursery’s Easter Fair last year. If you prefer something that looks a bit more grown up, you could slip a flower onto a hair grip or glue some onto a comb instead.

10 ways to use crocheted flowers4. Make a hairband. Either stick them to an existing hair band or crochet or plait a band and join the ends with a piece of elastic and sew the flowers on.

5. Make them into a bracelet. I 10 ways to use crocheted flowersplaited a band, sewed the flowers on and tied the ends together.

6. Attach them to a bag. You could add one or two for a subtle change or, if you have lots, or some big ones, you could completely transform it!

10 ways to use crocheted flowers7. If you have some lacy ones made from embroidery thread, you could make some earrings like these. Full instructions for making them can be found here!

8. Use crocheted flowers to embellish a cushion.If you have an old jumper you don’t wear any more, you could easily turn it into a cushion cover and sew the flowers on to decorate it.

9. Make a flower garland like the one I did here.10 ways to use crocheted flowers It’s a great way to use up flowers, the cord is very easy to make and it adds a little piece of spring to wherever you choose to put it!

10 ways to use crocheted flowers10. If you have a lot of flowers you could make a wreath like these from Attic24. These are among the most beautiful things I have ever seen and I would never have thought of using crocheted flowers like this!

How do you like to use crocheted flowers?

PS if you need patterns for flowers, here are some!

Crocheted Daffodil Pattern

Pink Crocheted Lace Flower

Crocheted Flower with Contrasting Centre

Crocheted Flower with Lacy Petals pdf

Crocheted Flower with Pointed Petals

A Crocheted Flower Earrings Tutorial

crocheted flower earrings

I haven’t made any jewellery in so long, it was nice to dust off my round nosed pliers and my wire bits and bobs!

I’ve incorporated crochet into jewellery making before. You cancrocheted wire earrings read about it here:Crocheted Wire Earrings.


This time I have used a crocheted flower as an element of each earring. The beads are semi precious stones that used to be a rather boring necklace! I strung them together using eyepins and jump rings.

The earrings came together pretty quickly and took at most a couple of hours to make. This included designing the earrings and crocheting the flowers.crocheted flower earrings

A Crocheted Flower Earrings Tutorial

You Will Need: single strand embroidery thread, 2 mm crochet hook, 2 ear wires, 8 semi precious natural rough cut or chip beads, 2 head pins, 6 eye pins, 14 jump rings, round nosed pliers, flat nosed pliers, wire cutters.crocheted flower earrings

1. Make the flowers using the embroidery thread and the crochet hook. Instructions can be found here (it’s a tutorial for making a flower for a hair bobble, but the pattern is the same. The flower turns out smaller because the thread is finer and the hook is smaller).

2. Take one of the beads and thread it onto a head pin. Make a loop.crocheted flower earrings

If you are new to this or it has been a while and you’ve forgotten, to make a loop, bend the end of the head pin over to make a right angle.crocheted flower earrings Cut the end off so that you are left with about a cm of wire. Using the round nosed pliers and starting at the end furthest from the bead, bend the wire into a loop about half way. crocheted flower earringscrocheted flower earringsAdjust your hand and the pliers so that you are comfortable. Complete the loop.crocheted flower earrings If the loop is not quite closed, give it a gentle squeeze with the flat nosed pliers.

3. Take another bead and thread it onto an eye pin. Make the free end into a loop. Repeat for the 2 remaining beads.crocheted flower earrings

4. Attach a jump ring to the top of the flower between the petals. Attaching it here will hopefully prevent the flower from becoming stretched when you are wearing the earrings. Attach another jump ring to the first jump ring.crocheted flower earrings

5. Attach 2 more jump rings to the bottom of the flower in the same way.crocheted flower earrings

6. Using the jump rings, attach the rest of the elements together. Below the flower, attach 3 beads all joined together with jump rings with the last bead being the one on a head pin.crocheted flower earringscrocheted flower earringscrocheted flower earrings

Above the flower, attach one bead and then the ear wire.crocheted flower earringsHere are the finished earrings!crocheted flower earringscrocheted flower earrings

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