Refashion - Upsize A Skirt - Plus Size Refashion!

12:15 PM

Readers of this blog know that I'm a plus size refashioner.  I'm a size 16/18 but many of my thrift store finds are, well, not.  The best I can usually do is to find a large and upsize it.  In this blog I'll cover tips and tricks for making a too small dress into something wearable.

We'll go from here:

Too Small for me!

From Size L

To here!

To size 16/18
The original dress was WAY too small (in the chest area) for me to try on at the store.  There was no real way for me to know if the skirt would actually fit.  I had to look for sizing hints.  The biggest hint is deep pleats.

Box Pleats

Deep pleats (also called Box Pleats) use a lot of fabric.  If a dress or skirt has small pleats you can usually upsize the garment by 1 to 2 sizes.  If the garment has box pleats you can easily upsize by 2- 4 sizes.

Check for deep pleats
The next step is to carefully remove the waist band.  Usually I would just cut the dress off at the waist.  Because this is a short dress I don't want to lose any length so the waist band must be removed carefully.

To remove the waistband, turn the dress inside out.

To remove the waistband, turn the dress inside out
Then carefully cut away the waist stitching.

Cut as close to the stitching as possible.

Waist line stitching removed

 The goal is to leave as much fabric as possible with the skirt!

Zigzag stitch the cut end

Now you're ready to make the skirt.  Add elastic to the waistband and, viola, upsized skirt!

Add elastic at the waist

I used stretchy/lycra fabric for this project, but it would have worked with any fabric with box pleats.
The finished garment is actually pretty loose.  I'm going to wear it a few times before I decide if I'll take it in.

I've actually given this tip before, but it certainly bears repeating.  If you're one of my big booty sisters, or a woman with wide hips, look for a mullet dress.

What's a mullet dress you ask?


Mullet Dress

A mullet dress (or skirt) is a dress that is longer in the back than it is in the front.  These dresses usually annoy me (I'm getting cranky in my old age) but they work REALLY WELL when making or refashioning a plus size dress.

Dress Rides Up in back :(
 Hippy or big booty women already know that sometimes a dress or skirt will lift in the back creating an uneven hemline.  You can cut the dress to create a slightly longer hemline in the back eliminating the problem.  I find that if you start with a mullet dress, the added fabric is already there.  Simply the trim the mullet to the desired length (1" - 2" longer than the front) and you're golden.

A Little extra fabric in the back = even hemline.

In the case of this skirt - it already had a slight mullet so all I needed to do was add elastic to the waist - Jackpot!

Check out my other Refashion projects HERE!.

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  1. I have no hips or butt to speak of. My plus size challenge is on top. I will browse your blog to see if there are 'upper' refashions.
    Great to know that about pleats. I will keep that in mind when thrift shopping.

    1. Hey Kitblu, check my refashion page. Meanwhile I'll keep an eye out for tops to upsize! Hopefully I'll post those soon.

  2. Great refashion. I love the color!

  3. Love the idea about the Mullet dress.