Lisa Leonard Designs

old dress/new skirt

November 26th | finding beauty

i bought a red, polka dot dress at my fave thrift store a few weeks ago

only $10 and it fit perfectly!

buuut it had a high neck and a big bow and every time i put it on, they bugged me.

so after a few try-ons and not wearing it, this morning i decided to make it into a skirt.

i mean, what’s the risk. it was either get rid of it or do something drastic!

i paired it with a v-neck tee, aqua sweater and anthro boots.


do you ever alter clothing? have you ever cut off sleeves

or made a skirt into a dress? {or vice versa?}

22 Responses

  1. Robbin says:

    Very cute, Lisa. You make everything look so fun and nice and comfy. I have cut sleeves off some t-shirts and used them as workout shirts. I hate wearing sleeves while working out. But I have cut long dresses before and made them shorter. That’s the most drastic I’ve been.

  2. Jenny says:

    So cute! I have a couple of dresses that could use an alteration like that. Did you put in a zipper?

  3. Robyn says:

    I alter things I buy at thrift stores or Goodwill for my daughter. She’s a very tall 7 year-old so I have alter most things in the waist for her because I have to buy bigger sizes for the length.

    Great skirt! You are very talented in so many areas.

  4. simplyblythe says:

    ugh, i’ve been hanging onto a dress for just this purpose, but so nervous to take the plunge. thanks!

  5. Linda says:

    Cute alteration! Haven’t done this in quite some time. I love you What I Wore Wednesday–such cute outfits and quite inspiring! The bracelet that you show on the left side of your blog (with the C and the polka dots?)–is this available for purchase?

  6. Megan Lane says:

    so cute, i love it! and i really like those boots! i am loving all of your outfits!

  7. Michele says:

    Adorable! Way to repurpose something and give it new life. I’ve been on the lookout for an aqua cardi because I think yours looks so cute, especially with the color gray.

  8. Alli says:

    Love the skirt Lisa. It’s super cute!

  9. Lisa Leonard says:

    jenny, i didn’t even finish the top (don’t tell!) i just cut off the top of the dress and wore a tee to cover it up. but i think zig zagging the top would keep it from fraying. xxoo

  10. valerie says:

    very cute alteration! (and blog font!)
    i love how you wear dresses so often.

  11. lora says:

    Love it! I go through my wardrobe every season and re-purpose things I have stopped wearing.

    It’s so easy to finish it up, it’ll take 15 minutes. Just get some thin elastic banding from the local craft store, fold the fabric over and sew it to make a channel wide enough put the elastic in (leave a 1 inch gap unsewn). Cut the elastic to be an inch (or so – depending on what is comfortable) less than the circumference of your waist/hips (where you want the skirt to rest). Thread the elastic banding into the channel using a safety pin at the end, remove safety pin, sew up the gap and voila! Good luck!

  12. Lisa Bolton says:

    Check out for some interesting remakes of old clothing. The gal did a dress a day for a dollar a day…and she’s done it for almost a year. Pretty amazing…

  13. terri says:

    hi lisa! what an adorable outfit! i have never ‘sewed’
    anything that i have bought from a thrift store, i have altered in other ways… cutting, etc. i LOVE LOVE LOVE thrift store shopping! i love a great bargain! thanks for sharing! btw, i just bought those exact boots on black friday!!!! i cant wait to wear them!

  14. So cute, Lisa!

    I bought a dress from Ann Taylor Loft last year {on sale for $5!} that I really love, but everytime I wore it, the sleeves bothered me. They were just too…poufy. So I finally just cut the sleeves off, hemmed the edges, and made a flower pin out of the leftover sleeve fabric! I figured that I may as well alter it so I’ll actually wear it…fun!

  15. i take the tops off dresses to make skirts. sometimes the waist ends up larger than i want, so i am teaching myself to make pleats 😉

    thanks for the inspiration
    now i’m resisting the urge to refashion velvet drapes into a pencil skirt, though i’ve been warned that velvet is persnickety and virtually impossible to work with :)

  16. Kim says:

    I recently received a new sewing machine and I really should look in my closet. Your so inspiring! If only I had time…ain’t that everyone’s problem! I really want to take you shopping with me so you can give me wardrobe tips.

  17. alyssa low says:

    i alter my clothing ALL the time…same with my daughters clothes….i take old dresses and turn them into skirts….shirts into skirts or dresses…dresses into scarves…. : )

  18. Kerry says:

    I love vintage like you. I shop at resale and thrift stores to find unque items or old items i adore, and can’t find stores anymore. Recently I bought lounge/flannel pajama pants in cute patterns at the thrift shop and altered them to mini sleeping bags for my son’s sleep buddies. He said “Mom my sleep buddies need covers too”.

  19. Heidi says:

    Cute!! And yes! I turned a pair of pants into a pair of the trouser shorts that Anthro has that I cant afford. :)

  20. Tetcy says:

    I’ve turned a pair of jeans that were too short, into an awesome long denim skirt.

  21. I am not good at that sort of thing, but I love this outfit on you!

  22. cherise says:

    you are darling! very creative! and your jewlery and ideas are amazing! I would buy a mommy necklace w/ $100- the hard part would be deciding which one! They are all really beautiful pieces! Your out fits are pretty darn cute too!

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