80’s Pleated Dress to Fabulous Skirt DIY

Thrift store dress before

Cute huh? I purchased this not so pretty dress at Goodwill a few weeks back. I absolutely loved the fabric, but the size, shoulder pads, and length… not so much. So I decided to turn it into an adorable skirt! It really wasn’t that hard (especially after I figured out what I wanted to do)!

Step 1: cut off the top about 2 inches above the waistband.  You can tell from the picture that I didn’t really measure this.


Step 2: Measure how much you want to take off the bottom of the skirt. I took 8 inches off  by marking with chalk 8 inches above the hem line, and then cutting on the line. REMEMBER to leave an inch seem allowance.

Step 3: Serge the raw edges of the skirt where you cut above the waist band and were you cut for the new hemline. Press.


Step 4: Turn up bottom of the skirt one inch (so wrong sides are touching) and press.

Step 5: Sew the hem using a blind hem technique and then press the pleats back in place.

blind hem

Step 6: Fold the fabric above the waistband down (so wrong sides are touching), and sew under the waist band using a zipper foot to get close to the waistband without sewing on top of it. Make sure to stretch the waistband while sewing.


Step 7: Wear and look fabulous!

Thrift store dress after

80's skirt close up

hair pic

80's dress to skirt

I love everything about how this skirt turned out! This was my first real total clothing renovation overhaul and I think it turned out pretty great! What do you think?

What I Wore:

Tank Top: Target

Skirt: Goodwill

Belt: Goodwill

Shoes: Target

Earrings: American Eagle

What was actually happening during most of this photo shoot was I was getting ate up by mosquitos! Seriously I got 20 bites on one leg! I tried to play it cool most of the time, but it didn’t work ha! Jordan on the other hand, didn’t get one! What the heck! Note to self: wear bug spray and don’t stand near woody areas! Lesson learned!

thrift store dress outtake

I party here…


    1. Thanks Terry!! I don’t have a serger I used Jordan Spark’s so I’m not sure. I can ask her and let you know

  1. AMY, that skirt is so stinkin cute! I love the pattern on the skirt! I am beyond jealous of your skills. I have no sewing skills…at all! Hope to learn little by little; great job!

    1. I put a few bobby pins in the back by where I am going to put my bun or pony tail. Sometimes I will stick a one or two bobby pins in the twist itself

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