From Maxi Dress to Mini Dress
Change last year’s trendy maxi dress to this season’s mini dress in 30 minutes!
By Diana Eng
Summer 2008 was the summer of the maxi dress, sweet and long, with a full, feminine skirt, and sometimes with a naughty plunging neckline. This dress was on the runways, on celebrities, and in stores everywhere from cheapies at Forever 21 to high-end Donna Karan. I have to admit that I also had a summer maxi dress, one that I nabbed from H&M for a mere $12.90!
But now what’s a gal to do in summer 2009 when flirty, short skirts and mini dresses are the new trend? Like any budget-minded crafty girl, I’m ready to take to the scissors and sewing machine. I’ll show you how to take last year’s maxi dress and make it into this summer’s mini. This alteration draws inspiration from the spring 2009 runway shows of Anna Sui, BCBG Max Azria, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. This season, it’s all about dresses with a flirty little skirt. As you can see, all of these skirts have a little bit of a poof to them, sometimes with a full skirt and sometimes organically draped. These little dresses are so perfect to wear with a belt or under cropped cardigans and shirts.
To convert our maxi, we’re going to use a technique called draping. For this project, you will need either a dress form or a friend to wear your dress while you drape or reposition the skirt and pin it into place. Put on your designer’s cap for a bit as you move the dress to design the best skirt shape for you.
Dress form or friend
Thread (to match skirt of maxi dress)
Step 1: Place the maxi dress, inside out, on a dress form or on a friend.
Step 2: Begin draping. Fold the skirt up, and pin pieces of the bottom edge of the skirt to different parts along the midsection of the dress. Play with how to position the bottom edge of the skirt. If you want the bottom to be fuller, add twists. To change the length, you can also drape different heights.
Step 3: When you have draped a skirt placement and style that you like, pin pieces of the bottom edge of the skirt to the midsection of the dress. At each marker, use 2 pins to make an X to keep the pins in place. Keep in mind that the dress will puff out a bit wherever the bottom skirt is pinned up.
Step 4: Take the maxi dress off of the dress form or your friend.
Step 5: Tack the pieces of the bottom edge that you have pinned to the midsection by stitching a 1" line with your sewing machine where each of the pinned Xs are. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure your stitches in place.
Now you have a flirty dress that’s in style this summer!
About the Author:
Diana Eng is a NYC-based fashion designer, Project Runway alumni, co-founder of NYC Resistor, and the author of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. Visit her at her blog, Fashion Nerd.