Petti Skirt from Thirft Store Dress- Any size

Have you ever looked at the formal ware rack at the thrift store?  Most of the dresses are awful, or just way to formal to really wear to anything, but the materials they are made of are usually really beautiful.  I had been looking for some lace when I came across this beauty, the bottom has three layers- lace, satin, tulle.
It kind of looks like a tutu in the photo, but it's a petti skirt.  I made it to fit her in a year or two when she can have more fun with it and couldn't convince her big brother to model it for me.  I have been dying to make a petti skirt but did NOT want to deal with all the trips and cutting of the tulle.  But by using this dress's guts, all the hard work is done for me!  If your the kind of sewer who likes perfection and rules, this tutorial is not for you, I don't know any of the sewing rules let alone follow them.  If your adventurous and have basic sewing skills then let's get started.

What you need-
Crazy second hand dress with satin and tulle layers (pretty much every formal dress has this)
Length of elastic- how ever long you need for a waist band (measure waist and minus 5 inches for stretch)
Sewing Machine
Faith LOL

I could not find my elastic so I had to get creative and rip some out of a fleece hoodie that was in the supply pile, look around you'll find something that will work.
Cut the two skirt layers off your dress, throw the rest of your dress in the supply pile for another day.  The bottom layer of the tulle usually has some sort of decorative finish, mine has this little scallop edge.  Cut the bottom layer off.  If there are any tears in the fabric you can cut into sections, mine had one tear so I cut that section out giving me one long strip.  If you don't have any tears just make a cut anywhere to turn your circle into a strip (bottom section only, leave the top as is).
Take the top part of the tulle (the top right on this picture) and lay it on top of your satin skirt you cut off the dress.  Line the bottom of the tulle up with the hem of the satin and one side up, so your using the tulle as a pattern, cut the satin around it leaving the bottom hem and one side in tact. 

Using the satin you just cut, cut a second one half it's length (shown in second photo).  Turn your satin piece inside out (right sides together) and sew the open side closed.

Now the fun part, take the shorter of the two satin skirts and the bottom layer of your tulle to your sewing machine.  Right sides together, sew the strip of tulle to the satin "skirt".  The strip will be long enough to go around the skirt two or three times, just keep sewing until you get to the end. 

How's that for instant gratification!  Your half done.  This will be the outer layer of your skirt, set it aside for now and grab the other section of your tulle and the longer satin skirt.  Put the tulle layer inside the satin skirt and tack them together with a quick stitch.

 Put the one you just sewed inside the outer skirt lining the waist area.  Tack the two together around the waist with a quick stitch.  Now your ready to add the elastic waist.  Your elastic should be 5 inches smaller than the waist it's intended for.  Fold the unfinished edge of your skirts waist over 1/4 inch, then again the width of your elastic (creating a tunnel for the elastic) and pin.  Do this all the way around the waist.

Note- I only had my elastic in the waist to make sure it fit, take it out before you pin and set it aside.  

Take the skirt to your sewing machine and sew your waist close to the edge to make sure it stays wide enough for your elastic.  Leave an inch open so you can get the elastic in! 

Attach a large safety pin to your elastic and thread through the tunnel you just sewed.  When you get it all the way through sew the ends together trying to be careful not to twist the elastic inside the fabric.  Tuck the elastic inside the opening and sew the opening shut.  YOUR DONE!

I think it took me longer to write this than it did to make it! 


  1. I am in love with this idea! it is just so stinking cute! you should share this idea on my blog on saturday for check me out saturdays the link is www.iamonly1woman.blogspot.com

    I hope to see you around. and thanks to you I am checking out our dinky thrift store for a really ugly white or black formal dress so my girls can have a pettiskirt

  2. Oh how Cute!!
    And Hmmmmmm....how did you ever get the idea of looking for "fabric" in the formal & vintage dress section??? HHmmmm??
    I guess moms really do have "Some" good ideas...LOL!

  3. Lovely way to make a pretty skirt in a shortcut kinda way! I'm one of those people who don't follow rules when it comes to sewing, so this method of yours suits me perfectly fine!! Thanks for the idea!

  4. great idea!! great tute! thanks!

  5. So stinkin' cute!! :) You've motivated me to try!

  6. I DO always look at the "fancy" dresses and think that you could make something new w/them, but I've never thought to do this! What a great idea and she looks sooo cute in it!

  7. This is so pretty and girly. It would be wonderful for a little girl.. I'd like it in baby pink or lavender! I want to make one too. She looks adorable in it.

  8. how cute--wish I had thought of this when my granddaughter was small!

  9. What an awesome idea!!! I'm going to have to take a trip to Goodwill tomorrow.

  10. Great idea! I have made those pettiskirts and I like this idea so much better. Thanks!

  11. I love this idea, my youngest two daughters love these type of skirts. I need too visit the thrift store and find some dresses to remake

  12. That is pretty brilliant! Gonna have to link to this one too! Heck, I think you need a full post about how much I LOVE your blog!

  13. This is adorable. I have two dresses in my closet that I've been wondering what to do with.


  14. Love this I can hardly wait to go to town to the ggod will and look for formal dresses to make over for my grand daughter. Thanks for the idea.

  15. girl...you make something hard just so much easier! awesome idea...so smart!
    i found your delightful blog by way of "Be Different ..Act Normal"..so glad she sent me your way!

  16. Well, I don't sew and my little girl is 25...but, I just have to say that the picture is precious!

  17. It turned out darling! I wonder if I could convince my 12 year old to wear something like this hmmm.....

  18. Way to keep it simple! That's always my motto when crafting. :) I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.


  19. This is so cute! I really want to make one now, too. I love altering clothes from old stuff. To me, it takes the pressure off for it to be absolutely perfect, KWIM? =-)

  20. What an adorable project!!!! I love it. It turned out so well.

    Thanks so much for linking up to my party!!!


  21. I found you through totally tutorial and this is simply adorable. I am now a happy follower!