Don’t let the headline fool you…I’m not talking about cleaning anything from top to bottom. I’m talking about taking a thrifted 3/4 sleeve tunic top and turning it into a skirt. But it didn’t go a direct route, it went by way of a re-style failure and ended up as a super cute, super comfortable swingy skirt.

cool pattern


I really liked the pattern of the tunic and I am always looking for tops that are long enough to wear over leggings. When I found this one for about $2, I figured I could change the sleeves and fix that boat neck – not the most flattering neckline on me. First step, shorten the sleeves, but not too much, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted so I kept them short, but still long enough to work with. Then I decided to attempt a soft-of sweetheart neckline. I took the time to draw out the neckline on paper and trace it onto the top. I don’t always take the time to do do things right, so I was somewhat proud of myself for going to the extra trouble. I guess when you are working with $2 garments, it’s not a big loss if something goes awry.



Sweetheart neckline

Once I had the neckline cut, I pondered how to finish the raw edge. I decided I would go to my usual method of encasing the edge in fabric that is folded like a double bias tape. I like to contract fabrics, so I found a sheer black fabric with white dots and cut a strip about 4″ wide. I even took the time to document how I do this (I’ll write a post on that soon).

Contrasting fabric

Once I had it all done, I tried it on and in spite of my new attention to detail, the sweetheart neckline was a little wonky and off-center. I knew I would never be happy wearing it, so I tossed it aside. But then, I thought…wait a minute, I really like this fabric pattern and the stretchiness is comfortable, how about making it into a skirt?

Wonky neckline

I grabbed the scissors and cut the tunic straight across just under the arms. After trying it on for length, I knew I would need to make a few adjustments to the waist so first I serged the outward flare so the waist would be straight up and down.

chopping the tunic again

Then I utilized the sleeves I had cut off and cobbled together a 5″ wide piece of fabric that was about 5″ less than my waist measurement. Folding the strip lengthwise with wrong sides together, I marked both the strip and the skirt waist at 4 equal intervals with pins. Lining up the strip and the skirt pins, I was ready to sew on the strip and it would become the waistband. Because I wanted the waistband to be a little more snug than the skirt, I stretch the band so it matched up to the skirt. Serging the edges gave it a strong, finished edge.


finished tunic to skirt

Done! I love this skirt, wore it to work on Monday. Can’t wait to make another one, I’ll have to stay on the look out for cute tunics that can go from top to bottom!