How to upcycle a skirt into a girl’s dress (FREE crochet pattern)



Together with the warm season, here in Freiburg, come a lot of beautiful and interesting flea markets – and with the time I’ve learned what I need to search for.

Unfortunately most of the second-hand clothes are too small for me (yep: I am tall, curvy Italian) but there is still a lot of room for stuff that can be transformed into something else. This idea was suggested to me by my husband when he bought Viagra online. And, since getting older for me means mostly getting more confident and relaxed, I decided that I wanted to start making dresses for my now five-years old girl, no matter how imperfect they’ll come out of my sewing machine, I have plenty of time and will to get better.

So it happened that I purchased this floral linen skirt (in my size actually, but it made me look like an amphora) and I was looking for a way to upcycle it.

If I am not so skilled with my sewing machine, I definitely am with my crochet hook, so I made sure I had enough material for a long dress by crocheting the upper part. The model is very easy and can be modified for every size and taste… why not, it could be your next summer project!





You will need an old skirt or dress of yours or of your daughter that you want to reuse on simply make more interesting, or bigger.

The top is crocheted in cotton yarn, washable at 30°, and a hook in medium size (4-5). You won’t need much of it and it’s a great way to finish some left overs. You can mix colors, materials and weights.



ch = chain

sl st = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

dc = double stitch

dec = decrease


Crochet pattern for the top:

To make the top longer or shorter you may add stitches to the initial chain. To make it higher or lower, just add or remove rows to the pattern. I recommend to make the top a few centimeters bigger than you need it and wash at 30° before you attach it to the shirt. Of course, you may want to gently wash it all the time, but I personally really like stuff that I can dump in the washing machine together with all the rest of the kids’ clothes.

The top can be closed on the back or not. It may even overlap and close with a little button. The one I made for this long Hawaiian dress is open circa five centimeters on the back, and looks very cute.

The size I created is more or less for five years girls.


  1. 80 Ch.


  1. 80 Sc.


  1. 3 ch, skip one stitch and dc in the next one. Then [1 ch, skip 1 and dc in the next] repeat until the end.


  1. 3 ch, dc into the first space. 2 dc in each space until the end.


  1. 3 ch. 2 dc in each space until the end. Stich 1 dc into the last space.


Now we will start to grow only into the front, leaving space for the arms. If you’re crocheting a bigger size, please consider adding rows before this by repeating the pattern.

You may want to add more rows and dec also to the following part:


  1. Turn, 80 st. Sl st, cut the yarn and fix.


  1. Count 20 st and fix the yarn on the 21rst st. 1 ch + 28 dc + 1 ch + sl st.


  1. 1 ch + sl st into the first stitch + 1 ch + 36 dc+ 1ch + sl st.


  1. 1 ch + sl st into the first stitch + 1 ch + 34 dc + 1ch + sl st.


  1. 1 ch + sl st into the first stitch + 1 ch + 32 dc + 1ch + sl st.


  1. 1 ch + sl st into the first stitch + 1 ch + 30 sc + 1ch + sl st. Cut the yarn and fix.


Change color. Attach to first row and crochet around. 3 st in the corner, and once you reach the upper part start a chain as long as you need for the strap (38 ch in my case). Stitch back along the strap and keep on sc until the other edge, repeat to create the second strap and finish to crochet around (don’t forget the 3 st in the corner). IF you want to close the top, crochet around attaching the yarn to row 5, ending in row 5.

Change the color, crochet around the top and the straps, always stitching 3 stitches into each corner (including the end of the straps).



How to create the dress

Wash top and skirt together at the same temperature. Open the skirt on the two sides, iron well, take the measures on the top (folded, in the position you’re going to sew it into) consider leaving one-two centimeters of sewing, and then cut the fabric. In my case I kept the original length so I didn’t need to sew the edges, but you may need to do it. (I also added a zip on one side, but it was a stupid idea, just leave it).



Now that you have the skirt, pin the top on the dress, and sew around with a zig-zag stitch. Try the dress, and attach the straps on the back (with a button if you like them to be removable).



That’s it, a lot easier than it looks like! So let me know about your projects, and don’t forget to follow me also on Ravelry now, and if you like you can to support my work by purchasing my first downloadable PDF project, the Colorful Mermaid, on Etsy or Ravelry.

For already made illustrated home accessories and more cool stuff, you may also want to have a look into my Society6 page.


I wish you a lot of fun!