Monday, February 18, 2013

#23: African Dress

I'm working on a new project right now that's, well, *different*. As I work on that, I'll take some time to feature another transformation I created last Summer. And this one was SUPER easy. All I needed was 3 things: some scissors, some ribbon, and a bead.

I found this rather large maxi-skirt at a thrift store for just $1.

Before: African-patterned maxi-skirt

Here's an up-close shot of the pattern:


Some of you may not know that I actually teach an African-style dance class, so this skirt was right up my alley. For more info on my class, check out the details at the end of this post : )

This was a super simple remake, and like I said before, all I needed was a pair of scissors, some ribbon, and a bead.

First, I cut 4 small holes evenly on both sides of the center at the top hem of the skirt. 

Cut 4 holes

Next, I measured out 2 long strips of brown ribbon a little over 8 feet each (could be shorter, but not much shorter).

16 feet of brown ribbon

I grabbed a random round bead and attached it to the end of one of the ribbons (it can be sewn, tied, etc). Then I pushed the bead-attached ribbon through the hole on the right side closest to the center.

Push the bead through the hole

I worked the bead around the entire hem of the skirt and pulled it out of the hole furthest to the left. I did the same thing with the second ribbon beginning in the center left hole and exiting the far right hole. It helped that I could feel the bead through the fabric because it would have been much harder to string the ribbon around a thin hem by itself.

Pull the bead out of the hole

Once I had strung the ribbons through the hem, I cut off the bead and made sure the ribbons were equal length.

Four strands of ribbon

I grabbed the 2 ribbons on each side and gave them a tug to use like a drawstring around the hem.

Drawstring effect

That was it. Scissors, ribbon, and a bead.

Here's how it looked before:

Before: Large African-style maxi-skirt

Paired with a thick belt and my wooden-beaded necklace, I'm ready to get my African Groove on!

After: African-style halter dress

After: From behind

The key here was really the cinching at the waist. I would have preferred to pair it with a brown braided or wooden belt, but I didn't have one.

What's awesome is if you aren't feeling the pattern on this one, you can use these simple steps to make any maxi skirt into a halter dress! And with no sewing!


With an African-themed remake, I'll take this opportunity to plug my dance class. It's called African Groove and is an exercise-based dance class aimed at getting your heart rate up and working up a sweat with various African-style moves and tunes. Students of all ages and experience levels are welcome! I teach every Saturday from 12-1pm in Pasadena, CA. Check the website for directions and pricing information.

(**DEAL ALERT!: The studio has an unlimited classes monthly pass available right now on LivingSocial for only $62! That's a $125 value! Click here for this great deal!**)

African Grooving!

I'd love to see you in my class!

Until next time, blessings.

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