Learn to refashion skirts to create a trendsetting cape.

Adding a cool cape to any outfit is a hot trend these days and refashioning designer know-how is learning how to create a new look from a once-loved garment.  Let’s take last season’s skirt and turn it into a trendy cape.  We will use the existing waistline of the skirts as the neckline. It’s a friendly nod to a 1950s fashion trend. Let’s make it!

Neckline nod to 1950s style


  • (2) mid thigh length skirts
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • marking pen
  • iron
  • straight pins
  • ribbon or an embellished button

Sewing supplies

Making it:

You need two skirts because one is for the body of the capelet and one for the border or trim. Let’s call the main skirt for the body, Skirt A and the skirt we are using for trim, Skirt B.

First, take out any lining inside of the skirts. Usually you can cut them off at the waistband and hem areas.

Cut out lining of skirt A

Cut out lining of skirt B

On Skirt A, cut up the back or side seams depending on where the zipper is located and cut around the zipper to remove it completely.

Cut out the zipper

On Skirt B, if it does not have an opening the entire length of the skirt, cut it open from the hem thru the waistline.

Cut thru the waistline

Cut the skirt so you only have the waistband and 3 inches of a border from the raw edge of the opening. You’ll cut away the remainder of the skit material to just underneath the waistband. Save your scraps to use on another project later.

Cut out border trim leaving a seam allowance

Border trim cut out

Snip into the square corners at the waistband of Skirt B to create space for folding in seam allowance.

clip corners before finishing

Finish the raw edges of both skirts using a serger or zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

Finishing outer edge of Skirt A zig zag stitch

Finish the outer edge of skirt A by folding it over twice and top stitching; this will be the front of the cape.

Double fold finished edge for skirt A

Fold the inside raw edges of skirt B under and press them down.

Finishing the edge for skirt B

Before you sew skirts A and B together, measure the length of the skirts to make sure they match up at the edges. If there is any excess you’ll have to cut or fold over the top.  Now it’s time to sew it all together.

Attaching skirts A and B together

Top stitching the finished cape

Finally, you can add a button or ribbons for closure at the neckline.

Press it and you are finished! A couple of once loved skirts turned into a trendy cape.  It’s a fashion staple and also a great way to refashion your closet!

Another look of refashioned skirts turned cape paired with an LBD for this sleek outfit!

Refashioned skirt turned cape paired with a little black dress

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