Last summer I made myself a maxi dress swim coverup. It worked well for pregnancy, but once I wasn’t pregnant anymore I never wore it. Since I made it to accomodate a big pregnant belly, it ended up being kind of shapeless (rather than nice and fitted like this one), and since it was maxi length I never got any sun on my legs, which I definitely didn’t like.
So I did a quick little refashion to pull in the waist and bring up the hemline. I gave it a scooped hemline for a little interesting detail and I love how it turned out. It’s flattering, breezy, and perfect for days at the beach. With this little quick fix, this dress will now get tons of use. In fact, I’ll probably make myself one or two more!
sunglasses & sandals: target // swimsuit: gap


  • 1 1/2 yards of stretchy knit fabric (more or less depending on your size and desired dress length
  • matching thread
  • 1/4″ wide elastic
Step 1. Use the instructions here to make your basic dress. Just make it roughly knee length, rather than floor length.
Step 2. Try your dress on and determine where you’d like your waistband. Mark with a pin.

Now turn the top of the dress down to your pin mark (so right sides are together) and pin all the way around the mid-section. Then sew all the way around, about one inch down from the folded edge (as shown below with the dotted line).

 Step 3. Now turn your dress completely inside out and lay it flat. You should now have a 1″ wide flap around the waistband. Lay the flap flat and sew a second seam about 3/8″ away from your previous seam (make sure you’re sewing ON the flap) to create a casing for the elastic, as seen below.

In this second seam, make sure you leave a two inch space at the end so you can insert your elastic.

Step 4. Measure your natural waist and then cut a piece of 1/4″ wide elastic to that length. Feed your elastic through the casing and then sew the two elastic ends together. Now sew the 2″ opening closed. Your dress should now look like this:

And the waistband should look like this:

Step 5. Lay your dress flat on the ground and cut your scooped hem at your desired length (sorry, I didn’t take a picture of it laying flat, but you get the idea). Hem if desired — I didn’t, because knits won’t fray and my cutting job was actually nice and straight.

And that’s it! A perfect lightweight dress for summer days at the beach!

Oh, and the winner of last week’s Little Mr. Giveaway is….Laura Lees! Congratulations!!

Shoot me an email to claim your prize!
And if you didn’t win, use code 15OFF for 15% off your entire order at Little Mr. through May 25th! She just added two more darling bow ties (striped and polka dot!!) to the shop, so get ’em quick!


  1. Shelly Jones says:

    It took me a second to figure out the 3/8" seam and how it made a slot for the elastic, but I think you sew the flap to the dress 3/8" down from the folded seam?

    Also, how do you finish off your elastic so it stays in place? Did you sew the ends down?

    • Yes, sorry if I was unclear. Your first paragraph is exactly right to make the elastic casing.

      And to finish the elastic, just sew the ends together to make the elastic a big circle. I clarified my instructions — thanks for pointing out that I skipped that step!

  2. Naomi Peffer says:

    Love this! I'm totally doing this to a thrift ugly I just bought to refashion!

    Patterned Love

  3. Love it!! I love refashioning clothing! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂


  4. Emily says:

    You are seriously so talented! Love this for a swimsuit cover up.

  5. Laura says:

    Wonderful! I just thrifted an Alexander Wang beach dress and it has an awkward lengths. This refashion is perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  6. New Petite says:

    That looks so comfy!!

  7. Monica Swift says:

    Oh, this is just what I needed to read today! I just made a similar knit dress, but was unhappy with the bottom of the skirt….this curved hem may be the solution! Love this…

  8. Adorable! What a great dress to throw on and go.


  9. tidytipsy says:

    The dress looks lovely and so summery, thank you for the great tutorial!

  10. oceanicali says:

    How pretty! You are so creative!

  11. Kelly says:

    Love how you altered the dress!

  12. Such a cutie. I love that you took a dress you made and updated it for this summer.

  13. Lindsay says:

    This is super cute! I like the shorter hem.

  14. Hanna Lee says:

    Love this idea, so creative & resourceful 🙂 Lovin' the dress!

  15. Chloe says:

    So cute!! Nice Job! Sew

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