Introduction: Update a Thrift Store Dress to Tunic Shirt

In my latest thrift shopping adventure I found a cool tribal patterned dress on sale. The pattern just popped to me, but the dress itself left much to be desired. Despite some of the less desirable parts of the dress, I felt like there a lot of potential and used my minor sewing skills to create a great tunic shirt!

Step 1: Before

There were a number of things I wanted to change about this dress when I first bought it.

1. The collar of the dress was a little thick and had some crazy looking beads sewing into the collar. I wanted to give the dress a wider neckline and get rid of the beads.

2. There was a small drawstring around the waist that i really wanted to get rid of

3. Finally the skirt was in a weird shin length with some layers of small ruffling, really dating the piece. I was more than ready to chop it off.

Step 2: The Neckline

I started by cutting off the beads on the neckline. The removal of the beads made a world of difference to the neckline in general really lightening it up.

After the beads were gone I chose to trim the neckline further. The dress had an extra 2" of fabric that I didn't want so I started by cutting off what i didn't like.

When I cut I left about 1/4" more than what I wanted the final neckline to be. Then I folded the fabric on the inside and hemmed the neckline resulting in it being the perfect size

Step 3: The Waistline

My next step was to get rid of the small drawstring around the waist.

I used a seam ripper to take out the small strip of fabric that held the drawstring. Then I was able to cut out the drawstring out.

Step 4: The Skirt

The final task I had was to cut the skirt. I wanted to get rid of the last two panels of the skirt since they had a little ruffle to them, yet I wanted to keep them a little long so it could be a long shirt.

I started by chopping of the skirt off by one of the ruffle seams. There was a surged seam in the middle of the skirt that was a perfect place to put a hem so I cut the skirt about 1/4" below the seam.

After cutting the skirt I was able to hem the skirt by folding the raw edge of the fabric over and sewed it into the inside of the dress, leaving a nice clean hem line at the bottom of the skirt

Step 5: Wear

With the last hem my new tunic shirt was complete. I added a black belt to complete my ensemble. It came out great and I was really happy that I was able to revive this awesome piece of clothing.