Redesigned Thrift Shop Dress




About: I love clocks

My sister, mother and I love to go thrift shopping. We love looking for old things we can redesign, clothes with awesome patterns, or things we can fix. This is a dress I made from a huge dress I found. It turned out a lot better than I had expected!

Thrift shopping tip: You might want to wash it before you start sowing, if you are working on a thrift shop dress! This one smelled like old lady when I first brought it home!

What you need:

  • A thrift shop dress (I also included a few measurements from my final dress so you can make it from scratch, see 'Rough measurements')
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing stuff like scissors, safety pin, thread, needles, chalk, thread and so on - you know it!

Step 1: Cutting Top and Neck

I didn't really measure anything, I kinda just cut it where it looked right: The original dress didn't give me many options (I added a picture where I drew where I cut. I redrew it on my computer in red so it's easier to see)*.

I made sure that the front of the dress goes higher than the back of the dress. I did this because I like the way it looks :)
Keep in mind that you have to make it about 2 cm longer than you need, because you have to fold it up later.

Also make sure to sew all the way round the pieces you cut, so it doesn't unravel! But you probably already know this.

*You can see what shape it would look like if it hadn't been a dress already, later in 'Rough measurements'.

Step 2: Ekstra: Removed Weird Back Lace

You probably wont need this step, but the original dress had a lace thing going on, which I didn't like.

I cut it out and sewed it back together. Now the dress has a random line of stitches, but I made sure to put it on the back of the dress, and it's not very noticeable!

Step 3: Neck Piece

This part is really easy. You just have to fold down the extra 2 cm and sew it together. You have to do this for both tops and sides of the dress.

Make sure that you don't sew the very top part all the way in the ends, because you need to put the string into it later.

Step 4: String (making It)

Making the string is really easy. You just have to cut it out and sew it together inside out. Mine was not long enough, so I used two pieces and sewed them together first.

Mine was 140 cm long, and it's perfect!

Step 5: String (turning It Inside Out)

If you know how to turn it inside out, you won't need this step.

If you don't know how to do this easily, you can look at the pictures.
I tend to use a safety pin and another really thin piece of string (the green one). You just have to attach the pin to the thin string, and pull it all the way through the original string. Then you attach the pin to both the this string and the original string, and you will now basically just be able to pull the thin string all the way through, with the original string following!

When you have done this, you can just go ahead and put the string right into the two holes in the top part of your dress! To do this, you can make your life easy and use the safety pin again.

Step 6: Rough Measurements

So for you guys who want to make a similar dress and don't have a thrift shop dress to start with, I measured the different parts. I didn't do a very exact job, because I don't think it really matters that much. Besides, you need to make sure that the dress fits you, not me.

Anyways. As it is shown on the pictures, I made sure that my dress' front is taller and thinner than the back. The front on the dress is approximately 25 cm thin and the back 40 cm. From top to bottom is 95 cm, and the string I made was 140 cm long. I think it was the perfect length - it wasn't too long or too short!

My dress' bottom was asymmetrical when I bought it. You can do this if you want to, but If you just make it round/ normal, I'm sure that the dress will look just fine!

If you have any other questions about how i did the different parts or how long something is, make sure to ask me! I would love to help!

Step 7: Final Dress

This is how the dress ended up looking. It turned out a lot better than i had expected, and I can't wait to wear it!

I added the before pictures as well, so it's easier to tell the difference. It was really huge before, and even though I didn't make it thinner by the waist, it looks really good with a belt!

Here it's also easy to tell that the front top goes higher than the back top.

Step 8: Bonus: Matching Hair Bobble

I made this matching hair bobble by following a tutorial my sister made. It was really easy to follow, and I really enjoyed it. I might even make more!

Here is the link:



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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    What a great find! I love the fabric and think you did a great job with that dress.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I am, but it's on purpose:) I like it better that way:)