Thrift Shop Dress Makeover




Introduction: Thrift Shop Dress Makeover

About: I have been sewing and crafting for several years, my children are grown so now I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy photography, cooking, cake decorating, painting and sharing my projects with others.

This is a great project for a beginner seamstress. Most thrift shops have several old prom dresses to choose from. There are few things more frustrating than spending $40 on fabric and a pattern and then realizing you cut it out wrong. Sometimes I get an idea for an article of clothing but don't want to spend a lot of money on fabric, I will go to the thrift shop and look through thier clothes until I find an item that I think will work to cut up and use for that particular project. Now, I'll be honest with you, it doesn't always work out the way I want it to but I always learn something from the experience. A few weeks ago I went to the local thrift shop and found this beautiful long, purple satin dress. Of course it was a size 4. I paid $5 for it. Took it home and figured out a way to make it work for me. 

Step 1: Supplies

An old long dress, Sewing machine, thread, straight pins, measuring tape, seam ripper and scissors. You may need to purchase a zipper.

Step 2: Original Dress

The original dress was in great shape, it was lined and the hem was still intact and there were no stains on it. When purchasing clothing at a thrift shop, inspect the articles closely, zipper, buttons, etc...

Step 3: Cut Off the Bottom of Skirt

Measure how long you want the skirt section to be. I left the original hem because it was in good shape. I measured 24" up from that all the way around and pinned the lining to it. Cut 1" above that, this is for the seam allowance. Stitch 1/2" from the top edge, sewing the lining to the skirt section.

Step 4: Remove Zipper

I was able to use the original zipper. If you want to do this, remove it carefully with a seam ripper.

Step 5: Deconstruct Dress

Cut the bodice away from the skirt section at the seam.

Step 6: Waistband

The bodice of the original dress becomes the waistband of my new dress! All I did was sew the curved vertical seams straight and cut thewhole waistband 4" wide. Allowing 1/2" seam allowance on the top and bottom of the waistband, the finished waistband will be 3".

Step 7: Bodice

When I turn the mid section of the original dress upside down- it works perfectly for the bodice of my new dress! I measured 12" in length all the way around. Pinned the center of this to the center of the waistband and sewed it in place. I

Step 8: Lining

I cut matching sections out of the lining for the bodice and waistband, matched up the center points, pinned the shoulder straps in and then sewed the lining to the dress.

Step 9: Flower for Waistband

I cut 4 circles out of the leftover material with my pinking shears. I then folded them a bit off-center and pinned them together, overlapping a little. Then I hand stitched them to the waistband of the dress.

The Contest Purple

Participated in the
The Contest Purple

Fashion Contest

Participated in the
Fashion Contest

Instructables Green Design Contest

Participated in the
Instructables Green Design Contest

Dream It, Draw It, Wear It Contest

Participated in the
Dream It, Draw It, Wear It Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge

    3 Discussions


    6 years ago

    For tons of ideas like this one - SO much fun! Check out this blog (also a published book). by: Marissa Lynch Have Fun!