Upcycled Dress! Design your own clothes!

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So I’m really interested in making my own clothes and have made a few skirts and tank tops but want to make things that are fancier. My mom said it might be fun to make some new clothes using old clothes. It’s called upcycling! We had so much fun with every part of this project and I’m making tons of stuff so I’ll definitely be posting more projects using this technique soon.

So for this dress we used a women’s size medium tank top. We went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of shirts and tank tops that I liked. My mom’s advice in picking out a good shirt to do this with is that the neck line shouldn’t be too low cut or it will be much harder to modify. Basically no V neck shirts and boat neck shirts should  be discouraged in your first attempt. Just find something you like (even a basic t-shirt is awesome) the fabric of. I liked this one because of the buttons on the front.

Here’s what it looked like when we started.

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The first step was to try it on. My mom helped me to pin the straps temporarily just to make them a little shorter and then pull the sides in and pin them close to my body right under the arms. If you don’t have someone to help you with this you can always take a dress or shirt that fits you really well and lay it flat on top of your project shirt and then use it as a template to pin the sides how you want the new shape to be.

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps

pinned straps

Then I took off the dress and layed it flat on my cutting board. I took my seam ripper which is a little sharp tool that you can use to take the stitches out of clothes. It’s a lifesaver for a project like this. I opened up the seam where the straps were just on the front of the dress and took them off. (you may not have to do this if your shirt doesn’t have straps or if the straps aren’t so far off to the edge of your body)

strap removed with seam ripper

strap removed with seam ripper

Now it’s time to cut the sides of your shirt. We started on the outside of the pin and just gently cut down at an angle so that it eventually met up with the edge of the “skirt”

Hopefully this picture will help you to see what we mean.

dress layed out ready to cut.

dress layed out ready to cut

dress cut from the top down the side.

dress cut from the top down the side.

Now we folded the dress in half and cut the other side to match.

folded over

folded over

cut to match

cut to match

Now it’s time to sew! Turn the shirt inside out and match up the front and back along the new cut lines.

Sew down the sides.

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Now try on the dress and pin the straps on where you would like them. We decided to crisscross the straps in the back on ours. It looks really cool. Once you have your straps on stitch them very carefully back onto the top.

You’re done!

Try it on and enjoy your work. It was SO easy and it’s a great way to make your own clothes without having to start from scratch! This dress cost us $2.00 and I love it!

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Now it’s your turn! Make something and send us a picture. We want to see your creations!

Here’s one my mom made me out of a women’s size large tank top. She didn’t have to take any straps off this one she just pinned it under my arms and sewed the sides. It took her about 10 minutes.

before- tank top

before- tank top

after- tank top dress!

after- tank top dress!

I love it!

I love it!

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