Mini Dress Upcycle

7 Materials
$10
3 Hours
Easy

I love turning something old into something new and improved. In other words, nothing is more exciting than an excellent thrift flip. I bought a pair of totally oversized khaki pants and completely transformed them into an amazing mini dress with a front zipper.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized pants
  • Black fabric
  • Zipper
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
Corduroy mini dress

Take the pants apart 

The first thing I did was, remove the side pockets using a seam ripper. I was really careful not to ruin the fabric of the pants. 

Cut the legs


After removing the side pockets, I cut off the legs of the pants which would become the body of the dress. 

Cut the inseam


I then cut open the inseam of the legs. 

DIY mini dress


I split one of the legs into two to become the two front panels for the dress. 

Sew on the zipper

Temporarily add the zipper 

I decided to temporarily add the zipper to the front of the dress so that I could mark the darts while wearing the dress. I set the stitch length to 3 so that it would be easier to remove later on. The zipper I used was a jacket zipper which is why it could be separated. 

Upcycled mini dress

Trim off the excess fabric 

I placed the front piece over the back piece and trimmed off the uneven bits of fabric. 

Try on the dress

Check and make adjustments 

I then tried on the dress and realized I would need to add some darts and take in the sides as well. 

Add darts


I turned the dress inside out so that I could pin the sides to make the dress more fitted. 

Easy mini dress

Make the dress more fitted 

I sewed a temporary stitch in case I would need to add side darts later on. 

Sew in the darts


Once I was happy with the sides, I pinned the darts on the front of the dress. I pinched about half an inch of fabric and pinned. 

Add more darts


I decided to add some darts to the back of the dress and on the sides as well to get the fitted look I wanted. 

Add detail

I sewed in the darts and decided to continue the side darts to the front of the dress to add a little extra detail to the design. 

Sew the dress back together

Sew the dress back together 

With all the darts and adjustments in place, it was time to sew the dress back together. The new side darts made the front pieces shorter so I shortened the back piece to match. After cutting the bottom, I made sure to hem it so that the dress would be nice and neat. 

Reattach the zipper

Reattach the zipper 

Finally, I could properly attach the zipper. I changed my foot to a zipper foot and used black thread. I pinned the ends of the zipper to the bottom of the dress and sewed it on. I folded the top of the zipper toward the inside of the dress and hand sewed it on. 

Make straps

Attach straps 

For the straps, I used black fabric and cut two strips 3 by 10 inches. 

Fold the straps


I then folded twice to make the width 1 inch. 

Sew on the straps


I sewed the straps with a straight stitch and attached them to the dress. 

Sew a mini dress


Who would believe this dress was once a pair of oversized pants? Let me know what you think about this upcycle in the comments! 

Suggested materials:

  • Oversized pants
  • Black fabric
  • Zipper
See all materials

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