2 Fun Thrift Flip Ideas Inspired by Brandy Melville & Princess Polly

Shanna yeh
by Shanna yeh
11 Materials
3 Hours

I love the look of the trendy, cool, and relevant Brandy Melville and Princess Polly brands, but I know I can recreate the same looks myself. Here are a couple of fun thrift flip ideas to help you wear fashion-forward and environmentally conscious looks.

Tools and materials:

  • Plaid pants
  • Silk or silky fabric tank top
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pins
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Your own tank top as a pattern
  • Seam ripper
Brandy plaid thrift flip skirt

Brandy plaid thrift flip skirt

I bought a pair of plaid pants at the thrift store, so I could turn them into a Brandy-Melville-inspired schoolgirl skirt.

Cutting the pants to make a skirt

1. Cut the pants

Lay the plaid pants on a flat surface. Cut the legs off above or around the knee. 

Cutting open the inner seams and crotch seam

Cut open the inner seams up to and through the crotch so it looks like a skirt. 

How to thrift flip clothes

Flip it inside out and pin where the seams will be to sew it up. Pin straight down following the previous seams so it blends together. Do both sides.

Sewing the thrift flip skirt

2. Sew the skirt

Sew the skirt seams on the wrong side using a straight stitch. 

Trying on the thrift flip skirt

3. Adjust the skirt

Try the skirt on to adjust the size and length. The button ended up being on the side and I like that look so I am going to keep it there. 

Brandy plaid thrift flip skirt DIY

I like my skirts shorter so I will shorten this skirt and hem it. I needed to take this in at the waist. If this happens to you, do what I did. I sewed a dart to take in the waistband. Open the back seam and take in an inch. Sew it using a straight stitch.

Cutting off the excess fabric

Mark the desired length with a safety pin while wearing it. Cut off any additional fabric.

Plaid pants before the thrift flip

DIY thrift flip skirt

4. Finish sewing the skirt

After adjusting everything, sew the seams and hem on the wrong side.

If you’re nervous about turning pants into a skirt - don’t be! Keep trying it on before cutting any fabric. It is much easier to take in extra fabric, rip open seams, and re-sew than to cut too much and not have enough fabric. This is a great upcycle that’s so much fun to wear.

Princess Polly thrift flip shirt

Princess Polly thrift flip shirt

I love the Princess Polly brand, so here I challenged myself to take a thrift store silk sleeveless shirt and upcycle it to a beautiful, silky Princess-Polly-inspired tie tank top.

Cutting the side and shoulder seams

1. Cut the silk top

Cut a side seam and the shoulder seam to open the shirt completely flat.

Creating a rough pattern for the DIY top

2. Create a pattern (of sorts)

Use a well-fitting tank top to serve as the pattern. Lay it directly on the open silk top. My tank is cotton (and sewn) so I doubled the fabric. I also measured my rib cage to make sure it fits.

Thrift flip crop top

3. Make the shirt bottom

Cut the bottom half of the shirt. Make sure it is long enough to wrap around the rib cage and long enough for the desired length. I cut a rectangle about 30 x 5 inches after taking my measurements. I wanted the top to end at my belly button.

Pinning the bottom ready to sew

Pin the bottom of the rectangle to be as straight as possible. Sew a straight stitch.

Cutting the neckline and the sleeves

4. Cut the shirt top

Cut the neckline and sleeve of the silk tank. 

Thrift flip shirt ideas

There will be another long rectangle. Pin one side down to be as straight as possible.

How to ruche a top

5. Ruche the top 

Set the sewing machine on the widest possible stitch. Don’t do any backstitching, so you can pull on the loose threads and create a ruched effect. Pull gently on the loose thread so it creates a soft pleated or ruffled look.

It looks easy but it may be challenging. Don’t be discouraged. Spread out all the ruffles and ruching evenly.

DIY thrift flip crop top

6. Tunnel the shirt top

Cut the ruched top piece in half. Choose the prettier part for the front. Create a tunnel on the unhemmed and unruched side by making a wide seam at the top. 

Making the straps for the DIY crop top

7. Make the straps

Create the straps from the cut-away seams of the original silk top. You could also use ribbon or string. Attach a safety pin at one of the ends of the tunnel and feed it through the tunnel to the other side.

Sewing a DIY crop top

8. Attach the top and bottom pieces

Pin the top and bottom together. Keep the ruffles evenly distributed on the top. Make sure the ruching on the bottom lays on the right side. Sew together.

Trying on the DIY crop top

9. Adjust the fit

I had to cut the back bottom because this is silk. It doesn’t stretch and I didn’t take my chest measurement into account - only my ribcage! 

Creating ties at the back of the DIY top

So what I did is opened the back right in the center. I made a new seam on either side to finish the raw ends. I attached 4 ties on either side to close it up. Try the top on and if it doesn’t fit you, do the same thing. 

Measure the top strips and how long you want them. Cut them from the silk, finish the raw edges and sew them onto the top.

DIY crop top thrift flip ideas

Wear this delicate top with anything because it goes with anything!

You can see how buying premade clothes from the thrift store can be upcycled easily to the hottest trends. Please give me a thumbs up and comment on the pieces I made. Let me know if you tried to make any of these thrift flips as well!

Suggested materials:
  • Plaid pants
  • Silk or silky fabric tank top
  • Sewing machine
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