Jocelyn & Antoinette: Can I Make 2 DIY Reformation Dresses For $10?

13 Materials
6 Hours

The velvet Jocelyn and Antoinette dresses from Reformation are beautiful, but they are also quite expensive! So, I've decided to use thrifted velvet items and free patterns to sew my own Reformation-inspired dresses.

Let’s get started sewing DIY Reformation dresses!

Tools and materials:

  • Thrift store velvet finds
  • Patterns (see each dress for links)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pen/Tailor’s chalk
  • Pins/clips
  • Lining fabric
  • Cotton corded thread
  • Ribbon
  • Invisible zipper
  • Elastic
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Iron

DIY Jocelyn Reformation dress

Jocelyn Reformation dress

The Jocelyn Reformation dress retails for $298. It has a square neckline, relaxed skirt with a side slit on the left. The back has gorgeous lace-up detail in the back with oversized sleeves.


I used the free Calanthe Dress pattern from Mood Fabrics that has some of these features (you have to subscribe by email to get the pattern).

The pattern is pretty straightforward and you can base the size off of your own measurements.

DIY Jocelyn Reformation dress sketch

I sketched out what I was going to do...

Thrifted black velvet pants for the DIY

... and I used 2 pairs of thrifted black velvet pants to make it happen!

Adjusting the paper pattern

1. Modify the pattern

Print the pattern and adjust it based on your measurements and preferences. Don't forget to add seam allowance. Cut out the paper pattern pieces, then cut out the pattern in your velvet fabric.

To see the specific modifications I did to recreate the Jocelyn dress, watch my video from 2:25.

Adding lining to the DIY Reformation dress

2. Add lining

Cut lining following the same steps. Pin the lining to the velvet right sides together and sew.

You may also want to topstitch the lining to the velvet to keep it neat and prevent the lining from peeking out.

Cutting out sleeves from the pattern

3. Add the sleeves

Cut the sleeves to be 15 inches. Sew a basting stitch to gather the sleeve just at the top. Sew the sleeve side together.

Do a ¾-inch fold with a straight stitch but leave 1 inch unsewn to add elastic.

Use a safety pin to pull the elastic through, overlap the ends, and zigzag stitch to secure. 

Making the Jocelyn dress by Reformation

Attach the sleeve by matching the seam of the sleeve to the side seam. Pin right sides together. Pin up to the point where the gathers are. Gather the top of the sleeve to match the armhole.

Pin in place, sew together, then do the other sleeve.

How to make the Jocelyn dress by Reformation

4. Make the back loops

Use cotton thread loops made of cotton cording. Make a knot at the end, and with a needle, thread it back through the seam that joins the velvet and lining together.

Sew it down about 2 inches above the first stitch. Tie a knot to secure. Make 6 of these.

Cutting panels for the dress skirt

5. Make the skirt

For the front, cut 3 pieces for the skirt from a pant leg, each measuring about 32 inches in length (I didn’t follow a pattern for this). All the pieces are equal width.

Match the corresponding bodice panels and seams to the skirt pieces to line the seams up. Sew down one of the panels to the hemline. The other panel will have a slit.

Back panels for the long skirt of the dress

For the back, measure and mark another panel to be 32 inches in length. Mark the waistline and cut with a slight curve. Measure and mark the hemline.

Use this piece as a template to mirror. Pin and cut. Sew these together, with right sides facing. 

How to sew Reformation-inspired dresses

6. Sew the dress together

Sew the back to the front of the skirt, leaving 6 inches unsewn in the back. Match each seam in the skirt to the bodice.

Seam allowance for the top will be narrow and 1 inch for the skirt to allow elastic to go in the back, rather than a zipper.

Thread the elastic through the casing and secure on one side with a straight stitch. Pull the elastic on the other side to create gathers. Secure with a straight stitch. 

Threading ribbon through the back of the dress

7. Thread the ribbon

Thread the ribbon through the back.

DIY Jocelyn Reformation dress

DIY black velvet Reformation dress

This is the final result! I'm so happy with how this turned out. I love the way the pink ribbon looks against the black velvet.

This dress is so similar to the Jocelyn Reformation dress, but it cost less than $5 to make!

DIY Antoinette Reformation dress

Antoinette Reformation dress

The Antoinette Reformation dress is a bustier style with a ruffled edge, adjustable strap ties, and a midi-length trumpet skirt with a ruffled hem. 


For the bustier top, I used a previous pattern that I drafted when I made a DIY Christine Reformation dress.

I'm not a professional seamstress, but I figured out the pieces I needed to make that style of top using my own measurements. You can watch that video to see how I did it step by step.

DIY Antoinette Reformation dress sketch

I sketched out the pattern...

Large thrifted velvet dress for the DIY

...and used a very large dress to upcycle.

Pattern pieces for the bustier top of the dress

1. Make the pattern

Cut out the pieces for the top front and back. Cut out fusible interfacing and iron to the pieces for stability and the structure of the fabric. Sew all the pieces of the top together.

Cutting strips of velvet for the ruffles

2. Cut the ruffles

Cut two 1¼-inch strips to use for ruffling.

Measuring the waistline of the bodice

3. Make the skirt

Lay the bodice to measure the width of the waistline. Mine is 14 inches and I added ½ inch for seam allowance.

Using a skirt as a pattern template

Use a well-fitting skirt as a template but leave extra fabric at the bottom for the flare.

Measure and mark from the waistline down 19 inches and cut. At the top, measure 7¼ inches at the waistline. Mark with a pin. Use the center point as a guide.

Making a DIY Reformation dress

Fold the fabric in half and cut out the other side.

Sewing Reformation dresses

Lay the back of the bodice and measure on the fabric. Add 2 inches for darts plus a ½-inch seam allowance. Use the cut front pattern as a guide.

At the top of the waistline center point, measure 8½ inches. Mark with a pin. Fold at the center and cut.

Sew darts at the top that are 1 inch wide and 7 inches down. Make sure they line up with the seams on the back bodice.

Place the skirt front and back right sides together. Sew along the side seams.

Sewing the DIY Antoinette dress

4. Join the pieces together

Pin the top of the skirt along with waistband. Sew the right side of the dress together. Insert an invisible zip on the left side.

Cut 3 panels that are 10 inches wide.

Creating a gathered hem for the skirt

Sew them together to create one long loop. Hem the bottom first. Sew a basting stitch along the top using the longest stitch length on the machine to create gathers.

Pinning the gathered hem to the skirt

Pin the gathered hem to the skirt.

Sewing the gathered hem to the skirt

Sew the hem to the skirt.

DIY Antoinette dress bustier top with ruffles

Use the same technique on the small pieces to create the ruffles on the bustier top. 

Making tie straps for the dress

5. Make the straps

Cut four 2-inch strips and make them equal size for the adjustable ties. Fold them in half right sides together. Sew along the length and one short side. Turn inside out.

Pinning the tie straps to the top

Pin them to the top, matching the seams. Secure with a straight stitch. 

DIY Antoinette Reformation dress

This is the finished DIY Antoinette dress! I love this dress. It's classy, comfy, and looks really similar to the Reformation Antoinette dress. Again, this dress cost around $5 to make.

DIY Jocelyn and Antoinette Reformation dresses

DIY Jocelyn and Antoinette Reformation dresses

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make DIY versions of the Jocelyn and Antoinette dresses from Reformation. These dresses retailed at around $300 each, but I recreated both for less than $10!

For more Reformation velvet dress dupes, you can check out my other tutorials on the DIY Maura dress and DIY Navy Dress. What can I say, I just love this style of dress!

Please comment below with your thoughts on these beautiful Reformation-inspired dresses, and let me know what you'd like me to recreate next!

Suggested materials:
  • Thrift store velvet finds
  • Patterns (see each dress for links)
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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