Free People Dress Dupe

by Koetiquemade
4 Materials
30 Minutes

Do you often find yourself searching online for fun fashion inspo to help get you out of a “funk?” Ya, me too. Thrift stores are my favorite place to go when I want to copy a look that inspired me. Let me show you how I recreated a pricey dress TWICE for a fraction of the cost!

The Inspo

I recently came across this super cute wallpaper maxi dress by Free People. I absolutely loved it but I didn’t love the price tag. So I looked around and found it on PoshMark for $128 which was still more than I wanted to pay, but it wasn’t my size either. As a frugal gal, making one similar seemed like my best option. So off to the thrift store I went.

My 2 Dupes

First, I found this blue tiered floral skirt for $2.99. It was made out of this really soft, super lightweight, 100% cotton fabric. It had a side zipper opening to get it on and off. I also found this fun pleated, leopard skirt with an elastic waist for $4.99. It was brand new with the tags still on. So I got both the skirts. Finding skirts was easy. T-shirts…. Not so much.

It took me probably over one hour at two different thrift stores searching through all the racks to find the perfect t-shirts. I settled on this gray one for the blue skirt. It cost me $3.99 and the fact that it says “New York” like the Free People inspo was just an added bonus. I didn’t even realize it until I got home. For the leopard skirt I wanted something similar to a concert t-shirt. When I found this Johnny Cash t-shirt for $2.99 I knew this was a combo meant to be.

A little Customizing....

Something I didn’t like about the Free People dress was where the shirt and the dress were attached. It seemed a bit awkward being right above the bustline.

I tried on both my shirts and decided to cut them both below the bust and still leave some of the fun graphics. I also cut them slightly lower in the back than the front so they had a high-low look. You can see that in the picture below. I used my French Curve ruler to get the nice rounded edges.

The blue skirt had a drop yoke and side zipper. I removed the zipper and sewed that part closed. Then I cut the drop yoke off ½ inch above where it was attached to the gathered part. This would account for seam allowance and keep the gathering in place.

I then sewed it to the t-shirt right sides together using ½ inch seam allowance. That’s it! That’s all I did for the blue one. I did a little more to the leopard one but nothing major.

A Little More Customizing....

The leopard skirt had some really tiny pleat-like gathers at the top that I did NOT want to mess up. So I cut the elastic right to the point where it was attached to the skirt. So there was a ¼ inch thin strip of elastic at the top of the skirt. It worked kind of like the ½ inch drop yoke of the blue skirt did to keep the pleated gathers uniform. Then I just attached it to the shirt to the skirt just like I did with the other dress.

I also changed the neckline by cutting off the ribbing and doing a facing like I’ve done on a few other things I’ve made.

Lastly I rolled the sleeves and stitched them in place so I wouldn’t have to worry about them coming unrolled. I might do this on the gray shirt too, but as of now I haven’t.

The Love is Real!

I love both of these dresses so much! They are such original and fun additions to my wardrobe. They are super comfy and totally gave me the exact vibe I was looking for. So for $15 and about 30 minutes of my time, I got two amazing dresses. It’s a total win! What about you? Have you ever thought of sewing a shirt to a skirt in a similar way?

Let’s be friends!

Let’s be friends on all the socials! Come follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook so we can chat about all our sewing projects

Suggested materials:
  • 2 old t-shirts   (Thrift store)
  • 2 maxi skirts   (Thrift store)
  • French Curve ruler   (Walmart)
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Want more details about this and other fashion and style ideas? Check out more here!
Join the conversation