Hack for Beginners Learning to Upcycle

Paola Gonzalez
by Paola Gonzalez
5 Materials
2 Hours

Here’s an easy hack for upcycling clothes for beginners.

If you’re brand new to this, or you are too intimidated to use a commercial pattern, this will be your go to method!

You need a garment that fits you well and is about the same stretchiness as your fabric. I’m using a blanket and a simple stretchy dress as a template.

Tools and materials:

  • Thrifted blanket or other fabric
  • Template dress
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Making tube

1. Make a tube

Sew the two shorter edges of your blanket together. Use a zigzag stitch if your fabric is stretchy.

If you’re more advanced you could use a zipper or button fastening.

Lay the blanket out flat with the seam exactly in the center. This will be the center front or back of your new dress.

Cutting out pattern

2. Cut out the pattern

Find the center front of your dress and place it on the seam of the fabric tube.

Pin the dress carefully to the fabric, being careful not to stretch either of them.

Cut around the outline of the dress leaving about a half inch (1 cm) seam allowance. 

I wanted my new dress to be a bit longer, so I allowed for that at this stage.

Sewing seams

3. Sew the seams

Pin and sew the side seams of the dress with the right sides together.

If you need to, turn in a hem at the top and bottom of the dress and sew it in place.

DIY upcycled dress

Hack for beginners learning to upcycle

And now you have a brand new dress that fits you perfectly!

The first few times you do this, keep to a very simple, straightforward shape for your new dress.

Using a stretch fabric also makes it easier because you don’t have to worry about darts.

What do you think? Let me know.

Next, learn  How to Get a Lettuce Hem When Sewing.

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Suggested materials:
  • Thrifted blanket or other fabric
  • Template dress
  • Scissors
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