How to Make Your Own Off-the-Shoulder Dress - Easy DIY Thrift Flip

Liana Hardy
by Liana Hardy
8 Materials
3 Hours

Want to know how to make your own off-the-shoulder dress? Well, you don't have to go through the whole effort of sewing a DIY off-shoulder dress from scratch; you can use an old dress and transform it!

This amazing thrift flip will save you time and money, plus, you’ll be playing your part in upcycling old items. Want to see this incredible transformation? Let’s do this.

Tools and materials:

  • White elastic
  • Black satin elastic
  • Old dress
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
The dress before the transformation

Measuring the elastic

1. Cut the elastic

Cut two strips of elastic, measuring around 30cm (12inches) in length. 

Sewing the elastic to the dress

2. Sew the elastic

Now, sew each strip to each shoulder of the dress. This will tighten the shoulder areas so they won’t be so loose when worn. 

Measuring the straps for the DIY dress

3. Measure & cut the straps

It’s best to get someone to help you with this step. Measure the length of the strap that’s needed to go around your shoulders, as shown.

Measuring two strips of fabric for the straps

Now, measure & cut two strips accordingly. 

How to make an off-shoulder dress

Next, sew the ends of strips to the dress, and this is how one turned out. What do you think? 

How to cut and sew an off-shoulder dress

4. Make tubes

Sew two parallel lines on each side seam of the dress. These two parallel seams will form tubes. 

Making a DIY off-shoulder dress

At the end of the dress, sew on a black strip. This black strip will help you feed the black elastic through the side seam tubes. Use a safety pin to maneuver easily through the tube.

Once you get to the other side, pull the string through- you’ll be able to see the ruching occurring already. 

Modifying a dress to make it off-shoulder

Repeat the same process on the other side of the side seam. 

Sewing the black strip onto the side seam

Now, remove the safety pin, and sew the end of the black strip onto the side seam of the dress to secure it in place. 

Adding ruching to the off-the-shoulder dress

Now, using the bottom of the string, pull it up to create that stunning ruche effect. 

How to make your own off the shoulder dress

How to make your own off the shoulder dress

Voila, we are done! Page up to the top and look at the dress before this amazing transformation - now look at the results! Isn’t it so exquisite?

The best part of this tutorial is that you don’t even need an off-the-shoulder dress sewing pattern - you can literally transform any old dress into something rocking and trendy. 

Suggested materials:
  • White elastic
  • Black satin elastic
  • Old dress
See all materials

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