Quick Thrift Flip: How to Make a Dress a Little More Interesting

Kelsey Reese
by Kelsey Reese
5 Materials
2 Hours

I thrifted this plaid dress super cheap, but there are a few things I don’t like about it.

I’ll show you how to get rid of some of these features to make any dress a bit more interesting. Let’s get into it.

Tools and materials:

  • Thrifted dress
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Elastic bands
  • Sewing kit/Sewing machine
Assessing the dress

1. Assess the dress

Examine the dress for elements you wish to modify. Identify aspects like smocking, sleeve length, and overall fitting.

Smocking removed from dress

2. Remove undesired features

Cut off any elements you dislike. I removed the smocking. 

Reimagining the design

3. Reimagine the design

Experiment by turning the dress around, and considering different ways to wear it.

Explore ideas like using the back as the front or repositioning the sleeves.

I safety-pinned the sleeves at an angle to the neck to rework the neckline.

Adjusting the fit

4. Adjust the fit  

Pin and sew areas for a better fit, like making the bust more fitted and altering the sleeves' length.

Consider adding elastic to cinch the back and adjust it for a more tailored look. It gave me a babydoll waistline, which I like.

Reconfiguring the straps

5. Reconfigure the straps

If needed, rework the straps for better functionality or decoration.

Consider cutting or repositioning them to enhance the dress' aesthetics.

Making final touches

6. Final touches

Stitch along the pinned areas to secure the alterations. Trim excess fabric and raw edges. Add topstitching for a polished look.

Thrift flipped dress

Quick thrift flip: How to make a dress a little more interesting

By following these steps, you can transform a thrifted plaid dress into a more personalized and stylish garment.

Let me know how you would revamp and style this thrift-flipped dress!

Next, check out my post on Turning a Blanket Into a Mini Skirt.

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Suggested materials:
  • Thrifted dress
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
See all materials

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