How to Easily Refashion a Bridesmaid Dress Into Something New

7 Materials
2 Hours

You can find all sorts of gems and clothing items to work with when going thrift shopping. Today, I will show you how to refashion a bridesmaid dress. I found this dress at a thrift store and thought it could turn out into something quite stylish with little alterations and modifications.

Page down to see this bridesmaid dress transformation for instant inspiration.

Tools and materials:

  • Maxi dress
  • A dress that has your ideal length
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
Bridesmaid dress before the refashion

How to shorten a bridesmaid dress

1. Shorten the dress

The first step is to shorten the dress. So, take the dress that has your ideal length, place it on the bridesmaid dress, and align the shoulder seams. 

Marking the new length of the dress

Now, mark the length of your top-dress onto your maxi dress and give yourself a little seam allowance for the hemline. Then, cut.

Hemming the raw edge of the dress

2. Hem the raw edge

Flip the garment inside out, fold up the fabric around ½ an inch, and stitch to secure. 

Cutting open fabric at the side seams

3. Make the sleeves

The sleeves will be made from the bottom half of the chopped fabric. So, cut open the fabric by snipping at the side seams. Like this, you'll create two pieces of fabric. 

Measuring the armhole of the dress

Before you cut the fabric to size, go ahead and measure the armhole. Mine was 24cm (9.44 inches). 

Transferring measurements onto the fabric

Now, fold your fabric in half. From the folded edge, measure 24cm (9.44 inches) from the fold and across the fabric piece. Add 1cm (0.39 inches) for seam allowance. 

DIY bridesmaid dress alterations

I wanted a bell-sleeve look, something flowy at the bottom edges. So, I stitched my sleeve in an outward manner, as shown. If you want a straight sleeve, simply stitch straight down from the mark you made. After stitching, cut off the excess, and you now have a new sleeve! 

Tracing around the first sleeve

Instead of repeating this step for the second sleeve, simply place the first one on your excess fabric and follow the cut line. The completed sleeve acts as a template and makes life so much easier. 

New sleeves for the refashioned dress

You should now have two lovely sleeves. Hem the raw edges of the sleeves before proceeding to the next step. 

Inserting the sleeves into the dress

4. Attach the sleeves

Turn the dress inside out and insert the sleeves into the armholes. Make sure the side seams align. Stitch all around to secure them in place. 

The finished sleeves

Refashioned bridesmaid dress

I love how this refashioned bridesmaid dress came out! See, DIY bridesmaid dress alterations are super easy, and with a bit of creativity, you can go that extra mile.

So, now that you know how to refashion and shorten a bridesmaid dress, you can easily go thrift shopping and find the perfect dress for you. 

Suggested materials:
  • Maxi dress
  • A dress that has your ideal length
  • Scissors
See all materials

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